We’ve all adjusted, some more than others.
New York State is fighting to keep the COVID-19 pandemic from resurging here; other states are now experiencing what we did back in March and April. My sympathies are with those states, but I would like to say: Keep your sick citizens in your own state. Please!
Slowly, I’ve begun to venture out into the world again. Sure, I’ve been back to work for more than a month, but that was no huge adjustment as there are only 4 people in my firm and we all have offices with doors we can shut. There’s very, very little contact between us, and we all wear masks in the common hallways and kitchen area.
As my regular readers know, hubby and I have begun taking day trips on nice days, just to get some fresher air. Going to parks, driving country roads, and strolling along woodsy trails is becoming our preferred outing. Last weekend, however, we realized that we don’t have any serviceable folding lawn chairs to take along so we can sit awhile. At least I don’t. Hubby is thin; we have a very nice chair for him. But I’m of the larger persuasion (especially after 3 months lockdown), and while I can still fit into our remaining sturdy folding chair, it’s not as comfortable as it was a few years ago.
There is no outdoor/camping equipment left in any of our local stores. Apparently, everyone else is doing the same things we are. Understandable, but annoying, when I can’t get what I want right now.
Searching online, I found what appeared to be my ideal chair. It was available (more or less) through Amazon and Walmart. I prefer to buy large (no pun intended) items from a store which has a local brick-and-mortar presence, for ease of returns. So, Walmart it was!
The website said our local Walmart had 5 of my chairs in stock right now, so I opted for ship-to-store, figuring I could pick up the item the next day.
The next day, I got an email saying the order was cancelled because the item was no longer in stock, nor available. Say what? I didn’t believe that email, and the following day was my regular day off, so I decided to drive to the store and see for myself.
Having not gone out much over the last few months, I was not prepared for the precautions being taken at the store entrances. I parked in my usual far-away spot, only to learn that I had to walk all the way to the entrance at the other end of the store, then walk to the camping area at the end where I had parked, then walk all the way back to the registers, and then walk the length of the store to my car.
I had to do this twice, because I had to go to two different Walmarts (didn’t learn my lesson at the first store, silly me).
Anyway, I eventually located the outdoor/camping gear, and sure enough, pretty much everything was gone. That aisle at both stores were as empty as the toilet paper aisles were back in March. Heading disappointedly back toward the front of the second store, I spied – on the very top shelf and all by itself – one lone folding camp chair. I checked the label for dimensions and weight limit – good to go! I grabbed it and trotted (more or less) to the registers.
In my exuberance, I proudly placed my intended purchase on the conveyor belt, whereupon the customer in front of me turned around, glared, and quietly admonished, “Social distancing!” I apologized. She went on her way. The store clerk rolled her eyes. I found it necessary to point out that I was wearing not only a mask, but also gloves.
Shopping is not much fun any more.
On the way out of the store, a young couple was standing and chatting in the only permitted exit. No one could get around them. Eventually, a store employee came over and asked them to please move aside. They both turned to me and apologized, and of course, I told them no problem. I figured it was some form of balancing by the powers that be.
(BTW, of the people involved in these scenarios, some were white, some were black, and some were hispanic. Not one person found it necessary to bring race into play; we were simply all either doing our shopping or doing our job, as the case may be. I’ve found, at least in our area, that most people just go about their business and let everyone else go about their business, and everyone just treats everyone else as someone they’ve briefly met and probably will never see again. Really, isn’t that the way it should be?)
Once home, I excitedly opened the canvas bag holding my folded up chair, only to discover that it was broken! Now I have to take it back. I think I’ll ask hubby to do that; he’s much better at walking around than I am these days.
Back to Amazon. The preferred chair was no longer available there, either. But I did find a giant folding chair (King Kong!) with an extra wide seat – and a weight limit of 800 lbs! Even I am nowhere near that limit, thank heavens. It will arrive on Tuesday. I can hardly wait.
Meanwhile, if we go out this weekend, I’ll have to use the smaller chair we already have. Hopefully, I won’t embarrass myself by getting stuck in it, or having it collapse under me. That would definitely not be a good thing.
Happy Weekend to all of you. Stay safe and health out there.
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio