Sunday, March 22, 2020

It Was Just a Little Earthquake!

We had an earthquake around 7:15 a.m. last Wednesday morning. It's been so long since I was in a substantial earthquake, it took me a minute to figure out what was happening. My desk is a little wobbly, because it's cheap, and I had just spun to the side in my chair. It took me a bit to figure out that it wasn't me who was moving anymore, it was the earth. And this earthquake went on for what felt like forever. It shook for a long time.

It was only a 5.7 quake, but naturally, everyone was freaking out. Rumors started flying that we might be about to have a 9 point earthquake in the hours following, businesses were evacuating and sending their employees home from work. It was kind of chaos. Part of Salt Lake City lost power, Utah's COVID-19 hotline went down, an angel on the SLC Temple lost it's trumpet, and people were shouting from the rooftops that the world was ending. Apparently an angel on a church breaking is a bad omen? 

But, for fuck fucking sake, people... Utah has earthquakes all the time. They're not usually quite that big, but they happen. It's a lot like California in that way, earthquakes happen, they're a fact of life. This COVID-19 pandemic (rightly) has everyone in such a mess. Add an earthquake to it and everyone loses what's left of their minds. But no one was hurt, there was no 9 point earthquake, and while some people were displaced, overall it was a relatively minor incident. 

I honestly don't think we can take anymore disasters right now. No more bad needs to happen just now, we've had our fill for a while. 2020 is seriously messing with us. It did make Wednesday interesting, though. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

This is Bullshit...

I am salty, y'all. I ventured outside my bubble on Saturday to get groceries. I got up and went out at 6:30am, just a half an hour after Smith's opened, hoping I would find the supplies I needed. Nope. Total waste of an early morning. No toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Lysol, hand soap, rice, beans, or pasta to be found anywhere. I could have slept in. I was on a 2pm-10pm work shift last week, so a few more hours of sleep would not have been unwelcome.

I went to Walmart and Natural Grocer, too. So many things out of stock, though I did manage to find Kleenex at Walmart, so that was something. I know everyone's worried about being locked down and running out of supplies, but this is long-past ridiculous; even more so because we live in Utah. Most people here are LDS and those folks already stash a ton of supplies. So, I had a glimmer of a hope that due to their prepping, they would have what they need for this disaster and not run out and buy up all the shit on all the store shelves. I mean, isn't this sort of thing the very reason they do that? Yeah, I looked into it, it is.

The thing is, I have no issue with prepping for bad situations. I have no problem with stockpiling a moderate amount of basic supplies for hard times. We have about a month worth of food hanging around in our cabinets. Buy yourself a few extra supplies, that's fine, but why the actual fuck are you waiting until the emergency is here to do that? Shouldn't you be doing that all along. Of course, we all should. This is a problem for me because right now, so many people who have so many months of supplies already stockpiled, are still going out and buying everything.

I have a problem with the way people forget about others in times of crisis. This isn't the first time I've see something like this happen. In January 2011, when we lived in Stephenville, there was a deep freeze and our pipes froze. We went to Walmart to get water and there wasn't any, not even one bottle. It was awful, because right then, it was the one thing we needed more than anything. People, many of whom had running water in their houses, had bought up all the damn bottled water. That was bad, this is so much worse. That hard freeze only lasted one week. This thing is going to go on for weeks, maybe even months.

When you rush out and buy up all of the supplies on the shelves, you prepare you own family for a hard time, but you leave others without. Your kids will have macaroni and cheese every day for the next 7 years, but someone else's kids will have to go without. You'll have more food and toilet paper, and Lysol, than you can possibly use in a year, while others will have to figure out how they're going to scratch together a meal for their kids in the same situation. And worst of all, it creates an even deeper panic that causes others to have to do the same thing, to buy up all the supplies they can find, because the tide is rising and they're afraid they won't be able to get anything if they don't.

These situations are generally temporary. Buying enough supplies for a month or two is fine. Buying every single thing the store has when you already have 6 months worth of food stockpiled in your basement, that's not okay. Panicking is not okay. Forgetting that you are a part of a community, that's also not okay. It's pretty pitiful, in times where everyone is struggling to get basic supplies, people don't care enough about one another to take stock of what they have before they buy everything in the whole goddamn store. It's okay to prep, it's not okay to sacrifice your neighbors in the process to add to your already abundant stockpiles.

I went to Walmart again this afternoon, because as much as I wanted to stay home and hide from COVID-19, I had to get meds for Matt. I didn't want to, but I sucked it up, and there were a ton of people in there. Many of them were just standing around, chatting with people they knew, like it was any other day and we weren't having a pandemic. Hasn't anyone told these people to stay the hell at home? I managed to get one 12 roll pack of toilet paper, one 12 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer, and two small packs of linguine because it was the only pasta they had left. It was pushed all the way to the very back of a bottom shelf.

