all that red tape...

Follow the fabulous Karlyn Butler on Twitter: @karbutler1

Day 12 of Quarantine – Just kidding…I have zero idea what day of quarantine this country is on, better yet, I don’t even know what day of the week it is. Every day is pretty much the same: I wake up, have some cereal, sit on the couch, take a nap (my boyfriend says it can’t be considered a nap because, hell, I’ve only been awake for ten minutes before I “nap”), then maybe sit at my desk and try to do some work. Work for online law courses that have recently become graded on a pass/fail system – we can talk about this at another time – but before I move on from that, I have to ask…does anyone realize how hard it is to not drink alcohol while at home listening to a professor talk, for over an hour??!? Let me tell ya, I lasted two classes before the bottle of Prosecco was on my desk, sitting right next to my laptop. I think my next purchase is a mini-fridge for my office.

DISCLAIMER: I do take COVID-19 seriously and I do understand how important it is to stop the spread. However, I need to share what it is like venturing out at this time. I woke up this morning, and, yes, I also took a nap. But then I decided today was not going to be like every other day…today I am going to venture out into the world! Full disclosure: I decided today was the day because I needed more lounge clothes. I am so sick and tired of doing laundry. Washing the same pajamas and lounge clothes almost every day. Shit, I can’t even remember the last time I put on jeans or even a bra for that matter. I also needed groceries, so I figured Target would be perfect…I could get lounge clothes and groceries all at the same place. Score! So, there I was, walking into Target (with two Clorox wipes to clean the cart). I cleaned my cart, which, realistically, probably didn’t do much but I found some pajamas, then made my way to the grocery section, where there were cans of beans and plenty of mac & cheese. Please, I stocked up on that 3 weeks ago when every other American was buying toilet paper! I then decided it was time to check out and go to Shaws (a grocery store)…maybe I would be one of the lucky ones to get some chicken!

At the checkout lane and I place my clothes on the belt. Instantly, the cashier yells, “BACK UP!” O.K. so I backed up to the very end of the belt and placed my clothes on the belt. I then made my way to the credit card machine; well THAT was a mistake, as the clerk quickly yelled, “YOU NEED TO WAIT UNTIL I BACK UP.” Honestly, I kind of just stood there with a look of what the fuck is going on. He took 2 steps back and then I said, “um can I pay now?” He said yes but as I approached the machine I realized the cashier did not let me put my cell phone number in, and if any of you shop at Target, you know how important this is….it is the only way to save money. I asked him if I could put my number in for the Target Store Circle Rewards. With a clear look of frustration, he said, “you need to take a few steps back so I can approach my computer.” Well, now I’m just entertained, so I backed up as far as I could and gave him, and probably gave everyone else in the store my cell phone number as I screamed it a good 15 feet away. Long and short of it, I paid, I got my lounge clothes and made my way to Shaws.

I park at Shaws, proudly grab my reusable bags and walk into the entrance to get a cart (with my Clorox wipes, of course). I see cones outside, lined up in front of the building - I thought they were there to protect the flowers outside - but, now looking back, the cones were there to create an organized line to enter the store. I see a police officer at the entrance where the carts are and he shouts, “Ma’am, Ma’am…no, no, no, you…. No, nope can’t do that!” I became aware that I was now the “ma’am” he was speaking to because he explained I was not allowed to bring in my reuseable bags. I turned around and returned them to my car. Next, I went into the store and I went to the Deli section. There, the deli man yelled at me because I “got too close to the counter and stepped over the red tape.” Red tape? How did I miss that? No idea…but I did. At this point, I am flustered and stepped back to the red tape and asked for “‘Stop and Shop’ Brand Roast Beef…..” Not only did I ask for it, I screamed it because I was backed up to the red tape. There I was, mistakenly yelling Stop and Shop brand while in Shaws. Needless to say, the deli man was not very nice after that. Thankfully, this Shaws sells beer and wine, so I ran, grabbed some prosecco, ran to the check-out line – where I made sure I remained on the tape – and paid for my Shaw’s Roast Beef and Prosecco.

I came home, put my new pajamas in the wash, and poured myself a glass of prosecco. Clearly, I need to get out more so I can properly conform with these new rules. Actually, I think staying home, in my new pajamas, with an occasional trip to the liquor store will have to suffice.


Before and After, 2015