Many are seeing red as panic grows in response to the Coronavirus. I rarely go to large events. I’ve never traveled overseas. I spend most of my time at home so I am much more likely to be impacted by the human response to the threat of the virus than to the virus itself. Like my Jessica did when she was a child, I’m going to choose to see things differently (I realize that I am fortunate to have that option and wish the best for those who don’t).
And so, my story, like so many before, will begin… Many, many pre-retirement years ago in a far-off place called Cedar Crest there was a small church where kind-hearted elderly women would gather to pray and share pot-luck meals. Jennie was the secretary for this small church and would take he daughter, Jessica, to work with her when Jessica did not have school. Jessica would happily interact with the elderly ladies and the pets that sometimes accompanied them. The elderly ladies would share their food with Jessica and all were happy.
On this particular day, the ladies were all dressed in green and their pot-of-luck consisted of dishes like corned beef and cabbage, and Irish soda bread. As always, the food was offered to Jessica. This was not the food that Jessica was used to sharing. The food, especially the cabbage, did not smell like the food Jessica was used to sharing. Where were the biscuits, the fried chicken and the mashed potatoes? Not only that, why had all the women chosen to wear the same color: green?
Jessica took these questions to her mother, who grumpily (while not a wicked step-mother, she could still be a wickedly grumpy mother) answered, “It’s St. Patrick’s Day. He’s a saint from the Emerald, which is green, Isle of Ireland, so on his day everyone wears green and eats Irish food.” Jessica’s mother went back to her typing, and Jessica was oddly quiet. Jessica was not typically a quiet child. A few minutes passed and Jessica interrupted her mother’s typing to ask another question: “When will it be St. Jessica’s Day and everyone will have to wear pink?”
That is not the end of the story, because we’re still awaiting the proclamation of St. Jessica’s Day. It will be a happy day, with all dressed in pink, eating food that does not stink and mothers will be forbidden to be grumpy. I can barely wait.
In the meantime, I will avoid grocery stores, where currently, not only mothers, but pretty much everyone is grumpy and behaving badly. Instead, I will prepare to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but instead of corned beef and cabbage, we’ll eat Irish stew (it has cabbage in it so it’s still a little stinky) and beer bread. We will wear good strong shades of green (no wimpy pale greens allowed) and eat sugar cookies with green icing that are shaped like shamrocks. While it won’t be St. Jessica’s Day, we will make the best of it and will definitely forbid the mention of Coronavirus. We will, however, wash our hands for 20 seconds just to be on the safe side. Life will be as good as we make it.
Uh oh, now Cinnamon wants a Saint Cinnamon Day when everyone will have to dress in fake fur, chase toy catnip-filled mice and eat cat food.