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Sunday Lifestyle

Bored to death

Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura - The Philippine Star
Bored to death
But what else is there to do during this pandemic?
STAR/ File

What will I write about today? What have I been doing? What have I been wearing? What has changed in my life? Nothing very much because of this pandemic. Mostly I have been staying home except for going to the supermarket once in a while and almost fainting at the increased cost of groceries. I go because I have my own driver on Sundays. He used to work for me but after I got married I found him a job elsewhere. Now he works for me on Sundays for extra money. So either I send him on errands or I get dressed and go out to get some fresh air myself.

Five days of the week I spend making rosaries. I still have orders to meet. Then I made a promise to finish a number of rosaries a day. Often I am true to that promise but there are days when I don’t make my quota because my hands hurt. I have to rest them for one day, usually on my deadline day.

Making rosaries gets exciting as you go along. I learn much along the way and I can’t stop myself from innovating. I know that I stopped praying the rosary a long time ago because I kept falling asleep before it was over. Also I would get lost. I’m at the single bead between decades and wondering, Have I said the Glory Be? Did I say the Fatima prayer or am I at the Our Father of the next mystery? The traditional rosary beads don’t tell you very much. When you pray the decades you know those are all Hail Marys. But when you get to the single bead it baffles you unless you are fully concentrated. So that’s where I put my innovations. I really don’t know if these new things are truly mine or are they done through me? Sometimes I suspect the latter, but since I have no real way of knowing, they just happen.

I tell my husband to think of my workroom as my office, the creation of rosaries as my work. He knows I am not inflexible about my hours. Just that I must keep my promise of making so many rosaries a day.

What does one wear to work? Shorts and T-shirts. They make up my full wardrobe these days. Not very fashionable but, hey, who’s looking? What else is there to wear when you’re staying home all the time? When I go to the supermarket I get into pants and a shirt. Once, I put on makeup. I did it with much clumsiness but when I went out of the room, our househelp said, “Wow, maganda pala si ma’am.” But when I put on the double masks and the face shield, the looks disappear, so why bother?

However, that gave me an idea. I liked the way my husband looked at me when I had makeup on. So for three days afterwards I put on makeup. Discovered that one of my eyeliners had run dry and had to be thrown away. I was running out of face powder. I have to find a replacement soon. My husband looked at me that way twice but on the third day he didn’t notice anymore. So on the fourth day I quit. Who needs the sloppy makeup?

I have a confession. I have been watching a Turkish soap on TV. I’m already on Episode 70 of Black Money Love (what kind of a title is that?) and it’s not over yet. I watch it with the sound turned off because it has English subtitles, which are not in perfect English, but so what? It reminds me of when I was a child and my Lola loved to listen to Dr. Ramon Selga or Gulong ng Palad on the radio. That’s how slowly and complicatedly the plot evolves. Just when you think they’re catching the bad guy, the good-looking guy gets shot. Another slow twist, another slower turn. I don’t know why I watch it but I do. Maybe it’s because it’s easy to sleep through or walk away from. Not like Last Madame or The Good Doctor that would rush me through rosaries to the TV set.

But what else is there to do during this pandemic? I don’t watch local news because I can’t stand the faces of the present administration. I have to stay home almost all of the time and do my work through my computer or my cellphone. We hardly see anyone because of COVID, which we are not getting because of the meds I sell. It protects us, I am tempted to think, because we have not been touched by the epidemic.

But then we are old and retired. We are used to staying home but not accustomed to being told not to go out. So we are stuck here, bored and boring you almost to death. So sorry.

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