But now that we’re all in masks, there is no conversation. The older employees have quit or been laid off, and I hope they’re okay. I find it hard to say ANYTHING in a mask. Sometimes I say, “Keep the change.” But I’m thinking more about money germs than I am about leaving a tip.
Now here’s what is very, very sad. Curbside pick-up.
We’ve done this only a couple of times. But how stressful to be a masked employee (or often a store owner) and tote a basket outside with the item, and set the basket down on a sidewalk, or transfer the item from the basket to the trunk!
We never counted on “minimalist” contact, did we? It’s a whole new world out there.
I SHOOK UP SOME HABITS TO DEAL WITH PANDEMIC ANGST. Three Do’s and Don’ts:
The first sentence will hook you.
Astrid Strick had never liked Barbara Baker, not for a single day of their forty-year-old acquaintance, but when Barbara was hit and killed by the empty, speeding school bus at the intersection of Main and Morrison streets on the eastern side of the town roundabout, Astrid knew that her life had changed, the shock of which was indistinguishable from relief.
This tragic death unnerves Astrid, a 68-year-old widow who suddenly finds herself examining her control-freak habits and superficial relationships. She isn’t pleased with what she sees, especially her take on Barbara. And so she decides to be more honest with her family: she has had a long affair with the owner of Shear Beauty, a beauty salon, and decides to come out.
It turns out Astrid’s children and granddaughter have secrets, too. Her daughter, Porter, who runs a goat farm and makes cheese, has chosen a sperm donor and is pregnant ; her son Nicky, a Buddhist pothead who has a French dancer wife, dispatches their stressed teenage daughter, Cecilia, from Brooklyn to live with Astrid, because he can’t cope with her problems; and Astrid’s oldest son, Elliott, the unlikable one, is proud of the McMansions he builds, but knows his mother looks down on them.
This is a character-driven book: the plot, such as it is, is fairly predictable. But I like the narrative, with each chapter told from a different third-person point-of-view.
I’ve also been reading light nonfiction. Who knew there was such a thing?