The Rules

So, as I have mentioned before, I am a top-notch, high-ranking corona worrier. The plan for this vacation was to bunker down with friends in the middle of nowhere for a week, and hang out in our bubble.

The problem is the airbnb landlord, a plump jolly looking older gentleman who owns a series of slightly dinky and rundown farm homes, seems to have no concept of a bubble, and keeps entering ours.

Everything in this holiday home is from the second hand store. It looks okay until further inspection, when you realize it doesn’t work quite right. The oven door won’t close, the shower floods the bathroom, the dishwasher doesn’t clean, there are no plugs in our bedroom or lights in the right spot. The toilet paper roll falls on the floor every. single. time. because the holder is missing a screw. The bathtub leaks. The list goes on.

Luckily, the landlord is very responsive. He has given us apology wine, then come back with apology cake. He comes in to hum and haw and try to fix things whenever we tell him something, essentially everything, is broken. Luckily for my peace of mind, each time he swings by, we have been out of the house for a walk. But yesterday he took me by surprise. In a time where I am terrified to be with other human beings inside, he barreled into the kitchen while I was looking for a snack. Panicked, I yelped, frozen where I was, and then ran from him as if he was a serial killer, into the other room. My husband and I hid in our bedroom as he messed around with the stove in the kitchen and I worried my hardest that his germs were polluting our air. When I finally emerged, my friend reported he had accidentally taken a kitchen hand cloth, and come back to return it. Then accidentally stolen my phone from the kitchen table, the one I abandoned in fear, and had to come back to return it. For a man we wanted in the house zero times, he came in three times in one afternoon.

Then I think – why not have a rave? Why not lick someone’s face? We have kept such strict corona rules for ourselves just to have this one man come in and turn my world upside-down. We haven’t let my in-laws come over, haven’t seen friends in months. And now suddenly this random stranger can come into our kitchen with an apology cake? What is the limit? What is the rule? If this man can come in 10 times in a week, why am I not hugging my nephew? Or my best friends? Why am I not going to a gym class? My world quickly is turned on its head. In a time when nothing makes sense but we are trying to follow rules, what rules are right?

Then I think of this dietician’s advice: just because you eat a donut once, doesn’t mean you have to eat donuts the rest of the day. Being healthy and eating healthy is not ruined forever.

So I picked myself up from a collapsing puddle of worry on the floor, all from one visit from a man trying to fix the oven in our holiday home, and got myself back together. Back to hand sanitizer and masks. Back to eating broccoli and holding out for my desert until this is over. Luckily we still have some apology cake in the fridge.

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