9 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Confession: I legit don’t get it when white people say they’re not racist.

I’m white. I’m racist.

Oh, I’m trying to be anti-racist, as in ACTIVELY WORKING AGAINST RACISM.

And also, I’m racist in that I’m participating in an ongoing way in upholding structures that discriminate against people of color.

I mean, if racism is the systemic oppression of a minority by the group with power, and if I benefit from that system in terms of wealth, access, and safety, and if I continue to use those benefits with alacrity, am I not more than simply privileged? Am I not engaging with the system? Am I not passively prospering due to it? And if I am — if I fight some things that are racist but not everything that is racist — can I claim to be not racist? ...  read more

8 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Thursday was Demonstration Day.

Because black lives matter.

Friday was working through feelings with my middle baby who’s not a baby.

Because she’s ANGRY, and she’s SAD, and she doesn’t understand why precious people like her aren’t treated fairly. And I don’t have answers for her other than It’s OK to be furious — THIS IS RIGHTEOUS ANGER, BABY — and it’s OK to be distressed — THIS IS HEARTBREAKING — and it’s OK not to understand inequity and injustice and the horrific treatment of our fellow humans — BECAUSE RACISM AND OPPRESSION AND ABUSE AND MURDER SHOULD NEVER MAKE SENSE — and I am WITH YOU in all these feelings. Me, too, baby girl. Me, too, with the rage and the grief and the confusion. ...  read more

5 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Is there a kind of tired we’re not right now?

That’s the only sentence I wrote all week. In the back of a spiral notebook I was using to make lists and organize details for my parents’ move.

Is there a kind of tired we’re not right now?

Jotted between moving boxes and assigning jobs to my children and reading the news about pandemic updates and protests across the nation and the president alternately hiding in the basement of a White House gone dark and sending military force to remove priests and parishioners  from church steps to pose with a Bible for a propaganda photo-op to pander to the Religious Right. ...  read more

29 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I didn’t watch the video of George Floyd’s murder.

I couldn’t.

I can’t.

I didn’t watch the video of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, either. 

Their dying breaths.

At the hands of White Authority.

Modern lynching.

Careless disregard for lives deemed less valuable, less worthy — just LESS — than their own.

I hide the videos as they pop up in my Facebook feed, even while I read the articles, the calls to action, the statements of outrage, and the cries of grief. ...  read more

26 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I found a turd on my desk this morning.

An actual poop.

Just one tiny tootsie roll, all by itself, still fresh. Puppy sized. But there was no way for the puppy to get on my desk, and, also, he wasn’t in my room. Which means the turd just spontaneously materialized there. Or someone put it there. Except WHO WOULD DO THAT so I’m going with Option A — spontaneous materialization. I cannot accept the horror show alternative that I’m STUCK IN MY HOUSE QUARANTINING with a MONSTER who deposits mini poopies, hot off the presses, ON MY DESK.  ...  read more

24 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

a) Back pain is NO JOKE, Diary. I’ve spent the last 48ish hours rapidly breathing short, unsatisfying breaths, pausing to mentally brace myself before I stand up or sit down, and icing, medicating, yoga-cat-posing, and generally fussing. Bright side = caught up on a lot of Riverdale. Down side = overall malaise.

b) The overall malaise may not be from back pain. Or may not be only from back pain. It may also be slightly, marginally, minimally, somewhat a side effect of the Third Quarter Phenomenon (TQP). My friend, Doreen, who was once, is now, and forevermore shall be smarter than I am, is also a psychologist, and wrote last week about TQP in Psychology Today...  read more

22 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Today I turned “I Threw My Back Out” years old. I feel like that’s a legit rite of passage. Like getting my period. Or passing the test for a driver’s license. Or finding my first grey hair. I have plenty of friends who’ve already passed the Licking Flames of Back Pain Fire threshold. I’m a late bloomer, I guess. No surprise, though, that I’ve taken longer than the others to mature. I mean, I still feel like I’m sneaking something when I watch shows with “for mature audiences only” warning, like I’m getting away with doing something underhanded and deliciously nefarious. ...  read more