Playing the Card by Shelly Sutherland
reading time: 1 minute and 50 seconds
Planning for Thanksgiving with my mom, who lives in Southern California, the conversation goes like this:
Me: Are you feeling ok about me traveling to see you for Thanksgiving?
Mom: What’s the problem?
Me: I do not think it is safe.
Mom: We will sit six feet apart at the dining room table.
Me: But we are inside!
Mom: It’s too cold outside
Me, silently: (Really? In SoCal?)
Then another conversation with my aunt, also in Southern California, concerning the 2nd Tday meal later in the week:
Aunt: We can’t wait to see you!
Me: Do you think it is safe?
Aunt: We will eat outside.
Me: Sounds good but it’s a tight space on your deck. Should we be getting together?
Aunt: Well, you need to do whatever you feel comfortable doing.
I feel like I am the Negative Nancy and the only one with the weight of the world on my shoulders. What if I am the one who brings “The Covid” into their homes? My older family members are willing to take the risk, probably because they are bored. They’ve had to live very restricted lives given their age and this shelter in place stuff gets very tedious after a while!
As Part I of a two-part holiday season, Thanksgiving gets my family primed for Christmas and gift-giving. I surely do not have the appetite to buy anything – in person or online. I just am not feeling the holiday spirit. Yet I am part of a family unit that moves together, even though we are out of sync this year.
Talking about my lack of The Spirit, our recent presidential election has definitely increased everyone’s level of anxiety and in my family, and there is one member who is on the other side. Using the CodeRed excuse to miss Thanksgiving will have a dual purpose: preventing illness or death and avoiding a bitter political debate.
Playing the Covid Card means less exercising in gyms, unwanted hugging, networking meetings, chores, baby showers and wedding receptions. Now, as we head into the holidays, I may choose to play the card again. I’m still undecided given my mother’s most recent comments:
Me: I don’t think it is a good idea to have Thanksgiving this year.
Mom: Alright, you do whatever you want to do. I will be fine…alone.