Jack and Jill met on J-Date two weeks and a day before the city was shut down because of the Coronavirus. They emailed every day or so and finally decided to meet at a coffee shop halfway between. Both were mostly fair representations of their photographs. Jill didn’t wear glasses in the photo and it had been taken about five years before. Jack looked a bit paunchier and was likely a few years older than his photo.
More concerning to Jill was the fact that when she waved at Jack from the table where she was sitting, he didn’t respond. She got up and approached him at the ordering counter.
“Jack?” He smiled, but didn’t seem to recognize her. “Yes. “I’m Jill.” “I didn’t recognize you.” “I would have taken off my glasses but I wouldn’t have been able to see you. Ever since Oprah started wearing her 500 different pairs, glasses have become chic.” They sat together in front of a fake fireplace. “I had no idea,” Jack said. He took a pair of reading glasses out of his pocket and put them on. “That’s better. You’ve already clarified my life.” “Hope that’s a good thing.” “When you changed our meeting date, I thought you were blowing me off.” “The weather in February is so unpredictable in Chicago, I didn’t want to have to drive in 6 inches of snow.” She sipped her coffee. “And it never did snow. Not even a dusting.” “I was surprised when you said you belonged to my synagogue,” he said. “I just joined at the High Holidays.” “That explains it, I guess. I go out of town.” They talked another hour or so and shook hands before going to their cars. The next day the governor of the state announced a “stay at home” order.
Jill’s email:I guess we can’t meet for a while. Jack’s email:We can email. That will take care of the waiting period. Jill’s email:Not necessarily. Emails are not dates. Jack’s email:Our first fight. I can’t wait to make up. Jill’s email:Time will tell.
Thank you Gayle, for your story! “Inside Our Time” digital series:
Inside Our Time: Love in the Time of Corona by Gayle Ann WeinsteinRonda Spinak2020-04-30T21:26:36-07:00
Strolling at a brisk rate, it took me 13 minutes to walk the interior parameter of an empty playground – empty, that is, with the exception of two 12 year old boys inhabiting a bench that is usually occupied by tired mothers and over-stuffed diaper bags. “What are those boys thinking?” I wondered on my eighteenth rotation. Suddenly, the pre-teens disappeared as quietly as the City has become in a matter of days.
My FitBit beeped: 2,700 steps to reach your goal. “My goal?” I thought. Oh, my goals have changed drastically in the past 96 hours! And while it’s alarming that my cupboards are stuffed with enough carbs to raise my cholesterol 100 points, and it’s disappointing to have three productions canceled, I’m overwhelmed by the fact that I will be unable to see my grandchildren for, what? Two weeks? Forty-five days?
I face-timed with my older granddaughter, Tallulah, as she finished her lunch. “What are you up to, Lulu?” I asked. “Me and mom were playing hairdresser in the bathroom.” “That sounds like fun,” I said. Tallulah paused for a moment. “Too pensive,” I thought. I flipped my removable denture out of my mouth – something that always makes her laugh. Tallulah giggled and said, “Grandma, when I come for my next sleepover, we can play hairdresser, too. You can share my barrettes!” I nodded agreeably.
Since Tallulah was born, I’ve spent 20-40 hours a week playing babysitter. After her sister arrived last year, I’ve been visiting my charges four days a week and sharing childcare responsibilities with my daughter, who works from home. “What is Lulu thinking about my absence?” I keep wondering.
Yes, children are resilient. Tomorrow, Lulu and I will face-time again and, as promised, play a new game I purchased – an afterthought as I paid for water, canned turkey chili, wipes, TP, and coffee. Maybe I can hold her attention for a while longer. If not, I’ll just remove my bottom denture to hear my granddaughter laugh.
When our phone call ended, I wept as silently as the empty City before turning on the news.
Thank you Bara, for your story! “Inside Our Time” digital series:
Inside Our Time: March 17, 2020 by Bara SwainRonda Spinak2020-04-30T21:17:36-07:00