What I did over my Thanksgiving vacation

Remember when you were in elementary school and you’d have to write a short essay when school opened in September about what you did over your summer vacation?

I do not know why they foisted this existential pondering upon us. We were children, for God’s sake. I have always had a rather mundane life, so I imagine mine were like “Over the summer I rode my banana-seat bike with a cassette recorder hanging from the handlebars playing ‘Tom Jones, Live in Las Vegas’” because I was a weird, asthmatic kid and I did play that cassette from a tape player when I was 9 years old and I hung it off my handlebars. Years of therapy as an adult have not made me one whit more interesting or well-adjusted.

No one is forcing me to write what I did over Thanksgiving break, but I am writing this anyway. Maybe just so people have proof of how endlessly dull my life is. If you feel bad for me, please send money.

I was invited to Thanksgiving by my daughter and her boyfriend, but I was afraid to go. I hadn’t yet had my booster vaccine, it had been 7 months since I had my original covid shots, and someone at my daughter’s office had gotten covid quite badly and I was afraid to be near people. Also, her boyfriend is a realtor, and he’s around people as a result of that. So I declined, sadly, and said I would take them out to a nice dinner a few weeks after my booster, which was today (Sunday).

My time off started a day early, since I had Wednesday off. Slept late (yay!), walked my dogs multiple times like I always do, and took them with me to the drive-through of Popeye’s in Edgewater, N.J., where I bought $35 worth of red beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes. No chicken. I don’t like their chicken. (I don’t like meat very much at all, actually, but do eat some. I really love hot dogs.) That was going to be my Thanksgiving meal. (Hey, I’m alone, I get to choose.) Ate the mashed potatoes all on Wednesday, but to be fair, I did share them with the dogs. I also had a little bit of red beans and rice.

I know, right now you’re like, how does this woman take this much excitement? I can assure you, it’s not easy.

Thanksgiving Day, even better

Got up early on Thanksgiving, walked the dogs, and went back to sleep. Got up a few hours later, microwaved red beans and rice. Shared with dogs. Watched “Blades of Glory.” Didn’t realize how old it was. I walked the dogs many times Thanksgiving Day, talked to my kids, texted friends. Did a ton of laundry. Watched a few episodes of “The Crown.” Tried watching “Squid Game” again, but I cannot take the violence. They were beating up some guy in a rest room; I don’t know. Couldn’t handle it. I have to feel safe in public rest rooms because I pee a lot, so I cannot watch such things. Fuck “Squid Game.” They don’t beat people up in rest rooms on “The Crown.”

Big Green Friday

I didn’t want to go out on Black Friday because, like, covid. Also, remember when people used to get trampled on Black Friday? Does that still happen? The first year I was aware of that happening, we read this article about a woman in Alabama passing out near $27 DVD players in Walmart, and her sister was trying to get her help but people around them were grabbing up the DVD players around her as she was passed out on the stack of them. Just moving her limp body around as they grabbed at DVD players while her poor sister dialed 911. And when Walmart was notified that the woman was in the hospital, they promised to hold her a $27 DVD player if she still wanted it.

People have no need for DVD players anymore, but I don’t want to get trampled in Walmart–or anywhere else–on Black Friday. I stayed home.

I recently had a birthday. A big one with a zero on the end. I did not feel good about this birthday. In my 20s, I honestly believed that I’d have written a book by this time in my life. So I was feeling rather blue. I have not written a book, but I have signed divorce and bankruptcy papers. Not the same thing, though. Writing a book is better. To console myself, I bought myself a pair of pink checkered Vans and a huge, professional-grade steam cleaner. You heard that correctly. A steam cleaner for my carpets was my big gift to myself. Not concert tickets or a gift card for a nice restaurant or a pair of rollerskates or a trip to Disney. I bought myself a BISSELL® Big Green® Machine Professional Carpet Cleaner and I was super excited about it, too. Although now for Black Friday, they are 30 percent off and I feel kind of nauseated as it’s a really expensive item and I could have saved $100. Fuck Black Friday and “Squid Game” both.

