Do I miss it? Oddly, somehow, I do.

Dear Feastlings,
We see it everywhere- people quitting their jobs, or rediscovering what’s important to them in the grand scheme of things. Maybe they’re not going back to an office and opting to remain remote; perhaps they’ve discovered how important it’s become to them to spend more time with their children or participate more in their education. But even those of us who’ve been constrained to keep doing more or less what they’ve been doing all along have learned some things about themselves over the past year and a half.

Yes, I do love seeing people again, happy and relaxed and able to feel comfortable enjoying a meal out. I love seeing people breaking bread with their friends again, whom they’ve missed for over a year. And of course, I love that we can now generate enough income to cover more of our costs.

But I don’t think it’s wrong to miss some of the admittedly few perks of pandemic living. A year ago, I’d finish work at 7:30 or 8. I could get up early and go for a bike ride, or do a little gardening, or read. A book. For enjoyment. And I still had time to write those long and cumbersome missives to all of you every day. Delighted as I am that I’m closer than I’ve been in a while to making ends meet, I do pine for the days where I didn’t have to scramble to the store to find ingredients that our purveyors came up short on, because we simply had no demand for them. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I miss not having to field the phone call about the unconstitutionality of our mask sign (spoiler alert: someone needs to learn what unconstitutional means, especially before they shell out for the lawyer they’ve promised to engage to sue us for asking our guests to wear a mask for the thirty or forty-five seconds it takes to walk to their table.) I miss not having to explain to someone that we still ask that they wear one even though they’ve addressed all worried of contagion by taking horse de-wormer, and I miss sitting down with my work family in a darkened restaurant, even if we were spread out six feet apart, to have a glass of wine and talk about our little lives, and about life writ large.

Now we’re just plain tired at the end of the night, for which each of us is grateful, undoubtedly, but I’d propose this, in a far less satirical way than, say, Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal: when the day finally comes that this is all behind us, and the crew here can make a living, and I’ve been able to take back out of the restaurant the tens of thousands of dollars that I’ve been shoveling into its gaping maw, let’s shut down for a bit, not because we have to, but because we want to. Let’s take a week, or even two, once in a while, and shutter our businesses, not out of fear, but out of self-indulgence. Let’s be with the people in our little bubbles, and go to bed early, and take those hikes or bike rides, and let’s open the bottle that we’d previously regarded as too good to open tonight. And let’s talk with our friends and family about how good it feels to do it because we want to do it, with no underlying worry about the friend who’s in the hospital, or how we’ll make a living much longer, or what the politics are of the person ranting in the grocery store.

I want that ultimate staycation, unfettered by all the stress and fear that came with the last one. Maybe I’ll have time to reread A Modest Proposal.

As for today, there’s a tiny snippet of that for those of you partaking in the Zoom wine tasting,

Not from around here…

the login to which can be found here:

Doug Levy is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Not from around here
Time: Sep 11, 2021 02:00 PM Arizona

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 830 5865 8516
Passcode: 647564

There’s also a menu, if you’re feeling pecking but don’t want to heat up the kitchen, here:

and with that, I leave you to wax nostalgic for the part of being shut down that you secretly or openly enjoyed. Have a lovely day.


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