Beth Brandon

Our day-to-day lives have pretty much been on cruise control, but with coronavirus and a “stay at home” order issued, that notion has taken a hard left into the great unknown. Your new weirdo quarantine life of not touching your face and disinfecting everything around you is going to be here for a bit, so buckle in. Weird is the new normal.

It’s been scary and stressful and fascinating all at once. Words like quarantine, isolation and social distancing are the new norm, and it’s taking a toll on my nerves. 

Can we talk about our aging parents for a moment? They are in a high-risk category with COVID-19 and need not seek out a party at this time. My mom assured me she was fine with being at home. She’s got a deep freezer in the garage. Then after a week went by, I could hear a touch of crazy in her voice. She needed out and wanted to go to the grocery store to which I emphatically told her to stay home. She is 75 and has rheumatoid arthritis. She doesn’t need to meander the aisles of the grocery store. 

I went to her local grocery store’s web page and directed her to do the same. Since when do I yell at my mom and tell her she’s grounded? Since now. And I’m not alone. We’re totally trading places. Stay home because I said so that’s why!

Now that we’ve yelled at the very people who gave us life, I wonder, what are you wearing right now? I bet it’s quarantine chic. Whether you’re working from home, or perhaps, like me, you are going to work, deciding what to wear has become a quest for comfort. My penchant for loungewear knows no boundaries, but this is next level. My husband and I finished a big skin up Snowmass and got showered by 3 p.m. only to gaze into each other's eyes and ask, ”What’s our pajama situation? Are we going full pajamas or dressy pajamas until dark?” No judgment if full pajamas are your choice. 

For me, quarantine chic isn’t just for home, it’s for work too. Dry-clean-only sweaters are a risky choice right now, since I’m not taking them to the dry cleaner any time soon. I’ve gone full Walter White, and no, not because I manage a cannabis dispensary. I’ve basically started choosing, “burner outfits.” Can I come home, strip to the essentials and either throw them directly in the wash or burn them? Then, yes, I’ll wear that today please. 

Anyone else abnormally hungry? I know our house isn’t the only one to go on a baking bender. My husband is crushing it in the kitchen so that when I do come home from work, stressed out and frazzled, I can literally stuff my face with cake if I want to. What a mensch!

Coconut cream pie made it just over a day. A 9-by-12-inch pan of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and a side of peanut butter icing for kicks disappeared in 48 hours and we just started a banana chocolate chip bundt cake last night. It ought to be finished by the time this goes to print. If you’re feeling like stress eating, join the club. After all, your sweatpants have you covered. For a bit. 

How’s working from home going? I see the posts and hear about it, but as previously mentioned, I manage a dispensary and per the state of Colorado, we're essential and open for business. Insert stressed out emoji face here [__]. When I found out this information I was both grateful to have a job and also afraid of dealing with people all day. 

Before I continue, let me clarify. The fact that I manage a dispensary does not mean that I’m sitting on a couch with my pet tiger taking bong rips all day. This isn’t “Pineapple Express.” Sorry to kill your image. This has been the most stressful time I’ve ever experienced in any job, ever. That’s safe to say for most of us, but when you’re dealing directly with the public and in particular a few who “really wanted to smell it first,” it changes things.  

The majority of our patrons have stood patiently on the Xs looking for direction from us. Thanks for cooperating, for being appreciative and for tipping your budtender.  

However, just last week when we still allowed access to our ATM machine, I watched a young man rest his head on top of the ATM. Then he sort of settled in and rolled his head to the side as if the ATM were a pillow. I short-circuited. He’s lucky I didn't have a hose at the ready. I can’t say I’ve been the most eloquent in my delivery these days, so I went with, “Get your F$@#?! face off the ATM.” I didn’t even say please. Where are my manners? Don’t tell HR.

After I yelled at him, he sort of slithered over to the wall and rested his face there. Rest assured I wiped off any residual DNA, and yes, I wore gloves. 

Strange days, indeed. 

I’ve been sending out the “Hunger Games” salute to my staff regularly. For those of you chuckling about how “people need their weed!” I would like to invite you to come hangout with ATM Boy or Old Man Fox News who told me it was all a hoax anyway. 

If you’ve found yourself stressed out, scolding your parents from the couch in sweatpants all while supporting 10 extra pounds, then so be it. Right now, that’s normal. If we’re lucky, we’ll carve out a new routine. We need to in order to survive. Make a daily checklist. Stay present and if you need to, go ahead and scream into a pillow once a day. Tomorrow’s rules may be different, but we do in fact, have today and each other.

Beth would like to thank anyone working in latex gloves at the moment. She can be reached at bethabrandon@hotmail.com