I have social distanced from activities, family and friends, stores, but what I really need to do is social distance myself from the kitchen. Being home all the time is causing my appetite to surge like a Space X rocket. 

I blame it on boredom. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to do – clean closets, yard work and all that, but it’s not fun. Used to be, back in January, or Pre-C, I’d spend my time going out – you know, with friends and family, volunteering, shopping, book club meetings, luncheons. I’d style my hair and look at all my clothes, get exasperated because I didn’t have anything to wear, start combining my sad glad rags to try and get a new look, create a pile of discards on the floor that I’d hang back up later. After much time and energy I’d leave my house, finally happy to be seen in public.

It gave me something to do. First thing most mornings: walk with a friend wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Then back home, shower, change into nicer jeans and top. Blow dry and hairspray my hair, put on makeup, pick out different shoes – not the muddy ones from the walk. Later, for the evening adventure, try on several outfits, shoes, necklaces, scarves. Hang the rejects back up. Re-do my hair and makeup. Maybe give myself a pedicure.

Now, with just my husband and me here alone, unless I have a Zoom meeting, I dress in baggy, somewhat clean clothes in the morning, let my drab hair hang limp, never wear makeup.

I have nothing to do but eat.

Out of boredom I’m making a lot of food from scratch. I’m no cook. These things don’t taste too good. My husband won’t even try them. So I have to eat it all or it goes to waste. It goes to waist instead. Every day I eat healthy meals – chili, a green leafy salad, and a carrot and red pepper and broccoli or some other veggie on the side. Then the battle starts in my head – one side begging me to lose the ten pounds I’ve gained over the last few months, the other side repeating a mantra of “popcorn, popcorn, popcorn.”

You wanna know which side wins nearly every night? The butter side. The only reason I eat popcorn is to get the nearly ½ cup of butter I pour over it. I love butter. See that cellulite covering my thighs? It’s buttered popcorn. It even looks like popcorn.

After that there’s the chocolate chip argument. No! You don’t need it. I’ll just eat a few. No. No. No. Then it’s off the couch to the kitchen to get the bag of semi-sweet Toll House morsels. I eat them one at a time while we’re watching our evening movie because we never go out anymore. In the course of a two-hour movie I can allow each individual chocolate chip to slowly melt in my mouth and still get through half a bag. I NEED that chocolate.

My stomach has stretched like a pair of polyester pants and it will hold anything I stuff in there. It never gets enough. I may feel lay-on-my-back-with-my-belly-in-the-air-moaning-like-I’ve-just-eaten-a-Thanksgiving-dinner full after every meal, but it’s never enough. Last night we Thai takeout, and I had Panang curry which used to be all I’d get, but I was a little hungry after vacuuming so I added a whole ‘nother meal of stir-fried vegetables AND Thai pudding, which turned out to be a big tub of gelatinous tapioca beads in a sweet pink sauce with an inch of heavy sweet coconut cream on top. I ate it first, then scarfed all the rest around 6:30pm, moaned through the first part of Gidget, and by 7:30 my stomach wanted the other half of that bag of chocolate chips.

Sometime in the future after everyone’s been given the COVID-19 vaccine, I hope they develop a shot that will make people eat small, healthy, non-fattening meals while simultaneously being repulsed by all the good comfort stuff like chips and dips and crackers and butter. Right now, every food on earth is a comfort to me.

Thank goodness I don’t go anywhere anymore. I’d have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Fat squeezes out the top of my pants. My face is puffy. The belly runneth over.

Oh my, all this thinking is giving me an appetite. I need something crunchy. I hope there’s enough stuff here to make nachos. I need something sweet. Maybe I’ll drive down to Salt and Straw and stand in line with my mask on to get a pint of their amazing honey lavender ice cream, and maybe a pint of salted, malted, chocolate chip cookie dough.

I can start social distancing from my refrigerator tomorrow.

Or maybe the next day.