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Being in time-out indefinitely is rough—for most people. I, on the other hand regularly confine myself to my house. I’ve never exactly been accused of being communal, which is a nice way to say I don’t like being around people much. (The term antisocial is so demeaning, don’t you think?) But I do want to be grounded on my own terms. I resent staying home because someone guilts, okay, requires me to do it. And it’s not that I want grandma to die—hell, I am grandma—but I want to go about my normal life until I croak on my own timetable. My husband thinks I’m rebellious. What does he know? He’s seriously the BFF of every person on the planet. Being a homebody just isn't in his DNA.

Anyhoo… we’ve had houseguests for the last two weeks. Guess they didn’t want to be trapped in their own homes with school out, spring break and all, so they drove the 4½ hours to hang out in ours. In keeping with our civic duty, 6 grandchildren, 6 adults and 5 dogs hardly even left the house.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the disruption and chaos but now that they’ve scooted back to their caves to be shut in for another month, I can finally take a deep, relaxing virus-free breath. Wanna go to a movie? I ask my husband. Oh wait. Out to dinner? Uh, let’s try again. Visit people, go to church, see a play, go to the gym. No? Shopping is always fun. Jeepers! What’s the fun in being a certifiable hermit if you don’t have options? Choosing to stay in my studio for 10 hours a day working on my book, painting, listening to music and taking on-line classes is one thing. Now I want to socialize?

There’s a character in Betty MacDonald’s (no relation to the farmer) Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books that coined one of my favorite quotes: “I’ll do it because I want to, not because you told me to!” Classic stuff there, and maybe worth downloading so your kids can learn deep shit like that.

Now I must apologize for my language. This sequestering has got my pent up vocab a’seepin out. Which reminds me of a totally unrelated account involving my book about a serial killer (plug: soon to be on audio.) Almost every review has been 5 stars, but as you are probably aware (or not) the worst reviews are always at the top. So because most serial killers don’t use the words I normally do, like jeepers, dagnabbit or son-of-a-monkey, a few have been offended by the language. Now I know exactly how many naughty words are in the book because my publisher and I went over it to eliminate every possible offensive term. The ones left have been kept to the bare minimum a super bad person might use.

So can I tie all this gibberish together? Watch and learn. If you have to be cooped up for a ridiculously long time to save cranky old people like me, don’t. Do it for the economy. And if that doesn’t work, spend your time doing something productive—like inventing a cure for some nasty condition. There are so many, from A to Z. Since the Chinese virus is the current culprit why not start with C: Corona, Cancer, the Common Cold, Chlamydia, Coronary disease, Conjunctivitis, Cerebral palsy, Correctile dysfunction, Congress… I’m sure you’ll think of something. Maybe you could save lives by curing Car Crashes. And do it because you want to, not because I told you to. Jeepers