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What's Different Now

This is my list of things I’ve noticed that have changed in the last few months, Breath. Now I carry mints so I don’t have to smell my own breath inside my mask. What was that I ate for lunch, a sweaty sock and coffee grinds? Yuk.

Haircuts. My boys and I were going to this fancy barbershop before they were forced to close and between the three of us, the cost was $100 . . . plus tip. A few months ago I bought a set of clippers (for $28) and we started cutting each others’ hair. At first it looked like a drunk and blind person did it. Then just a drunk person. Now we are all sporting cuts that look like they were done by someone who had a wine spritzer, or two. Oh, and I’ve noticed a lot of people have decided (not always by choice) to reveal their real hair color. Gray is the new blonde.

Outdoor Dining. I think it’s great restaurants can expand and serve us outside. However, it’s a little like camping (or glamping). It’s civilized, but you’re still at the mercy of the elements. There are bugs, humidity, and market lights strung inches from your head—plus the drinks get watered down when it rains. It truly is curbside service. When seated outside in a makeshift stall, I always sit facing the oncoming traffic because I want to down my drink before it’s too late—or take it to go, which used to only be allowed in New Orleans, Key West, and Vegas. I’ll say this, it would be a good time to be a plexiglass salesman or a carpenter who specializes in using reclaimed wood.

Fitness. I’m not sure how it is where you live, but in California, people are super fit. I mean they look good. Really good. The guys are ripped like Zac Efron. The women resemble Kelly Ripa. I’m impressed by how sculpted everyone looks. I feel like I went the other way and put on the “Covid 15”. I’m sort of into fitness. I’m gonna “fitness” whole pizza in my mouth.

Movies. My bandmate does a Saturday movie night in his driveway (the film is projected on the garage door). Others are staying home and binge watching Vampire Diaries or some other guilty pleasure. Me, I’ve been going to the drive-ins. It’s just like the old days—one kid hides in the trunk to get in for free (hey, it’s ten bucks now), we pack our own healthy food (who am I kidding?) and after a double feature, the car battery is dead. Good times. Really, it is.

Driving. In California, we tell someone a destination is about thirty minutes away (which equals about ten miles . . . on a good day). Other places, people will tell you a place is ten miles away, meaning ten minutes or less. When I was in Montana, I stopped in the middle of the road and took a . . . picture, and didn’t see a soul. Today, in my hometown I don’t have to plan my day around traffic—because there isn’t any. So nice. I feel bad about people (me included) who aren’t working and not commuting, but the upside is there is no rush hour.

Boxes. I love that people want to recycle. The problem is we are ordering a ton more from Amazon and have more boxes in our recycling bins than a UPS Store. My hope is the Post Office will adapt, but the Post Office has bigger fish to fry.

Clothing. My wife was so excited. She received a package with yoga pants with built in pockets for her phone, wallet, car keys, and tablet. When I first saw her wearing them I said, “Are you going to a yoga class?” Even though I knew she was not. You’re right, how rude. It was then that the fight started. People are dressing more casually, which is certainly more comfortable. That said, there is a not-so-fine-line between weekend wear and weekday clothes. Just sayin’.

Germs. I remember when myself and a few others trainers I palled around with were all road warriors for SkillPath Seminars. We traveled to five cities in five days. Most of us were hardcore germaphobes, and would compare notes. “Did you wipe down the TV remote?” My answer was always a firm, “You bet!” I taught my kids to open the 7-11 door with their shirt. My wife keeps wipes and alcohol (I mean alcohol wipes) in her car. If she is out of wipes, I simply rub my hands together real fast to create enough heat to kill the germs. I know, it sounds crazy. Now . . . it’s normal.

Games. I’ve played (and lost) more chess games in recent months than I have over the past ten years. Our family game night is now every night and the game I like best is, Risk. It lasts for hours and when you win, you rule the world. Totally worth it. Of course Monopoly is my second favorite game.

Learning. In twenty years our country will be run by people homeschooled by day drinkers. I know this for a fact. Bring it!

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