It’s not easy to celebrate big occasions in the middle of a pandemic. But we do our best.
We usually make do with something small. A box of strawberry cake mix and a cannister of cream cheese frosting that have magically wound our way here through the miracle that is online shopping.
Or my strange pandemic birthday that occurred just a short while into lockdown (I’m an Aries). We ordered takeout from the local crab shack, and it was only after I sat down to try to eat the thing that I realized we didn’t have any nutcrackers to get through the shell.
I’m sure I looked like something possessed. Doing my best to bite through crucial weak points in the crab’s joints. Trying all the while to not hurt my teeth as I slurped out bits of crab meat.
You didn’t laugh at me though. You just said, “Happy birthday,” and vacuumed and shampooed the rug afterward. Apparently some projectile spice-stained crab juice leapt onto the floor. Oops. My bad. At least my teeth are still fine?
I was tempted when my father passed away a few weeks later to just go to bed a few nights without brushing my teeth. I was paralyzed with grief. Everything seemed hopeless. Why bother? But I caught myself and said, “There are no dentists on the frontier,” before I brushed my teeth, flossed, and used mouthwash.
Which made you laugh. As did the fact that I downloaded The Little House on the Prairie books I’d been so fond of as a little girl. Your mother laughs, too, when I text her about it. We commiserate on what a little jerk Nellie Oleson was.
Each night before I fall asleep, I remind myself of the same thing: It’s not always easy to manage lockdown, but we do our best.