My dog Calvin, who is a Great Pyrenees mix, did not take well to housebreaking and my carpet looked and smelled really bad. Then the other day, I heard a swishing noise and looked over to see Friedrich peeing under the dining room table. That dog is 4 years old, there is no excuse, and I swear sometimes he gives me the finger when my back is turned.

So on Friday, I steam cleaned my rug, and it was as glorious as it sounds. No, seriously, it was fucking glorious, me filling this gigantic container with hot tap water and pushing this heavy-ass steam cleaner around my place sucking the dog pee and stains out of my rug. If the U.S. Postal Service ever puts out a steam-cleaning commemorative stamp, I want a photo of me pushing my Bissell Big Green steam cleaner around my dining room to be on it. I love this steam cleaner that much. It also gives you a bit of a stomach workout because it’s rather substantial. I might have even worked out my thighs. Which would be a first since the start of the pandemic. So my Friday was steam cleaning and then making the house look better since my carpet was looking so awesome.

On Saturday, I got up early and took the dogs on a long walk. I took them to a field and threw a tennis ball and let them run around off leash since nobody was around. I have to be careful with Calvin, who is still young, as Great Pyrenees tend to run off looking for flocks to guard. But he is 25 percent other breeds, and he was true to that part of himself and was a good boy, and hung out with me, Friedrich, and a big tennis ball for a long time. Decided I wanted a nice coffee late on the afternoon, packed the dogs in the car (they are always up for a car ride) and drove to Starbucks, which was closed by 6 p.m. on a Saturday. There goes my Saturday excitement. I really wanted that venti latte…then I did dishes and watched more of “The Crown.” Who knew that King Edward VIII was not just an asshole, but a Nazi? 

Which culminated in booster shot day

Today I had an appointment for my booster at my local Rite-Aid. I am allergic to a lot of drugs and itched for weeks after my second vaccine last time, so I got Benadryl and Allegra in case I itched this time. I was going to the register to pay for them before my shot when I passed some man I do not know, who showed me a bottle of something for memory loss/dementia and said he’d like to buy 3 bottles for President Biden. He evidently thought he was funny. It’s very weird that people with hugely sucky senses of humor think they are funny, right? I said I didn’t think Joe Biden had dementia and I didn’t think memory loss in anyone was very funny. He walked it back saying he was looking for the medicine for his own mother, and I asked if he thought her memory loss was a funny thing. I believe he quickly figured out I am one of the libs he lives to own and I wasn’t in the mood. Fuck that guy. And fuck Black Friday and “Squid Games.”

I also bought a metric fuck-ton of candy. Did you know that there are gingerbread men Marshmallow Peeps and that they are dusted with ginger and cinnamon and are delicious? I got those and Russell Stover caramel and peanut butter Santas and Reese’s peanut butter Christmas trees. Seven bucks worth of candy with the Rite-Aid discount just in case I felt bad after my shot. I knew that if I felt bad after my shot, chocolate would do me a world of good.

I feel fine, but all the candy is gone already, 8 hours later. Good thing I burned off 7 calories the other day pushing that steam cleaner around.

Jet skis in Texas

When I got home from Rite-Aid, Animal Planet was on the television. I left it on for the dogs. I used to leave MSNBC on for them when I went to work so they would be liberal-minded canines, but now I work from home and the news has depressed me for years, so I don’t have MSNBC–or any t.v.–on during the day. For some reason, I plopped down after my shot and kept watching what was on Animal Planet:  “Lone Star Law,” a show about Texas conservation officers who check to see if people have valid fishing licenses and that their jet skis are registered. One guy picked up a baby squirrel who fell out of a tree and took it to a rehabilitation center. That was nice. Otherwise the most boring show, as boring as my own covid way of life. And I sat there and did not change the channel because I was truly mesmerized that there was a show about this that people sit and watch. Like, who would watch this?

But, of course there are people who watch this, and I am one of them.

I hope the rest of you had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And I hope that in a week or two, when I feel boosted, I will venture out the house again other to take my dogs out or go to a drive-through and will never again sit and watch a show about unlicensed jet skis on Animal Planet. For now, I’m fixing to walk the dogs and watch an episode or two of “The Crown.”