RAMONA ON CORONA and…………Whew! And Marital Romance

A humor series on navigating this difficult time

Can you believe this? Almost former President Donald Trump is still MIA since he lost the election to Joe Biden. Well, not exactly MIA. We’ve seen him at the wheel of a golf cart in search of the next green, thanks to some photographer on the links with a long lens. The Golfer-in-Chief does not look happy. How dare he skip work these last two weeks?

He remains a danger as he does nothing. He impedes the efforts of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and their newly formed Covid Task Force by withholding the current administration’s arsenal of tools, intelligence and data to combat the virus. Apparently Emily Murphy, Administrator of the General Services Administration drank the Kool-Aid and continues not to “ascertain the election” (i.e. admit that Biden won and release funds needed for the transition). Way to go, Emily. 

Drawing on my experience as a licensed therapist, I believe an intervention is required when a President of the United States demonstrates the behavior of a three-year old. It would take no more than two six-footers with starched white coats to approach him as he’s about to tee off. The ruse would be that he won the Masters and the coveted winner’s jacket has been changed from green to white. D.T. would go happily into a van that would take him to Fair Oaks, a bogus “country club” in New Jersey, in reality, one of the finest behavioral health facilities in the country.

How close we came to becoming Hungary! That hard-won democracy (after the fall of communism) gave way to a new kind of authoritarianism with the rise of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who, like D.T., undermined the norms of what had been a free society. Called by some “soft facism,” the country, birthplace of my own forebears, now quakes under what has essentially become a one-party state. 

WHEW! And Woo Hoo! Thank you to every voter and ballot counter who helped save our democracy. I think it may take years for folks to absorb just how close we came to losing our way of life. 

Now, change of subject and parroting the title of cartoonist Roz Chast’s memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

K. and I celebrated our 29th anniversary this week. I asked for a vaccine and a smooth transition of power. Seriously, I don’t pay much attention to the traditional symbols for each anniversary but I do know the first is paper, the 25th is silver. I did not know the 29th is Brillo. K. got me not one, but two boxes of Brillo Pads. Nice to know the man of my dreams sees me, hears me, gets me after 29 years. 

I had complained about using elbow grease for cruddy pots and pans, in the process ruining my knuckles and destroying my favorite flimsy sponge. Ever the romantic, K., came through. He also bought me a three-month supply of Lysol Click Gel Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner with six disposable applicators. The man tends to go overboard. 

I am reminded of my friend Marsha whose husband Steve bought her a weed wacker on their first anniversary. He certainly had her ticket. Wonder what he’ll come up with for their 50th next Spring? Maybe the new Telescopic Gutter Cleaning Wand?

It feels to me like K. and I have been together much longer than 29 years and I don’t mean that in the pejorative sense. It just seems as if his yin to my yang, his intensity to my chill, his loud rock music to my comforting classical music has always been in my back pocket. Of course I do remember life without him during my formative years, approximately ages 22-40. ☺

Sometimes it takes half a lifetime to find your pocket. Truth to tell dear readers, K. is my second and final husband. If this news leaves you thunderstruck it shouldn’t; in the 1980s 50% of all marriages ended in divorce. The good news is that dreary statistic proved to be an anomaly; ultimately the high rate was conflated with the rise of the feminist movement and I’m happy to report divorce rates have declined steadily ever since. 

Today most young people wait longer to marry, prioritizing their career and financial goals before considering a serious relationship. Many cohabit with their partners for years before marrying and many have children without making their union legal. Will marriage one day be obsolete? I hope not. I believe in the buddy system. I like that K. bears witness to my days of angst as well as to my days of joy. He doesn’t love bearing witness to my days of complaining but he can always go to another room.

Life does not always take one on a straight path. My own had significant and labyrinthine twists and turns along the way without which I would not have earned my PhD in Life. Show me someone whose journey has not had some bumps and I will show you a convincing liar or Meryl Streep giving an Oscar-winning performance. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s future mother-in-law gave her some good advice before she married Martin. “In every good marriage it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” 

K. is saying something downstairs. He’s in the kitchen. I think I ruined his favorite cast iron pan by scrubbing it with Brillo. You’re only supposed to clean it with a soft sponge. 

I think I will be a little bit deaf right now.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. K. and I will have dinner at home and spend time with our family on Zoom. Please play it safe and stay well.