Everyone is still here and I'm still swearing in my car.
I always get excited when September rolls around. As a kid, going back to school meant new clothes and school supplies. I still remember running my hand across the first page of a fresh spiral notebook and all the possibilities the crisp paper promised. As a parent, I learned that the old Staples television commercial was right. September is the most wonderful time of the year.
But ten years ago, when I moved to the Hamptons full-time, is when I learned the true joy of this season. There’s more room in the grocery store aisles. Left turns become possible. I don’t know about you, but I stop cursing as I drive around town.
On the day after Labor Day, also known as tumbleweed Tuesday, when the last of the summer folks have trickled back to the city, you can hear the entire east end audibly sigh, “Ah… September.”
We’re not going to hear that sigh of relief this tumbleweed Tuesday. No one is going anywhere. The only thing you’ll hear is me shouting expletives in my car.
Lately, nothing has been usual or normal, except for my foul mouth. After a spring of panicked toilet paper purchases and a summer of lines to park at the beach, what will September bring?
With everyone staying put, certainly not cellphone service in Sagaponack.
No one knows what to expect. Did you ever think you’d wait in a line to get into King Kullen? Did you think you’d slather on hand sanitizer like it was suntan lotion? Did you foresee the murder hornets?
I couldn’t have predicted that some of our hockey pucks would have to move back home. But I did predict that if they did move back, it would create some impassioned conversations about how to load the dishwasher.
To rinse or not to rinse. That is the question. Me? I’m team rinse. Mr. Hockey? Team nah. We’ve agreed to disagree on this for years.
Our summer has been chock-full of our four hockey pucks – they had no place else to go. Some are still stuck here, but one got the chance to get out. She will continue her studies from an apartment near her school rather than from my basement. That’s good because I didn’t envisage that I would have to turn my basement into a home gym.
By the way, if any of you are looking to purchase a gently used pool table, please get in touch. I need that space for my new glute bench.
Speaking of pools, I couldn’t have predicted that we would be keeping ours open through October. But it looks like we are. Hopefully I can pay to heat it with the sale of the pool table – don’t expect a bargain.
I never thought I’d never wear real clothes again. You know, clothes with zippers and buttons and shoes with heels. To be honest I can’t wear heels because my toes get numb, which was something I didn’t foresee when I was younger and coveted beautiful shoes. Now my Jimmy Choos stay hidden in my closet like the glass Christmas ornaments I’m too afraid to put on the tree because of the cat.
Sometimes I like to imagine that my clothes are like the toys in Toy Story, and they talk to each other. The jeans say, “Do you think she’ll ever wear us again?”
The bras respond, “It’s like she’s completely given up.”
The earrings note, “The other day we heard her watch weeping as it wound down to a stop.”
And the yoga pants say, “Really? I’m exhausted!”
I never foresaw that I would anthropomorphize my clothing, but these are crazy covidian times. Also, my bras are really judgmental.
So, we have no clue about what’s going to happen next. This September could be like that first five-subject binder I bought for middle school – full of promise. Or it could be how middle school actually turned out for me, with a Dorothy Hamill haircut, watching General Hospital alone while consuming a whole bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
Personally, I think it’s going to be the Hamill/GH/Cool Ranch scenario. Because I’m a glass-half-empty type of gal.
But it doesn’t have to be. We can make the glass half-full. We have some control of the situation. We can stay safe by continuing to wear our masks, keep our distance from others, stop touching our faces, and wash our hands.
If we see something, particularly injustice, we can say something. We can call our representatives. We can march.
We can vote. The village of East Hampton is holding its election on September 15th, and November is coming quicker than you think.
We can get healthier by exercising. We can take long walks, jog or bike – but if you do, please walk or run against the traffic and ride with the traffic. People who don’t are a pet peeve of mine, and I swear at them as I drive around them.
We can be kind and not curse at other people when we’re driving, although I can’t promise anything there.
This September might not be usual or normal, but now I’ve got a decent haircut, Netflix, and Kettle Chips. I think it will be okay. Although I am surprised by all the optimistic talk from this glass-half-empty girl.
Maybe my judgmental bras have it all wrong. Maybe I haven’t completely given up.
Published in The East Hampton Press, September 3, 2020.
Photo by ME!!!