I feel fortunate to have gotten a few supplies, what I feel shitty about is that Walmart has to restrict how many of these things can be purchased because people can't have an ounce of common decency. There were actually managers walking around Walmart trying to make sure no one purchased too many of these in-demand items. That's bullshit, it's crap they should have to do that. We could all be doing better.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Love is Blind

I've been watching Love is Blind on Netflix. I actually binged the whole thing last week and then this morning watched the reunion show. Have you seen this? It's a social experiment where they try to determine if love is actually blind by a sort of blind speed dating where the contestants walk away engaged, take a short vacation, move in together, and then potentially get married... all within a month.

Generally, I'm sort of lukewarm about dating shows. I watched the first season of Married at First Sight, but none of the other seasons. I've seen a few seasons of the Bachelor and Bachelorette, and one season of Bachelor in Paradise. But, in general, I feel like dating shows are unrealistic. They're filled with overly beautiful people trying to get their 15 minutes of fame, not find love. So, I rolled my eyes pretty hard at Love is Blind when I started watching it. That show, though--oh wait, spoilers--let's just say it's off to a stronger start than the Bachelor. 

The most interesting thing to me, though, was the premise of Love is Blind. They're trying to find out if two people can fall in love without ever seeing one another and then if that love can turn into something real and lasting. That's literally me and Matt. That's how we began, so I feel pretty sure that the premise of the show is not only realistic, but completely possible. Matt and I began to fall in love over the internet, without ever seeing one another, and without even hearing one another's voice. 

I say "began" because we didn't actually fall completely in love until we started to get to know one another in person. But, the same thing is pretty true of the show's contestants and they had the advantage of hearing one another's voice. When Matt and I were falling for one another over the internet, we had to trust that the other was what they said they were. He had the believe that I was a 19 year old woman and I had to believe he wasn't a total creep. We choose to take that leap of faith and believe in one another. 

On the show, they go on a short vacation together to see if their connection will become something more and then if it is, they move in together. For us, it wasn't a vacation to a tropical destination, but I did go to Texas for a few weeks to meet him and see if what we had going on between us was something real and when we realized that it was, I moved to Texas to be with him within a few weeks. 

We obviously didn't get married the same month. There were some situations that would have made that impossible and, honestly, we were both pretty adamant when we got together that marriage wasn't going to be a thing. I told Matt I wasn't getting married again and he said he didn't really believe in marriage, so it was settled. Ha... yeah. We got married 8 months after we moved in together and haven't ever looked back. We've been married 20 years.

I hope the couples that did get married on Love is Blind stay together and have an amazing 20 years (and more) of happy marriage. I feel like I can safely say, not from watching the show but from my own experiences, it is completely possible for love to be blind. Netflix didn't need to do an "experiment," I completely could have told them it was! ♥

December 2001, Married almost two years

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

About Feeling Nothing

Have you ever seen someone from your past, years later, and felt absolutely nothing? Let me back up, this requires a little bit of explanation to make sense.

Many years ago, before I met my husband, there was a man in my life I thought I might be in love with. I've written about this guy before and I could honestly write so much more. He was older and he was married, but at the time I was just naive enough to believe I might actually be in love with him. So much so that, at the time, I told the only person in my life who knew about my relationship with him and she laughed. She knew it was ridiculous, but she also knew me well enough to know that I was completely serious. 

Let me say right now, this is good old fashioned stupid. Like, what's worst than stupid? This was plain foolish. Is there something worse than foolish... because that's what this was. Idiotic, it was idiotic.

But, I still felt certain then that if he had left his wife and wanted me to be with him, I would have. That, of course, didn't happen. Thank fuck. Honestly, considering the circumstances of our relationship, that would have been a world of awful. So instead, we had a full on "thing" for more than a year, but that's all it was. He eventually moved away because his wife's job moved them and I was so distracted by my "real life" at the time that I let it pass without much more than a few moments of regret. That alone should have been enough to tell me I wasn't in love with him. 

After that my life went to straight to shit, then got better when I met a man I actually did fall in love with. And this is going to be harsh, but there was some other stuff in there that doesn't so much matter to this story. Life went on, I got married again, and I almost completely forgot about the older guy, except for a fleeting thought here and there. He was a thing that had happened. Something I've never regretted, because the experience had made me grow in ways I would have trouble putting into words. I shared experiences with him that were completely indescribable, but that affected me deeply.

Then, a couple of months ago, this older guy and I started following one another on social media. He's still married to the same woman and living again in the city where we met. It looks like he has a couple more kids now. I kind of expected that seeing him, especially given that I thought I was in love with him, would make me feel... something. Nope.

Well wait, okay, maybe not "nope." Just not what I thought I might feel. Mostly, I'm just feel glad to see him doing well. That's all, general good wishes. I have a sense that we used to have a physical relationship and that I once thought I had feelings for him, but it feels so distant now. Like he's a guy I knew in another life. He doesn't even look so much the same anymore, which stands to reason because he's now in his mid-50s, but still good looking.

Maybe it's having found and spent the last 21 years with a man I truly do love that's caused this lack of reaction, or maybe it's that I've grown up. Either way, it's interesting to see him and, if nothing else, has given me a moment's pause and something to over-analyze.