By Anne T. Donahue
This week, for reasons that are very obvious (we’re all depressed and need distractions), Christmas décor has abounded and many of us are being forced to think about the holidays.
Do I want to? I don’t know. I don’t know how to process feelings on a normal day, let alone when tied to festivities most of us will have to skip out on this year, lest we infect our families with a virus hell bent on destroying all. But I can pretend. For a few glorious moments, I can treat Christmas as business-as-usual and create the only shopping list you’ll need designed for persons who will either hand deliver these items to you sometime in the spring (or whatever), or ship them directly via the internet.
Or, you can buy them all for yourself. Because rules don’t apply, and if they did I still wouldn’t want to follow them. Let us begin.
At this point, I don’t even care what brand it is, provided it works and provided it’s roughly a gallon of something that will no longer make my hands look like that of a very old lizard. No matter what I do, I look like an entity who says things like “My precious” while making those around me weep as I curl my fingers around my gingerbread latte and take a long, hard smell of my beverage through my mask. Recently, I’ve started saying, “Look at my hands!” to my mom and dad as they recoil in disgust. Then, to show them exactly how much less of a human I am now, I submerge them in the steaming hot sink of dishwater, not even flinching as I remove a single fork and wash it for 45 minutes.
The largest, comfiest socks
Like, the largest and comfiest. Do you know what that means? Not coarse wool. Nothing you can’t wash easily. Something that looks foolish if worn outside, and something not meant to be seen outside of the home under any circumstance, minus a fire alarm. Truthfully, I want socks so big that I can live in them should I choose to in the wake of an emotional collapse. I want to put them on and realize that a small army of cats now live in them and I am welcome to share the space, or to fuck off forever. That, or socks with very cute prints. I have no interest in chicness, I long only to be the most bundled.
Any gaming system
And here’s the thing: we’re all struggling, so should any of us come to expect a PlayStation, we can brand ourselves demons who have no idea how real life works. Mainly, I mean anything on sale or a Tamogotchi. I crave distraction. Stupid, non-sensical, waste-of-time distraction that eats up my time without me having to do anything real. Last night, I played Super Mario for an hour before making a wish list of the Switch games I want most. A fun fact: the coolest is Animal Crossing, and the most typical of me as a human being is the Crash Bandicoot three-pack that will allow me to live like it’s 1998. Please give me a key to a city built entirely on nothing that matters. Provided you can afford the key and it’s not very much because again, this is a pandemic, and if you can afford gum you are living large.
My favourite activity is sitting down to watch Real Housewives, then applying a face mask as if I am achieving anything in my stupid little life. Do they help? In the year of our lord 2020, we know that face masks will not save us. But we can pretend for ten precious minutes, and then tell ourselves – while rubbing in the remnants of that blessed oil – that we have done it; we have completed a task. And this holiday season, that is all I want to do, provided said task is sit relatively still, my face covered in a sheet of Vitamin E.
Aside from our cats and dogs (although I have only — and thus love only — the former), plants are our children now; our proof of life, our reminder that even when everything’s falling apart, we still have those gorgeous leaves to gaze at and that arid soil to water. (Unless you’re me, who waters too much and has to repot due to root rot.) Sure, you may have real children, and if that’s the case, congratulations. But this is the plant paragraph. You can still have beautiful human children and children who will break off and die if you put them under too much direct sunlight. Balance is key.
Baby Yoda anything
If I don’t acquire a plush Baby Yoda doll by the end of this holiday season, I will sue each and every person reading this for failing to provide me with basic care, essential to my well-being and survival as a human being.
And I’m sure you feel the same.
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