‘Managing one’s schedule in these Corona Calendar Days’
I’m featuring a photo of Wombat here because my “date” with her is the only event on my calendar since March 14 that’s taken me further west than the town dump. Or taken me out of the house, for that matter.
Yes, I had to get in the car, yowling cat carrier in hand, and drive to the vet clinic in Bridgehampton. I called from the parking lot; gloved and masked vet came out, gloved and masked me handed over the cat. This transaction felt even more like a drug deal than when The Dude and I scored that Mexican meal back in late March.
While I was waiting for poor little Wom to be poked and prodded, I got to thinking about how different my calendars look for this Spring and last.
“Dr. Katz” (Yes, my vet’s name is Dr. Katz) on May 30 is the only calendar entry that’s taken place offsite (“site” being within my own four walls) since mid-March. Now let’s take a look at the same calendar “page” for May/June 2019, shall we?
A calendar so chockablock, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. And, dear reader, I’m sure I’m not the only one with huge calendrical contrasts. Why, last year I had bridge classes and museum tours and lunches with girlfriends and the French Open to watch. This year the event that occurs most frequently is “Call Mom.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I even graced a couple of fancy events and special occasions with my presence. Like a Stuyvesant High School gala where The Child received a Golden Pegleg Award. (I am not pulling your — ahem — leg; the school’s sports teams are called the “Peglegs” because Peter Stuyvesant, the school’s namesake, had a peg leg. Let’s hear it: Go, Peglegs!)
There were also three birthday parties, two of which we smooshed together. The Dude and his Cousin Charlie being two natal days apart, we rustled up a Carvel Cake and had a (big, for us) party. (The traditional Carvel Cake was on hand for Dude Man’s birthday this year, too. I managed to pick one up on the way back from her vet adventure. But no, Wommie didn’t get a piece.)
Which brings me to the theme of this, er, piece. Last year, with its densely populated calendar, it was fairly easy to dodge the kind of invitation you’d rather lie in the street in the path of a bus than accept. “Would you like to go with me to my granddaughter’s piano recital?” could simply–and graciously–be met with “Darn (not so honest), I have a conflict (totally honest).”
This year, when a person could drive that same bus through the big empty holes in her calendar, what to do? (Ironically, scheduling my sibs’ weekly FaceTime call with our mother was tricky. The time suggested was the only time–during the entire week--that I was actually booked. We figured it out. But what a waste of a perfectly good conflict!)
So what does one do when one wants to dodge an event these days? The Oh-I-Have-A-Conflict Thing is hard to (credibly) pull off. So, do you own up to the fact that you’d rather swallow ground glass than join that poetry reading webinar? Do you actually confess that, no, you really don’t think that hosting a Monday morning Zoom coffee would be “great fun?”
One option, of course, is to not even try to explain, but to follow the lead of the great cartoonist Bob Mankoff, who said, in what I believe is the Funniest Cartoon Ever (which you can see by clicking here), “No, Thursday’s out. How about never? Is never good for you?”
Till next week. Or “never,” whichever works best for you.
Amagansett, New York. June 2020