Don't worry. We're fine.

My apologies to my fellow Townies. I didn't really mean it yesterday when I said Plymouth is 40 miles away from Anything Actually Interesting. Except for the fact that there's no Indian restaurant here in town, Plymouth In The Time Of Pandemic really isn't so bad.  We have history, we have the ocean, we have woods, and we even have our very own white supremacist cult. (Just ask the Southern Poverty Law Center.) My point here is not only to let you know that I have no plans to run off with the Twelve Tribes (even though I sometimes dress like them), but also to let you know that if you found yesterday's essay slightly fatalistic in its high-spirited sarcasm, you needn't worry. Half of it was lies, half of it was grossly exaggerated for comedic value, half of it was plagiarized, and the other half is a shining example of how little influence middle school math has had on my life. I was just playing Mad Libs with someone else's over-enthusiastic sales pitch—including all the booze references—and I thought I had done a nice job of expanding my nouns and adjectives beyond just poopy diaper, elbow, and toenail. (Do click that link. That wasn't my paradise I was describing.)

There are a few of us out there who live in idyllic worlds at home, but most of us are just human. We worry, we feel confined, and we are occasionally slightly or very annoyed with the people with whom we are sharing our air even though we love them very, very much. We who struggle (i.e., every one of us, if we dare to admit it) need to know that we are not alone, because a shared burden is less heavy. The Washington Post today said that "Pandemic anxiety is making us sleepless, forgetful and angry." The Atlantic published a story about how to manage relationship strain during confinement. And I just popped over to the New York Times to see what they had on the subject, and found a story on "Coronavirus and Sex." OMG, NYT. TMI!!!

These big, giant papers write about these topics because they are real, timely, and widespread. I haven't read any of these articles, mind you, because I'm too busy building blanket forts and tending to the cold, hurt baby wolves I find there. These baby wolves need constant—and I mean constant—attention. They also really crave Spaghettios with Meatballs, but did you know Spaghettios are unavailable at Amazon AND Walmart.com? Are you telling me people are stockpiling Spaghettios? Anxiety has driven the world completely mad.

Then the sun comes out,
and we see that beauty is everywhere.
Our little Paradise is actually kind of nice, but I say that in a "people out there are dying" kind of way. And let's be honest: "kind of nice" has little to offer to Satire. I mean, the kids are getting along better than ever, and our teenage daughter is proving to be a perfectly self-entertained rock. It is beautiful to watch. Yawn. We parents are keeping it all humming somehow, together figuring out how we'll keep working, how we'll "homeschool," how we'll get caught up on stuff that we haven't had time for until now. Sometimes we're leading, sometimes we're following along, and sometimes we're stepping aside so we don't get run over. I believe that is called "good parenting."

My minister friend wrote in response to yesterday's essay, "As the insight in Good Omens (both novel and Netflix series) attests, the problem with 'heaven' is that endless niceness is terribly boring! Easter only works because we live in Good Friday! Can’t have one without the other."

The point of yesterday's dark comedy, and the point of all these self-deprecating stories, is to find commonality in our struggle. They are to say: You are not alone. It's all alright. It's ok to make mistakes, to do things wrong, and to not meet your own misguided expectations—because what can you realistically expect in completely unprecedented conditions? Only the unknown. We stand, we fall, we brush ourselves off, we get up again, and if we're lucky, we laugh. And if you ask me (which you didn't), we could all use a good laugh right about now.

Plus, some of us grownups still find potty talk funny.

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