A Guide To Post Pandemic Me

Hello, friend! So glad you’re reading this. After more than a year of hunkering down during a global pandemic, I am shot the hell up with beautiful vaccine goodness and can safely reenter society. And now we can do stuff like be in the same room together and breathe each other’s air. But before I do that I’m going to need to familiarize you with the new me, the post pandemic me. Cause babe, I am not who I was, nor will I ever be.

First and foremost, I will wear a mask if you still want me to. I know the vaccine is not available to the real young youngins. I also know some of you are not able to get the vaccine for various reasons. And I definitely know that even though those of us who are fully vaccinated are being told we can go about our day like normal, a lot of us are not really feeling that. And, truth be told, it’s been real nice not having men tell me to smile for the past year. I see no downside to my continuing to wear a mask for you.

Nextly, there has been a wardrobe change over here. It’s not like I was some sort of fashionista in the before times, but the panDemi Lovato has me switching things up a bit. I have purchased my first starter caftan. A mini muumuu, if you will. I now dress as though I am the love child of Stevie Nicks and Mrs. Roper. Think flowy, possibly flammable comfort 24/7. I’ve transcended elastic waists at this point. What even is a waist? That’s the only question I will ever need you to ask post pandemic me.

C.) You’re going to be hearing all about my dog. Like, all the time. He’s been the only thing remotely interesting in my life during this global pan dulce. And we’ve developed such a staggering codependence with each other that he has a nervous breakdown when I take the garbage can to the curb. I think I’m one step away from being the kind of person who puts their dog in a stroller, refers to them as their furbaby, and walks them through the aisles of Homegoods asking which candle they think smells the best.

Furthermore and henceforth, if there’s one thing this panini has taught me is that I like not having plans. Don’t get me wrong, I already knew that about myself, but never has doing nothing felt so right. I will be opting out of things occasionally. Don’t take it personally. I took the dog for a walk last night and spoke with five of my neighbors along the way. It was freaking exhausting. It was complete sensory overload. You have to ask yourself, if I had taken a vow of silence and solitude for a year at a French monastery and traveled back in time to 1981, would you think I’d be ready for a night out at Studio 54? The answer is no. I’m not Cher. I’m more like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. This is going to be a slow roll.

And finally, I really hate social media now. It served a great purpose keeping us together while we were forced to stay apart, but there is such a thing as too much greatness. Because in all that connection I got twisted up with your racist Nana and Peepaw and every ‘boss babe’ you went high school with. Listen, if my grandparents were alive and kicking they’d be just as racist, if not more, than yours. But mine are dead and I don’t have to deal with them anymore. And I am already in at least 17 MLM Facebook groups started by the people I hated in high school. I can’t also be sucked into your former cheerleader vortex. That’s why I’m not on it nearly as much as I used to be, which was basically every minute of every day.

Which brings me to my one social media exception and the real final point in this post pandemic guide to me. If you happen to peel me out of bed, have me get me into one of my Mrs. Roper frocks, and listen to endless tales of how cute my dog is, you’re also going to have to endure me saying really weird things all the time that you won’t understand unless you’re on TikTok. Your racist Peepaw is not on TikTok and that’s why I am on TikTok, to escape him. The one consequence of this recent addiction is now my brain is a never ending loop of quirky sound bites that make it appear as though I’ve had a stroke. In no certain order I may utter such things as:

bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon pancakes bacon pancakes

what you know about rolling in the deep in the deep something something mental freeze something something astronaut in the ocean

my name is Cecelia and I live in Svalbard an island close to the North Pole

sitting here getting my fat bitch on

hi my name is Tobin Mitnick and I’m a Jew Who Loves Trees

but mostly I will be screaming….

JANELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLUHHHHHHH

This is who I am now. This is what the pandemic has wrought. You’ve been warned. If you’d like to keep our relationship as online as possible from here on out, I’d completely understand.