A pandemic Valentine’s Day
Of all the holidays we’ll celebrate during this pandemic, none will be more important than Valentine’s Day.
This isn’t only because this holiday will give a much-needed boost to the greeting card industry. It’s also because many of us have been trapped… no, I mean, stuck at home with… um, let’s just say “socially delimited” with our Significant Others for a long while. And when we say, “a long while,” what we mean is, “It feels like an eternity!”
I recently chatted with a nice young guy who has been working from home with his wife for the past several months.
“At first we were simply glad that we both have jobs that enable us to work from home,” he said. “We thought that our house had plenty of space for my wife and me and our 6-year-old daughter. But then something weird started to happen. Our house began to shrink! It went from being a fairly spacious home to an insanely tiny structure that’s roughly the size of a privy. There isn’t room for one person, let alone two adults, a kid, and a dog!”
“You’re exaggerating,” I replied. “Besides, I don’t think that houses shrink.”
“That might be so. Have you heard of the comic book syndrome? It’s a mysterious process that causes warships to gain tonnage. The same thing has happened to our home. But there’s no mystery about why our house has gained tonnage. It’s Amazon’s fault! They keep leaving packages at our door.”
“Everyone likes to buy a few things. And you and your wife are a solid couple.”
“Let’s put it this way,” he said. “My wife and I both work in our home office. It has gotten to the point where I can’t push back from my desk without my chair hitting the back of hers. It was sort of cute at first. But things became more and more strained as time wore on. We’ve had some pretty heated sessions of bumper chairs. We’re so cramped for space that we have to consult each other before we stand up. I’m avoiding talking to her so if I need a bathroom break, I’ll send her an instant message instead of simply saying, ‘I have to go potty.’”
“That doesn’t sound so bad.”
“Yeah, except she’ll reply to my instant message with an image of a chamber pot. If things have been especially tense, she’ll send an image of a litter box from Amazon.”
If there ever was a time when we needed a holiday to fortify the foundations of romance, it’s now. This is an emergency that requires the use of the Defense Production Act. Strategic bombers should be instructed to drop Valentine’s Day cards, flowers, and chocolate turtle candies on every romance-depleted home all across our great land.
I say this due to the dire need that our nation is obviously facing. Also, because I really like chocolate turtle candies.
Early on in our marriage, my wife and I tried to make a habit of having one night per week when we got out of the house and enjoyed adult beverages and adult conversation. This was especially important when our two sons were preschoolers and my wife’s daily conversations consisted mostly of “No!” and “Get that out of your mouth!” and “I told you not to bite the cat’s tail!”
Later, when the boys were in school and my wife took a job in town, I would randomly send flowers to her at work. This had the dual effects of scoring major brownie points for me and making my wife’s female coworkers jealous. Some of her coworkers’ husbands probably got random cold shoulders from their wives because of this.
Sorry, guys. It was either you or me.
My wife and I have tried to remain safe during this pandemic. We also want to support our local restaurants, so we’ve been ordering takeout and eating it at home. But that feels remarkably similar to just eating at home.
We have devised a system that fulfills the dual purposes of safely enjoying a meal outside our home and having a little romance. This system consists of 1.) picking up a pizza at a drive-through, and 2.) driving to a nearby park and eating pizza in the car.
In the summertime, we’ll watch a duck family paddle around in the park’s pond as we nosh on pizza and enjoy adult conversation. Although the conversation often includes me trying to lure the ducks over with my Donald-like quacks.
And from time to time, my wife will receive a surprise package from Amazon… containing chocolate turtle candies, of course.
Jerry’s book, Dear County Agent Guy, is available at workman.com/products/dear-county-agent-guy.