It’s Not Just You, Pepe, it’s Me

 Dear Pepe Le Pew,

I had a conversation with my daughter this morning that helped put things in perspective. In her delicate way, Hilary pointed out that I seem to be having a few anger issues. Every time we talk, I give her an earful about whatever is ticking me off at the moment. I’m not necessarily apologizing to you, dear cartoon skunk from my childhood. I’m just admitting I might have overreacted the teensiest bit. 

Having said that, you’re too old to go around grabbing female cats or skunks, or anyone, really. You must be in your eighties by now. I know you’re being forced into retirement, which probably hurts your feelings. But after all your futile efforts, you really deserve a rest. And you deserve the truth, so here goes.

1. On March 28th, it will be the third anniversary of my husband’s death. I guess I’d rather throw mud around than think about that. Although I will think about it.

2. Covid, I’m so tired of you. The masks (yes, we should wear them) the distancing, the lack of hugs, not understanding what people are saying, being too friendly with a perfect stranger because I think I know them, not heading out of town to visit family, zooming instead of seeing people in the flesh. 

3. The snow is leaving early this year. I’ve loved my outdoor winter life and it has all but disappeared. Yes, I can still go for walks. But it’s not the same as snowshoeing and skiing. I’d meet people out on the trail and it was like we were all riding the same train to Paris, drinking wine and taking in the sights. There is no train. Just a trail. And a few shots of whatever hard stuff people had on hand. And I realize that an ounce of whiskey in the bush during Covid might be considered the equivalent of drinking under a bridge in normal times. Basically, an act of desperation. But these are desperate times. And standing distanced from friends and saluting them with a tiny beverage feels so normal and wonderful. Like a trip to Paris with good friends, some beautiful scenery and occasionally, cold feet.

4. Losing friends during Covid and not being able to do anything about it. Not attending their funeral, not providing any comfort, or even seeing their families in any real way. Also, not visiting seniors in nursing homes for such a long period of time.

5. Not being my cheerful self. It’s my thing. I’m generally a happy person, and right now I feel like the dark avenging angel on my shoulder is whispering bad things to me. Not to kill anyone or even rob a store. Maybe just hurt a few people’s feelings. So if I’ve done that, yeesh. Sorry. 

 I know we’re all (well, most of us) excited about getting the vaccine and resuming our lives. But feel free to add your own moments of loss if you’ve had any during this time. I don’t want to be the lone whiner. And I promise (shut up, dark angel!) to put my best foot forward from here on. I feel so much better! Do you?  

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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