I hate this month like a dumped ex-lover who’s still completely in love

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ID 60452853 © Photopassjonata Dreamstime.com

I hate this month.

I hate it like a dumped ex-lover who’s still completely in love

Like I hate desserts when I’m on a diet

Like I hate everyone who was invited to the party when I wasn’t.

I hate this month with its mock social calendar of virtual events

That I fake my way through (with background Zoom tree)

Smiling and laughing

Part of an online party when I’m really alone

And I can’t get that out of my head.

What I DO get out of my head as quickly possible is each…

There’s cruelty in telling single-dwellers to only celebrate with people in our household.

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Photo by Author

In Chicago the word came on Thursday: as of Monday, 16 Nov, residents are advised to stay home except for work, school and essential needs such as getting groceries or medical care. Chicago residents are also strongly advised to:

a) Not have guests in their homes unless they are essential workers (e.g, home healthcare providers or educators).
b) Cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations.
c) Avoid travel.

We’re encouraged to celebrate the holidays only with people in our household, which I guess is fine for people who have others in their household whom they enjoy, but it’s not fine for those of us who don’t. There are plenty of households with people who are abusive or worse, or who simply have members who don’t want to celebrate together. …

Americans were primed to be completely unable to pull together against the coronavirus.

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Screenshot by Author

Have you heard of Netflix’s documentaries The Social Dilemma and The Great Hack? The first exposes our dependence on social media and shows how Silicon Valley has exploited it and the second shows that social media has been used globally to change people’s behavior on a mass scale for political ends.

What I got from watching The Social Dilemma is that Facebook was invented by young, white, male Americans who thought they were making the world a better place by connecting people. Young, white men and woman created Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and many other platforms so that people could make friends, share interests, spend more time with friends even while apart, and help people increase their relationships. One early creator admits that he was part of creating the “like button” to bring more friendship and happiness into the world. He couldn’t have foreseen a generation so hooked on the dopamine hit they get from each “like” that they can’t walk away from their phones. …

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Ozzie, 2008–2020

The societally-approved grieving of death can give cover to grieving things we’re not supposed to get that sad about.

I’m not a dog person, but I became surprisingly upset about the death of a dog. Ozzie was the dog my husband and I got while we were married. After Bob ended our marriage, I wasn’t in Ozzie’s life much, but Bob and I are on good terms, so I’d dog sit for him. I knew I’d be sad about Ozzie’s death, but I didn’t expect to wail every day for almost a week over it.

It turns out I wasn’t wailing over Ozzie’s death, or least not just over Ozzie’s death. All over again I was grieving a part of my life. I grieved the end of my marital happiness, the end of Bob’s marital happiness, and the breaking up of the household. I grieved the end of Bob’s and my dream that getting married meant we’d never have to live alone again. I wept for Bob losing his best friend. I felt my pain, Bob’s pain and Ozzie’s pain. …

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ID 72991216 © Zeljko Dangubic | Dreamstime.com

This doesn’t involve marching, money or making phone calls.

Exactly one week after a white police officer killed George Floyd, I was on a Zoom talk and the question came up: how can I, as a white person, be an ally to Black people and people of color?

Even though the white woman leading the talk had just said white people need to be allies, she choked on this question and stammered, “Send a quick text. I sent texts to my Black friends and Black colleagues and said, ‘This sucks. I’m sorry. I’m here if you want to talk.’”

I didn’t bother saying what an unhelpful idea that was. I raised my hand and said, “One thing white people can do is speak up when you hear another white person saying something that sounds off. …

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It’s been there since the colonists killed indigenous people instead of figuring out how to live with them.

Our cities are burning again. People say they’re tired. People say enough is enough. People say white officers killing Black people shouldn’t still be happening. But of course it’s happening and it’s going to happen for a long time yet because racism is at the heart of American culture and it takes any culture hundreds of years to fundamentally change.

By the time the U.S. declared its sovereignty in 1776, the American population believed that slaughtering all the indigenous people was a fine idea and slavery was good. …

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Seth Meyers on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Everything works, from the claustrophobic attic to getting rid of that pesky live audience.

I’m sure this goes against the majority, but Seth Meyers is a better late night host in lockdown than Stephen Colbert. Much better.

I always liked Seth best, but the pandemic has made his superiority even more obvious. Stephen seems to need interaction with others. Seth doesn’t. Stephen clearly misses his live audience and finds substitutes as he can. In his opening monologue, Stephen talks with his crew, his band leader, and occasionally his dog.

Seth, by contrast, has settled into his own rhythm and he solos so well. Sure, he’s wonkier, but he doesn’t mug for the camera or laugh at his own jokes (which Stephen does regularly). Seth’s humor requires us to use our brains a little, such as when he evokes historical events or sustains a joke through a monologue. He also uses one of my favorite kinds of humor: self-deprecating. Recently he compared (at minute:second 6:06) his Mother’s Day gift to that of his brother, showing that the brother made a more personal and original gesture. Including his family in his quarantine experience has made him seem more like an Every-American: he’s going through a life-shattering pandemic while his same-old family dynamics bafflingly don’t adjust. …

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Feeling my addiction losing its hold makes me sad.

My physical and emotional dependence on processed sugar has caused me decades of pain. My childhood was so scary that I developed unhealthy ways to cope and one of them was with cookies, ice cream, cake and candy.

Eventually my physical and emotional needs for sugar became so tightly entwined that in adulthood, even when I managed to wean my body from sweets my emotional need for them messed me up again. …

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Photo by my iPad

And COVID movie fatigue has set in.

In the morning when I reach the kitchen I realize I’m out of tortillas and low on bacon. I consider heading to the store, then decide I can make breakfast out of eggs and rice. The five-minute walk to the neighborhood grocery store that has almost everything I ever need can wait.

By evening I realize I’m going to need more toilet paper soon. That’s harder to find substitutes for and I briefly imagine walking the five blocks to get it. I’m talking about five residential blocks: the short ones, not the long downtown Chicago ones. But it’s dark now and I’m in for the night. In from where? I haven’t gone anywhere all day. But still “in for the night” carries a lot of weight with me. …

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Kymberly Janisch/National Museum of Mexican Art

Most Americans don’t even know what the date represents and it gets uglier from there.

If you have friends who aren’t Mexican who like to “celebrate” cinco de mayo, please talk them out of it. Here’s why.

  1. You’re not celebrating Mexican culture. Mexican Americans don’t make a big deal out of cinco de mayo. Mexican Independence Day is a much bigger holiday for us. Oh, you thought cinco de mayo was Mexican Independence Day? You can’t celebrate a culture when you don’t know what you’re celebrating.
  2. Alcohol. Americans do not need another excuse to imbibe, and increasing numbers are trying to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume. We have enough alcohol in our lives when even yoga classes advertise post-class mimosas. …


Regina Rodríguez-Martin

Relishes questions of human behavior. Gets more Mexican every day. Blog: https://www.reginachicana.com

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