Life as we know it has come to a screeching halt. I am living in New York City with my family. We did not run to the Hamptons or Upstate, NY. We stayed put in New York City so as not to potentially spread anything I was working at a job that I absolutely loved with people I adored. Then the pandemic struck and my husband was deployed to care for covid-19n patients in the hospital. I had to take leave from a job in tech sales that I recently got. Suddenly I found myself a stay at home mom doing things that I abhorred: cooking, cleaning and laundry. But under the given circumstances, I found caring for my children and being a mother was different and I found joy in the very things that I thought I hated. At the end of the day I was tired, but a good tired. The saying: "The obstacle is the way" is very true in my case: My children are the very thing that help sustain me mentally and physically. It's not been very easy but at the moment I've found peace. We planted seeds a few months back and now we have a full fledged veggie and garnish garden. It's very helpful to have some greens that we can pluck and eat. Two cut scallions in water sprouting new growth on top! (I saw this on Twitter) We have arugula. (Perhaps too much arugula). The taste of fresh arugula is potently spicy and so alive. Cilantro! We usually use a lot of cilantro but haven't used much of it yet. And hopefully some tomatoes. Pray for them. We also planted strawberries as well but those never came in. My husband requested some Thyme and Rosemary. I freaked out a bit because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with anything. I texted my cousin, Tonya in West Virginia who is very handy and wise: We can grow some of our own food and I sewed some masks (despite some obstacles, one of them being that I don't really sew. I take great pleasure in knowing we can do these things, with our hands. We can create and we can cultivate our own gardens and therefore our lives. Be Well, Natalie ❤
Today my girl has a playdate at our apartment and we went to pick up some snacks:
- Ice pops (yes, in the winter)
- Tings (2 bags)
- 2 Organic Apples
- Popcorn with a touch of butter. (Paul Newman)
As I went to the register, I spotted the usual clerk, a young woman wearing a navy blue hijab.
An older, white gentleman cuts in front of me and normally I’d speak up—but I let it go because he’s older and has just two items to buy.
With an accent, the clerk tells him says: “$11.58”.
“What did you say?” the gentleman asks imperiously. The young clerk remains silent. He turns to a young black woman with wavy long hair who is working at another counter: “What did she say? I can’t understand her!” He seems to enjoy the spectacle he’s creating.
I said: “She said ‘$11.58’ (line cutter!) Just ask her what she said.”
He ignored me and continued to speak loudly to the other cashier: “I can’t understand her! Do you work here?”
I looked at his face and suddenly a memory sprouted up. I thought to myself: “That face, that name, I know who that is…”
I asked him, “Wait are you on TV?”
He stopped and gave me a strange look, almost a smirk. Half happy to be recognized and half in terror for being caught for behaving like a bully.
He asked: “Why are you? Are you?”
I said: “Nope.”
I knew exactly who he was. I remembered seeing him on TV reviewing Charlyne Yi’s gorgeous movie, Paper Hearts. He was a critic and the way he panned the movie made me think he was a bitter, old dude who didn’t understand the movie, nor tried to understand it and therefore he dismissed it.
Of course, he is a critic.
Back to present time in the grocery store.
This turned to the young woman wearing a hijab.
“I’m sorry, I just couldn’t understand you.” He weakly apologized, took his bag and left.
I felt a little bad for calling him out and wondered if he was just having a bad day.
The young woman began ringing my snacks up and looked wearily in his direction:
“He does this all the time.”