Social Life in the Pandemic

  • Rustic Ramblings By Dr. Genie Ellis CLIFTON RECORD
    Rustic Ramblings By Dr. Genie Ellis CLIFTON RECORD

My social life was pretty limited even before the whole quarantine/social-distancing thing. And that didn’t bother me much. After busy days on the ranch, we were tired. Going out didn’t hold much appeal. And we’ve grown too lazy (or smart) to drive to larger towns for entertainment.

Don’t get me wrong, there are loads of things to do in Bosque County--- including volunteering. And I know that many people take advantage of them all. I don’t know how they have the energy. Occasionally we’ll do something “social”, but Zack’s heart just isn’t in it. After a lifetime of loving to go out after work and on weekends during his extended bachelor years, he’s now happier at home. Who’d a thunk it? He doesn’t like to eat too late either, so that’s pretty limiting as well. And it gives him a perfect excuse to avoid things like evenings on Main Street, BAC parties and events--- and just stay home to watch old movies.

BP--- Before Pandemic--- my daily social life included conversations with Zack, the dogs, cats, deer, cattle and whatever other critters crossed my path. Off the ranch, it usually consisted of running into people I knew at local restaurants, stores or the Pot O’ Gold. Happily for me, Clifton’s a place you don’t need to dress up to hit the grocery store. Our evening social life--- other than the occasional C&W performer at the BAC, Market at the Mill or elsewhere--- mainly consisted of frequent movies at the Cliftex. The theater has, of necessity, been closed during the last couple months of our new self-distancing reality. So date night’s on hold. That was sometimes my only opportunity/excuse to shed my work clothes. “Never knew a woman who didn’t need her night on the town”, to quote a popular song.

So of all the changes wrought by the pandemic, my lack of opportunity to don nice duds and leave the ranch for something other than the elusive toilet paper foray is pretty insignificant. I’ve felt this void though. I love clothes despite the fact that my current lifestyle hasn’t required much variety for many years. That’s never stopped me.

I started my great seasonal clothing exchange. Haven’t completed it due to other demands on my time. I enjoy discovering clothes and accessories I haven’t worn for months. It almost seems like a new wardrobe every spring and fall. About midway through hauling out all my warm weather stuff, I wondered if I’d even wear a small proportion of it this season. I expect I’ll be putting things away come November without them seeing much use.

For two or three months I’ve mostly just washed my hair, yanked it back in a ponytail and thrown on a hat. My poor tresses have been in desperate need of TLC. Somehow, coming in with “hat head” after working outside--- and getting all fixed up to hit the grocery, hardware, lumber or dollar store seems pretty silly and way too time consuming. I finally did venture out to have my hair trimmed today. Perhaps I’ll treat it with a bit more respect now. Or not. My hairdresser wore a mask and so did I. ---Expect that didn’t make her job any easier, but she accomplished it, and I appreciated it. I’m still taking these measures very seriously--- for my own safety and that of others. If it turns out this was all overkill, so be it. Nothing lost.

I haven’t bothered with doing occasional manicures and pedicures either--- beyond trimming nails and the usual cleaning. It’s been a nice vacation from the ravages of nail polish. Hands are being washed and disinfected so much these days that they’re in danger of drying out completely. Even my son mentioned that his are so dry that the fingerprint recognition thing on his phone won’t work. (Mine never did). My daughter works in a hospital and had a similar complaint about dry skin on her hands. My kids each live in much drier climates than Central Texas. When I visit them, the dry air’s always uncomfortable. But my hair’s straighter. Lose/ win. People worldwide have probably never had such clean hands as they have for the last two months.

The part of my daily routine I refuse to curtail is that lickand-a-promise of makeup. No one but Zack may see this face for days on end, but since both he and I must look at it occasionally, I try to make the effort! Figure it’s the least I can do!