Now that we’re shuttered in our homes due to what feels like the end of the world as we know it, we all have new challenges. One is to avoid the strong gravitational pull of the refrigerator and snack cupboard. Most of us have never had so much food in our homes, especially junk food. The combination of stress, nervousness and boredom is driving us to stare longingly into our stocked fridges and kitchen cabinets, looking for some respite from all the craziness. And we’re finding it.
We all want a “little something” to get through these days, whatever our favorite “little something” is. I seem to have “little somethings” all day long and night, and I’d wager an eight-pack of toilet paper – double-ply, the good stuff – I’m not alone.
First it starts with too much coffee while reading the news, as I did not sleep well the night before. How many of us wake at 2 a.m. in sheer terror worrying about the state of the world’s health and the economy? I know some clever person will soon develop a support website for this, something like: “conoranxiety.com” or “totallyfreakingout.com.” Until then, I get up and make a cup of herbal tea and eat a few – okay, several – cookies, then fitfully go back to sleep until the crack of dawn when I can resume worrying with new vim and vigor.
Of course, too much coffee leads to too much frenetic energy that makes me pace around the house like a herding dog looking for a purpose for their existence sans sheep. Somehow this scurrying about always leads to the kitchen. All roads (or hallways) seem to lead to Snackland.
It’s not like we’re starving here in between meals: the big focal point of my husband’s and my day is cooking a big mid-day meal. Before lunch was an apple and some yogurt. Now it’s a three-course spread from Bon Appétit magazine, a lovely creative diversion.
Early evening, on the other hand, feels like a mental endurance event as we catch up with world events and press conferences. I have gone from maybe a glass of wine with dinner to, “Get out the bottle, it’s time to see what fresh hell has transpired.” I ask my husband, “Am I drinking too much?” To which he replies, “’Pandemics Rules’ now apply. Pour yourself another glass.”
But it’s cookies – which we barely ate before – that now seem to be our main comfort food. We each picked out two bags of our personal favorites to supposedly get us through the next month or so. After a week, my first bag is already gone, and I am eyeing my husband’s supply. He better hide them in a place I’ll never look, like behind the ironing board. I state, “I won’t open my other bag of cookies for a while.” To which he replies, “What’s ‘a while’ during a pandemic, a day?” Turns out it is a day.
By Mary Lynn Bruny, For At Home Colorado, Mary Lynn Bruny is a Boulder freelance writer who has written about home-related topics for many, many years.