I didn’t believe her, at first. “Scotti,” I said into the phone, “the New York Times is NOT showing that he won. I keep refresh—“
“Shane” she interrupted, impatiently. “The AP just called it. It’s over.”
A clanging sound started, coming through our bedroom window from the street below. Mike slid the window open and we peered out. Our neighbor, Julie, was in the street banging pots and pans together. Up and down our block windows were flung open, neighbors whooped cries of joy, cars honked as they drove by, fists raised outside of rolled-down windows.
“LET’S GO!!!” I heard Pax’s exuberant voice yell from the window downstairs. “WHOO HOO!!!”
Last weekend was a trip. It was an almost out-of-body experience, none of us realizing quite the physical toll of last four years until it was over.
After hanging up with my sister, I immediately called my mom. She sobbed into the phone as I held it up high, letting the sounds of celebration — of Philadelphia’s joyous relief — reach her.
We masked up and wandered the streets. Everywhere we walked, people were cheering, cars were honking, Philadelphia had come to play.
Eventually, we met up with friends. We all followed the growing crowd to city hall, a slow-moving parade. Almost everyone was masked. People tried to keep their distance, but the urge to high-five or hug was strong. Instead, strangers beamed at each other, eyes crinkling behind their masks. I remember giving a lot of thumbs-ups, for lack of anything better to do. One young woman and I made eye contact, and then, standing 6 ft apart, clapped at each other for a minute. We just stood…applauding each other from a distance. It was a strange, glorious day.
At the City Hall there was music — Pax and his besties danced, of course — they’re all ham sandwiches — and speeches and cheering and….oh shit.
I turned to look at Linzi. Her eyes met mine, our faces tense. She gave me the nod, the silent agreement to get the eff out and we immediately starting rounding up our crew.
Within a minute? Two? We had left.
It’s funny, in hindsight, we must’ve have had some sort of strange premonition. I remember, very clearly, having fun one second, and then — in the very next second — the dawning realization that This Was Not OK. And indeed, on our walk home, before we had even turned back onto our block, the first text from a friend came in: a positive COVID test.
Our friend group has been, for the most part, really diligent about social distancing outside and masking. While we talked very seriously about ‘podding’ it quickly became apparent that we would be too leaky a pod, and so our social interactions have basically been limited to outside, mostly masked.
And yet. As I type this, five people I care about currently (and suddenly!!) have tested positive for COVID. The rest of us? Are one week into our two week quarantine, and both Philadelphia (and the US at large) are setting record numbers of COVID cases. In fact, the mayor of Philly has asked that everyone who was out and about celebrating last Saturday now quarantine for two weeks.
2020 has often felt like we were living in another reality. But I think….I think that maybe this horrid alt-reality is what is true. And while Biden’s win did make me feel like some sort of hostage crisis had ended, the swift retort of COVID was a solid reminder of how much work we have left to do.
Mike is back working COVID numbers now. The situation is as dire as it’s ever been. There are strange patterns in the data, cases rising potentially through dinner parties and board game nights.
So for now, we are clamping down on public celebrations. Even after we finish our 14-day quarantine, we will be dialing back on gatherings, cancelling Thanksgiving plans, and continue to be diligent about masking and physical distancing. We have, I suspect, a long winter ahead of us. However, I am still hopeful for our future. A vaccine is coming. A new, science-based administration is coming. Our country has much work to do, but first we must get this virus under control.
So for now, we do our part.
Smells like 2020. Nordstrom just came out with their holiday gift shop and it’s so freaking good. This 2020 candle cracked me up — it purportedly smells like ‘WFH and WTF’ which sounds about right. I’m more likely to burn the ‘Apres Ski‘ candle (‘smells like evergreen and after parties’) and I’m definitely getting my dear introverted Linzi the ‘comfort zone‘ candle which smells like ‘the joy of missing out’. And after the week she’s had (scroll to the bottom, here)…I suspect A would get a kick out of the 2021 candle, which smells like ‘not soon enough’. #yup
Oh hey, they’re back! Those super-warm, faux-fur lined sneaker boots that I wore all over last winter (even in Detroit, see here) have just been restocked. The description doesn’t mention it, but I just double-checked and yes: they’re waterproof.
For Holidays at home? Thoughts on J.Crew’s tiny gemstone sweater? I think it might be fun and festive. It looks almost over-the-top, without going too far. I’d wear the the gray with a colorful smokey eye (the rebel is my fav) and big earrings.
Silver linings. Since we’ve been on lockdown all week, I made it my mission to freaking finish my Black Friday picks already. It’s basically a brain dump of all of the numerous lists I’ve been making in preparation for our loooong winter ahead. I’ve got categories from Cute Snowboots to Road Trip Essentials, from Whimsical PJ’s to Beauty.
A girl can drool. I’m just gonna drop rag & bone’s insanely gorgeous bag and these knit ribbed pants riiiiight here and hope for a major sale. (ps. It looks like they just brought back my favorite black-wash jeans of all time, too, soooo…)
OMG! JERSEY KNIT! My longtime favorite, Cami NYC, the brand behind the silk cami I wear almost daily…has just come out with camis in jersey knit. There’s the classic racerback, the subtle cowl, and this gorgeous lace one. I haven’t been this excited about Jersey in a long, long time.
BLM tees from a BOB. I’ve been searching for a good Black Lives Matter tee…but instead of just getting one on Amazon, I wanted to support a Black-owned business in the process. Misfit Culture is my new favorite Etsy shop. Dee’s black pride and anti-racist tees are so good, and I also ordered a custom one that says, “GET IN GOOD TROUBLE”. Yasss.
Our favorite jeans? That’s the subject of this Sunday’s special newsletter. If you haven’t yet subscribed, sign up here.
Yeah, and I’m playing Christmas music, too. It only seemed appropriate, as I hand-picked items to feature in our Holiday Gift Shop. Hope it’s a fun browse — I loved putting it together. (Gifts for the Adventurer might be my favorite section.)
Be safe out there, Gang.