Hey! I’m dealing with insomnia again. So, daytime sleepiness combined with perpetual paperwork to get Ian into the community college system and day trips with the autistic kid are conspiring to keep me away from blogging. Which is annoying, because I have a lot to say.
Sometimes I feel like we’re at the end of the world. Nothing works right.
Just getting Ian enrolled at the local community college has been awful. Their pointlessly confusing online enrollment system required assistance from a real live human being. Because nobody answers the phone, I had to go down to the college to get answers from workers who are pissed off at being back at work. It took hours.
Ian still needs an ID, registration with special services, and an appointment to take the English entrance exam. That’s many more hours. I don’t even know what to say about all that. People who depend on public services, like education and welfare and housing, are totally screwed.
Ian needs to take the written part of the driver’s test. The earliest available test is on October 1, two hours away in South Jersey.
Our neighbors just came back from a week’s vacation. They said that it took three hours to get through baggage area to security at Newark airport. They told me that they were worried that someone was going to get violent. Amanda Mull at The Atlantic talks about recent airline horror stories. She said that people are indeed awful right now, but that American customers have always been rude.
My friends in retail and small business like to delight us with stories about awful customers. One friend who worked at Banana Republic told me that a woman came up to her with a micro-mini and said that she wanted my friend to turn it into a maxi skirt for her. A BFF who owns a local ice cream shop talks about people coming in demanding dairy-free ice-cream from her neighborhood shop. So, yeah, customers are always rude, but right now, people are angry.
People are on a very short fuse right now, because simple everyday tasks take longer, cost more money, and aren’t as good quality. I expect that the process for signing up for a college class at a community college should take ten minutes or less, not weeks. I expect an hour wait at the airport, not three. I expect to pay $20 for dinner at a restaurant, not $40.
On top of that reduced quality of life, there are never-ending questions: Do we mask? Is that back again? Who isn’t vaccinated? Why aren’t they vaccinated? Do we need to carry around cards? Are the kids going back to school? Will I be able to work, if my kids are back at home? How far behind did my kids fall last year? Will they get extra help in the fall? Will I have enough money to get my car fixed?
I am trying to not be angry, but I have to admit that there are times when I think back fondly on those months when I only directly interacted with my family. Hermits don’t find themselves waiting on line at the community college admissions office.