Wednesday of this week marked the first time I left the house in 19 days. Unlike many who get cabin fever, I have felt no overwhelming urge to go anywhere. Plus, with a husband and two nephews with me, it hasn’t been necessary for me to venture out into what I had begun to imagine as a post-apocalyptic world.
My nephew Scott had a doctor’s appointment, so I drove him to the doctor’s office, dropping him off in his mask and gloves. On the way there I asked, “Is there something we’ll need to do to the car when I come back to pick you up—like sell it?” He gave me some side eye and instructed me to bring the Clorox wipes when I returned to get him.
It’s a challenging time for sure. With the news being as it is, I’ve consciously cut back on watching it. After all, there’s little I can do except to do what little I can. If something comes out that is going to change my behavior, I need to know that. But the daily increase in numbers, the stupid things said and done by elected officials in positions of power, and other infuriating and frustrating information is best taken in small doses. At least for me, getting through this is both a mental and physical exercise.
Now I could move on to social media, and express my irritations about that. But allowing that some of the tone deaf, preachy and virtue signaling posts that show up are coming from individuals just trying to get through, I’ll just punch up at a target that is easy to hit: Gwyneth Paltrow.
Kudos first. She’s an Oscar winning actress, and I was happy years ago when she won. Ms. Paltrow is also a very successful business woman, reportedly worth around $100 million. On top of that, she had the good luck to be born the daughter of Blythe Danner. I love Blythe Danner.
Now the fun part. So last week, Goop (I’ll call her Goop) recommended that folks use this time of social distancing and isolation to “write a book, learn an instrument or a language or learn to code online, draw or paint.” I might offer that Goop defer writing that book in Mandarin until she has learned to punctuate.
From what I can gather, some folks are using this time to do all sorts of things. Cooking, house cleaning and gardening are resurging. These may not be developmental, but they’re certainly productive. I spent more than five unproductive hours watching “Tiger King” and its population of folks I wouldn’t give five minutes to in real life. But, whatever gets you through the night.
Back to Goop. Seems she and her husband, Brad Fulchuk, are working with an intimacy coach now to deal with their coronavirus frustrations, just a week after advising us to learn the trombone. Goop posted a video conference to social media in which she complains about the “level of proximity” of living in “pretty close quarters” with her husband, two children and their dogs.
She also asked about declining libido and how women could “get back in touch with their sexuality.” Not for herself, you understand, she was asking for a friend.
Seriously, Gwyneth, you and your husband are attractive people in your forties, married for just over a year. If your question isn’t “How can Brad and I safely tranquilize the children with handy household products so we can make like rabbits in heat?”, then you’ve got bigger problems than increasing your sexual drive.
While I wish Goop all the luck in the word, truly I do, I know some of you will come out of this looking like a million bucks. You’ll have exercised and eaten healthy. You’ll have become much better cooks. Some of you will have gone so long without sex (at least with another person), that whoever catches you when fly out of the cage will be the beneficiary of your new cut physique, your temporary celibacy and all your new skills from watching all that porn.
I will not be in that group. My group will not have learned Mandarin, organized a closet or taken the push-up challenge. Some will take the win if they don’t have to go directly to rehab. Some will consider it a win if they come out of the house without having to remove the door frames. I would offer that if all one does is get from here to there, that’s winning.