“The Snark Serial” is a snark-filled take on life from one of the team’s bitterest writers. Alexandria Mansfield will offer sarcastic remarks, seething reviews and snide satire to more digest life’s bumps and hiccups – and the occasional win. She will also suggest a weekly snack pairing to munch on while reading. (Warning: Not all snack recommendations may be edible.)
There I was, reaching into my third bag of Valentine’s Day candy for what was supposed to be my last handful of foil-wrapped chocolates when it occurred to me… Truffles in pancakes. Can you imagine? Can you visualize the delicious, melty goodness? The rich flavor palette of golden dough and sugar or the smell of browning butter and ooey-gooey wonder filling the smoke detectors – I mean air?
Just think of the mess?
In a global pandemic, though, I have the time to make that mess and clean it. And do that about 200 more times. I’ve got time to become a gourmet chef, to finally teach myself how to play an instrument, to read every book gathering dust in the corner of my bedroom and maybe even to do all of that a second time through, just for kicks.
Did I mention we’re still in a pandemic? It seems like some people have forgotten. And maybe you’re here to forget right this second. Maybe “vaccine” or “rapid test” are trigger words that will make your fingers itch to click out of this tab.
It would be hypocritical of me to write anything too scolding. After all, my own threshold for risk is a constant moving target that seems to correlate with the weather, the number of consecutive days I’ve spent in my house and nowhere else, and probably the astrological sign of the last person to look at me (which is usually my cancer husband, if that gives you anything to contemplate).
Types of “Pandemickers”
There are different kinds of pandemickers, let’s call them. There are those who you haven’t seen or heard from in 18 months – yes, 18 months. Those hermit friends who were practicing for the pandemic before it even began. Then there are those who maybe have hopped on over to another state – say, ahem, Florida – for its loose restrictions and even looser attitude. They may be the people who argued with you about wearing a mask, invited you to their most recent birthday party or wedding and continue to let their noses hang out in public.
But, maybe these aren’t you.
Maybe you were one of those people who stayed safe over the holidays. Forgoing traditions and travel and staying safe and lonely instead. Maybe not seeing your family over Christmas or Thanksgiving gave you a small sense of pride. Those people on your Instagram went to their grandparents’ house, but you stayed responsible. And, despite your best efforts, you’re tired now. You’re tired of continuing to act like an upstanding citizen. For caring about the health and well-being of others, even when they didn’t care for themselves.
Don’t you deserve just a little bit of a treat for that? Don’t you deserve to go out to a bar or restaurant to celebrate just one of the many things you’ve missed out on this year (now that we’re in the 14th month of 2020)?
The answer is yes. We all deserve that, right? But we still need to take precautions. Pandemic fatigue is real, and it comes in every form. Even if you haven’t been the best about socially distancing or forget your mask sometimes when you’re running a quick errand, it doesn’t mean you haven’t been dealing with the weight of *insert hand-waving* all of this for almost a year.
We Are So Close
But we’re not done yet. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is a sliver of its hope again when we see our friends and family members and colleagues finally getting vaccinated against this deadly virus. We feel it when we make tentative plans for the not-so-distant-anymore future. And it tastes so sweet, of course, we want to get there sooner. Of course we want to put a handful of chocolate into the pancake batter. But, the stove isn’t hot enough yet, and no one wants to eat battered chocolate when the real masterpiece is so close.
So take your comfort chocolate and take solace in the fact that I, too, am really damn sick of staring at the same walls day in and day out. We’ll get through this together, though. Or I’ll get through this alone, but at least I’ve got candy to keep me company.
Snack pairing: An entire bag of Dove chocolates – milk, dark, caramel or anything else works as long as the wrappers simultaneously compliment you and make you feel bad about yourself as you see the shiny, flimsy packaging begin to pile up. Optional: Put the chocolate in pancakes.
For more complaints, observations and general raging, follow me on Twitter @Alexandriammans.