• T.Kactus

Diary of a Queasy Quarantinite


I woke up with the best of intentions. I had my to-do list. It was solid:


1. Clean House

2. Work-Out

3. Shower

4. Go Grocery shopping

5. Shower again but this time with Lysol disinfect attached to the spray heads

Five hours Later

Netflix is asking me if I want to continue watching? Obviously!


“Uh babe, where are the towels in the bathroom?” Steve interrupts my Gossip Girl marathon.

“In the wash, I have to put fresh ones out,” my eyes don’t leave the television screen.

“And is there a reason there are no sheets on our mattress?” he asks.

“Yes, I’m changing those out too.” I reply back

“Like today..?” he hesitantly ventures.

With great reluctance I make direct eye contact with him, “I am getting to it.” I say slowly and deliberately. Hoping that will end the conversation.


He throws his hands up and backs away from the door as if dealing with a feral animal. In my defense--I started cleaning! I just couldn’t finish any of the rooms or concentrate on one particular thing. It’s as if I’m moving in slow motion. What usually takes me an hour to do pre-quarantine, stretches itself out to ten hours—maybe because there is no rush to complete anything…?


The washing machine is beeping, nagging me to transfer the laundry into the dryer. The sink is somehow overflowing with dishes (again), my bed is stripped of its sheets and my bathroom is a disaster zone. But I need to know what Blair and Chuck are up to—and my God aren’t they a gorgeous couple? Before I can press play, my phone starts ringing from the only person I know who doesn’t text.


“Hi Ma,” I say, trying not to sigh.

“Hello? Aren't you going to say Happy Mother’s Day? You can’t even call to wish me that?” the terse, tense words pierce through the air.

“I was um…getting to it. I just didn’t want to wake you up so early,” I mumble.

“It’s 2 pm in the afternoon. My God, is this when you wake up? No wonder you never get anything accomplished,” my mother says.

“Happy Mother’s Day, Ma!” I say weakly into the phone.

“You know when I was your age, I was raising 3 children and had traveled 3 continents and you can’t even drive 30 minutes to see your only mother,” she says.

“Well we’re supposed to be social distancing, I’m just trying to practice that,” I protest.

“Well you have the ‘distance’ part down. To think of all the sacrifices I made throughout the years—leaving my home, my family and this is the thanks I get in return.”

“Did you get the flowers and card?” I ask, choosing to ignore 90% of what she is saying—as that is the only way, I can make it to the end of our conversations.

“Yes, the wildflower bouquet and the 99 cent card, it was sooo very thoughtful of you,” sarcasm made her words razor sharp, “You know Reshma’s daughter came to the house and brought over fresh banana bread and balloons. In front of the whole neighborhood. But does anyone come to visit me? No. What will people think of the children I raised?”

“It’s for your own safety, that I’m staying away from you. I think I had a tickle in my throat last week,” I say, wondering if COVID-19 is the best thing that has happened for our relationship.

“Oh, please! You were always such a melodramatic child. You know I’m not surprised or disappointed anymore. I just expected...” dramatic pause so I can mouth the words along with her, “more from you.”

The washing machine dings once more, “Sorry Ma, the washing machine is going crazy. I gotta go!” I hang up before she can say another word.

Happy Mother’s Day To All The:

(beautiful, nagging, sweet, annoying, empathetic, aggravating, kind, hostile)

Mothers Out There!

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