we went somewhere.
for the first time in months – we went somewhere other than the grocery store, costco, two trips to the hardware store, a very few outdoor-socially-distanced-six-or-less-conversations or all-things-work-related. we still haven’t been to a restaurant, a bar, a hair salon, a department store. we still haven’t picked up curbside or gone to a barbecue. we still haven’t seen family. we have seen an insanely limited number of friends-who-are-family-to-us. no one has come over. we still haven’t had any outings with others. we still haven’t gone to the beach or the pool. we still haven’t rented a boat or a canoe, had a pedicure or even proper follow-up on my broken wrists.
but on friday, with more stress in my heart than i could manage at the time, we left our house and took a drive out in the county and stopped at an antique shoppe. donning masks with paper towels in hand to grab the door handle and a plastic bag full of wipes, we entered the shoppe which had a sign that asked patrons to use “common sense” while there. although the proprietor did not wear a mask, several of the customers had them on. there were those slightly leering looks we have grown familiar with, but we continued on our merry way regardless. this is wisconsin and, according to the nary-a-conscience-among-them-wisconsin supreme court justices, no one has to do anything they don’t wanna do here. nah-nah-nuh-nah-nah.
it was nerve-wracking. but antique shoppes are places where we are in our element so we persevered. we didn’t linger as we usually do. we touched very few things and were careful to social distance around others we passed in the aisles.
heartened by our little jaunt, we left and went to another shoppe just over the illinois border. here, everyone had a mask on and every person you passed made room and verbally said, “excuse me” or “thank you” as you made eye and trying-to-be-expressive-eyebrow-contact with them. we felt more comfortable there – cognizance of the need for caution during a global pandemic is a sign of an intelligent being, in our meager opinions. and the people at this shoppe seemed cognizant.
it’s exhausting, but we’ll keep being vigilant. in thinking about what we can or might do in days-to-come, we’ll still keep away from places and people and activities that are clearly not safe. we’ll still wash our hands and socially distance. and we will keep beating the wear-a-mask drum.