Wheaton’s Way

My Christmas list has changed

When Premier Alden McLaughlin said earlier this week that they could be easing some of the COVID-19 regulations by Monday, and in increments after that, it was like Christmas all over again.

I used to look forward to unwrapping my favourite perfume or the latest mobile device; now I’d just be ecstatic about a new faucet and a refrigerator repair kit. Are those air-conditioning filters under the tree? How did Santa know??!

It’s bananas the things we’re used to being able to access easily, and it’s only when we can’t get them that we really notice their absence. For example, the inset bulbs in my bathroom ceiling are kinda specialty, which means you can’t get them in the supermarkets.

I don’t know if it is coincidence – or if someone up above thinks that the less I see of myself in the mirror at the moment, the better – but over the last two months, those bulbs have systematically burnt out, leaving me with none in operation. In the middle of the night I can just about make out where the toilet is without lunging into the bathtub, and a Halloween skull nightlight I found in a box of seasonal decorations guides the way to the sink. It all brings a bit of excitement that was previously lacking in my life.

The same home stores that carry those precious bulbs also stock the elusive round batteries needed to bring my bathroom scales back to life, but let’s just say I’m not as bothered about righting that terrible wrong.

Meanwhile, I don’t know if the rest of the island has been glued to HGTV for the past month, but everyone seems to be itching to take on some home projects since the shelter-in-place regulations took effect. Frankly, I’d rather eat an entire jar of pickled eggs than paint my house, but that’s just me.

My brain is slowly turning into Swiss cheese due to limited socialising – I’m convinced of it. I love watching ‘Jeopardy!’ and I used to be good with the answers. Now, I’m all, “Oo! What is … the thing, that actress, the one that was in … you know, the film with the cowboys.”


Local charity One Dog At A Time has started running an online quiz every Saturday night to raise money. My best friend Lynne and I decided we’d sign up for the first one, which was all about the TV show ‘Friends’. It was multiple choice and we still managed to come 68th in a field of 73 teams. How is that even possible? Are we related to Joey? This Saturday, the subject is ‘Star Wars’. Learning my lesson from the last time, I will be changing our team name from VickiLynne to Anonymous.

Is anyone else applying and then reapplying deodorant in the morning because no one can be expected to remember what they did five minutes ago? No? Just me?

Last week, I searched everywhere for my car keys, keen to get out for my shopping day. We looked under cushions, in handbags, on countertops and under papers; they were nowhere to be found. After at least 20 minutes on the fruitless quest, I suddenly wondered. Sure enough, I had left them on the car bumper … from the night before. I keep a vat of chicken feed in the back of my vehicle. No further explanation necessary.

In retrospect, maybe it’s best that when the hardware stores finally open, I don’t visit them – or at least not until I’m operating on all cylinders. Home repairs should be carried out by the cognisant. If you see me there, please don’t help me find the hammers aisle.

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