Love in the time of COVID-19


My sister, my brother, and me at a rest stop in Texas. Those rest stops had bathrooms. Wow. I can’t believe I thought I was fat.

I hope you are all well. I hope the worst thing in your life right now is that you are either bored or going nuts from being cooped up in the house or both and not that you have discovered to your shock and horror that you have friends and family members who not only think this whole virus is a big hoax but also that they are determined to go out and be in crowds because even if it is true, it’s “only old people who die.”

Which – I can’t even talk about that.

I had to block someone on Facebook for that.

I wanted to argue. I wanted to say, “You mean your grandparents? That kind of old people?”

But – has arguing on Facebook ever won anyone anything?

Let’s step away from the virus for a few minutes and forget about reality and return to the days when our biggest – my biggest problem was finding a place to pee.

Mr T and I were in Spain a few weeks ago. We rented a car, which is not my favorite thing to do in a foreign country because the rules are different.

Mr T had wanted to park in the space that came with the apartment we had rented, but this is what the streets looked like:

You can’t even see the tight corners that go with these streets, but believe me they are there. The nice thing, though, is that Spanish drivers and pedestrians co-exist nicely. They appear to view the street as a shared resource.

I mean, the pedestrians move when the cars come, but still.

Mr T, despite wanting to win some coveted Man Award For Driving In A Medieval European Mountain City, agreed to park the car on the outskirts of town, where the roads were wider and flatter.

Then we had to drive from Teruel to Cuenca to catch the train to Madrid (Mr T had worked all this out with logrithms and calculus and whatever – that this was the Best Deal – we are more or less aligned on our approach to money), which meant I had to put up with more Driving In A Foreign Country, which is Stressful, but he showed me the map – wide roads, few mountains – and promised that the Avis return place was on the outskirts of Cuenca, not in the city, which turned out to be mostly true.

Here’s a hint:

Never ever ever rent a car in Paris. That is, never return a car in Paris. EVER.

Paris is still designed to foil the Germans. (Or whoever might invade.) The streets are crooked and you can’t find the street names and even if you could, it wouldn’t matter because they change every few blocks.

Mr T and I are still married despite having to return a car by 7 p.m. in Paris and that’s all I will say about that except I still have PTSD. Did you know there is a peripherique – a ring road? – in Paris? WE DID NOT!

Back to Spain.

And toilets.

I heart Spain. I really do. I think I could move there and live there the rest of my life and be happy.


Where on earth do Spanish women pee?



That sign you see in the photo above?



I was so excited.

Because I needed to pee.

Because dos cafes con leche for breakfast, y’all.


We stopped.

There were picnic tables.

But no restrooms.


But I had to pee.

What’s a woman to do?


I did what women have done since the dawn of time.

We do what needs to be done.

I walked along the path, through the bushes, until I found a spot where I could not be seen by the road.

And I realized that this was The Spot.

The Spot that others had used as well.

How did I know that?

Because – how do I put this delicately?

I don’t think there is a way.


There are schools of thought, apparently, about peeing in the wild.

I had always thought that if one does that, one leaves as few traces as possible.

As in, one pees and that’s it.

One suffers the consequences of some – discomfort.

One does not leave evidence.

OK. I will say it.


And yet – this spot – AND SPAIN I SAY THIS WITH LOVE – was littered with toilet paper AND THAT’S JUST WRONG.

  1. It’s environmentally really bad
  3. If you have to use the TP, you need to take the TP with you. YOU DO NOT LEAVE IT BEHIND ON THE GROUND FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO SEE

The end.

PS I still don’t have a job. Now I probably never will.








3 thoughts on “Love in the time of COVID-19

  1. B) Don’t Spanish mothers tell their daughters about carrying an extra ziplock bag?
    a) All is well and boring here now. Last week I started a part time job (only half a day a week – sorry – but it’s not anything you would be interested in doing and not worth moving here from there) and now they are furloughing everyone. Part of my “job” is consulting on HR, tho, so perhaps I will get an extra week or two out of that!

    How many old movies can you watch? Today we went out and drove around town looking at new construction just to get out. And, thank goodness, it’s turning spring here, so there’s plenty I can do in the garden.

    All you can do now is see if you can find some online seminars to take, etc. to enhance your already great skills and wait it out. It ain’t gonna be pretty for anyone. Can your husband go back to engineering? But hang in there, and it will eventually get better.


    1. We are both looking for ways to help in our neighborhood – we have checked in on our elderly and otherwise vulnerable neighbors and will be passing our flyers for our neighborhood association tomorrow telling vulnerable people how to get help with grocery shopping, etc. (And we have volunteered to help with the shopping and other chores.) We both feel so helpless. Mr T is looking for engineering projects to help with, as well – fast development of breathing apparatus, etc. We have signed up with every volunteer group we can find – it is an advantage of unemployment right now!


  2. Years ago I was in Cyprus visiting my SIL and we were traveling around and walked into a public bathroom ( I think it was near a monastery of some sort?) it was the most beautiful bathroom with marble everywhere and beautiful wooden doors. We opened the doors and laughed because in each stall with this beautiful marble there was just a hole in the floor! Seriously though take care!


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