Friday, March 27, 2020

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, or How To Stay Together When You Have To Stay Together (Coronavirus 2020)

Sheltering in Place.  

Most of us haven't heard that expression or needed to.  But now with the threat of the coronavirus, it has become a common expression.  It basically means stay home.  If we are not out there around others, we are less likely to contract the virus or give it to others which in turn will stop the spike of new outbreaks.  So that's what we are all doing right now where I live and let's just say it has its downsides.

There is an old saying.  "Familiarity breeds contempt."  If that is so, sheltering in place for long periods of time for those of us who are living with a significant other could take a toll on our relationships. I mean, even in the best relationships, you need some alone time and that's not easy when you can't leave the house and that can be especially challenging if you and your partner have different schedules, e.g. he's an early riser and you are not or you are a night owl and he is not.

I know I have bragged about how to stay married (we have been married going on 36 years now), but these are terrible times and even the most robust marriage (or relationship) will be tried having to stay together inside for weeks at a time. How do you get some alone time?  

So in my quest to be of help to you all, I thought I would give you some tips on how to stay together when forced to stay together (and please excuse my use of the word "he." I know that if you are of the male persuasion you have your own issues with your female significant other, but tough. This is about me).

So here are Ten Tips on how to survive sheltering in place with your significant other:

1.  When he makes you watch something on TV that he wants to watch in the name of togetherness and then falls asleep, resist the urge to hit him with the remote.  Kick him instead. The remote would hurt more.

2.  When he coughs and clears his throat every morning while you are trying to sleep but does not have the excuse that he has the coronavirus, try to be understanding.  He is an old man.

3.  Meditating together can be a good thing...unless one of you falls asleep and snores mid-meditation (and it wasn't me).

4.  Likewise, earbuds are your friend.  They can cut out the sound of hacking, vocalizing and harmonica playing when you are trying to watch a Lifetime movie.

5.  If your significant other is antsy like mine, find excuses for him to get out of the house and go out to some of those places that are still open. Give him an incentive. "Hubby, will you run to the store?  I am going to make your favorite dinner and need some ingredients" or "Hubby, can you run to the hardware store for some nails/picture hangers/whatever. I would be ever so grateful (wink. wink.)"  He will enjoy having something to do (and something to look forward to - wink, wink), and you can have some peace and quiet for an hour or so when your natural inclination would be to bite his head off the next time he interrupts you while you are watching a Lifetime movie.

6.  When Hubby wants some together time watching TV and you just want to watch a Lifetime Movie and he doesn't (okay, I'm joking about the Lifetime movie thing.  It's a metaphor - well, sort of - it could be anything you want to do by yourself), instead of sarcastically saying "Oh, now you want some together time, now that you have nowhere else to go," compliment him profusely on what a good husband he is and then wait until he falls asleep (and he will) to go back to whatever it was you wanted to do by yourself, like watch a Lifetime Movie.

7. Play some two person games like Gin Rummy or Scrabble. But be careful with Scrabble.  If you are the least bit competitive, you could get into an argument over the spelling of a word or whether what you put down is a word at all, and then what might happen?  Oh, perhaps the board might get tipped over, especially if bourbon is in the equation? Not that I know anything about that.  I'm just sayin'.

8.  Let him help you cook. He can do the stuff you don't like to do such as mincing onions or pitting olives or counting out exactly 125 chocolate chips for the chocolate chip cookies (You don't really need exactly 125 chocolate chips, but that will keep him busy and out of your way)!

9.  Get outside and go for walks together with the dogs remembering to keep a social distance of at least six feet.  That will also give you some alone time (I'm walking six feet behind them doing some Forest Bathing).

10. If worse comes to worst, get in the car and pretend there is somewhere you can actually go!

Phyllis Diller was a stand-up comic that most of you have either never heard of or probably forgotten.

But she was one of the early and only women comics and her schtick was making fun of her husband whom she called "Fang."  Well, Hubby is my Fang with a little poetic license thrown in.  And he doesn't mind my having some fun with him in my blog posts because he loves me and he knows I do it with love and affection. And that's what this whole blog post is about.  Love.

Love in the time of Coronavirus. That's what we need. And I would like to add - we also need humor.

If we don't have love and humor during this terrible time, we won't make it.

So all kidding aside, and I'm mostly kidding, love is what we need and we are showing love for our fellow humans by staying home and not helping to spread the virus. We can show love to our significant others by being sensitive and considerate as we go about our days sheltering in place together. And we can keep each others' spirits up by sharing some humor. I hope I made you chuckle, and there are all kinds of other funny things out there on the Internet to take your mind off the virus. Share them with your friends and loved ones to give them a laugh.

It's a time of crisis like this when we find out what we and our significant others are made of, for good or ill. Do we band together or do we get on each other's nerves?  I know it's no fun to not have control over one's life, but we can't control events, only how we react to them. What Hubby and I are doing is trying to be grateful for what we have and to reflect on our lives and what we want to learn from this. And in my case, I am grateful for Hubby and I can't think of anyone else I would rather spend this time with.

But then this is only week two!

To be continued....

Thanks for Reading!

See you soon!

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  1. Love this! Humor is one of the best medicines during all this! Great read thanks for sharing