The third roundup of readers’ regrettable behavior underscores the fact that, for many, shame comes from enjoying the Safer at Home order more than they think they should.
For others, the rule-flouting comes in the form of not staying at home when they know they should. (If you missed the previous two installments, the first deals with hoarding and playing work-from-home hooky and the second catalogs must-read confessions of illicit haircuts and hookups.)
Now on to the latest batch of confessions.
Shutdown? I’m lovin’ it!
- It simply hasn’t been that difficult for me to stay isolated. Clearly I’m more comfortable being isolated than I realize because much of the time I am not even thinking about what’s going on outside. I’m extremely comfortable doing my own thing. I guess I’m more of an introvert than I realized.
- Before COVID-19, I had already long isolated myself. I worked from home before I retired and, during retirement, I’ve stayed mostly at home and ordered all my groceries online. Because of COVID-19, much of the world is now living my chosen life, and when they complain and moan about it, it makes me feel like a freak.
- I finally have a solid reason for not visiting my in-laws. Believe me, this has been so restorative for my emotional health.
- I’m finding new places around the house to be alone, a different chair with a special snack, hand-sewing a seam that would have been taken to a tailor [and] streaming classical music concerts on my laptop in my office.
- I’ve developed Stockholm Syndrome. I’m falling in love with COVID-19, my captor. No more twice-daily, hour-plus commutes on the 405 [Freeway]. No more bras, high heels and other uncomfortable clothing items. Hello to sleeping in; cheers to evening cocktails on the patio and the luxury of abundant time.
- Unlike everyone I know, I don’t really want to get back out there. Before, I was all over the place all the time and traveled a ton. For what? I have all I need right here.
- I know people are suffering, but I love the much slower pace, the clean air, the uncrowded roadways, the sounds of birds chirping and other benefits of these strange days.
- I love staying in all weekend. I don’t really like people that much anyway. Finally I’m relieved of having to make up stories about fake social events for coworkers each Monday.
- I feel strangely guilty because the pandemic has hardly affected me at all. Sure, I’m a little annoyed at the things I can’t get from the grocery store, but I have more clients now than before. And my net income is growing.
- I am germaphobic and am secretly glad that, for once, everyone else has to experience the same anxiety I live with — and try to hide — every day.
- I’ve always felt isolated. I’m extroverted, but it’s usually three to nine weeks before I spend time with people outside of my home. I’m not anybody’s first choice [of someone] to hang out with. I actually feel less isolated now because I know people aren’t choosing to not spend time with me.
- I’m already lazy so this is right up my alley.
- I am worried that I like staying at home so much that it will be difficult to go out and do things again.
- I just secretly love not having to maintain a social life. Dog. Couch. Takeout. Heaven.
- The quarantine life of others and my regular life is pretty much the same.
- This situation has given me a good excuse to cut out the toxic people in my life. I’ll just ignore their calls and texts, and maybe they’ll eventually assume I’m dead. Or they’ll just die, whichever comes first.
- I am enjoying the stay-at-home order. My neighborhood is quieter, and I appreciate that parents will have to spend more time with their kids instead of shoving them off to school, sports, etc. It is my hope that some parents will no longer tolerate obnoxious behavior from their kids.
- I’m secretly unafraid of the economy crashing. Because of my choices, I already will live hand-to-mouth for the rest of my life, and having company will reduce the shame.
- I’m feeling really guilty because I’m at home (with a nice backyard) and I’m getting my full salary and my workload is very light. Also I’m able to get stuff done around the house that I’ve been unable to do for years.
- As a hermit, this isn’t so different for me. Pre-quarantine, I’d leave my house to go to work, run errands and occasionally hear music or go to the beach. Now I don’t even have to go to work anymore! Win!
What Safer at Home order?
- My husband and I are going to go out of town to an oceanfront vacation rental for the weekend. We can’t tell anyone we’re going because we know we’ll be shamed for ignoring the stay-at-home rule and doing something that is “not for the greater good.”
- My wife and I live off of Topanga Canyon and the 101 Freeway, and since we can be on the sand in 12 minutes, we go fairly often to walk on the beach. A couple weeks ago, when the rain finally stopped, I decided we needed to get to a beach. (I’m the guy who thinks the rules don’t apply to him.) So we started driving north on PCH and found all parking along the highway was blocked off until you get past the Ventura County line! Once we passed Neptune’s Net, which had a line of cars waiting to get in the parking lot, we found a space to park and walked down to the beach. And we were not the only ones there without masks! It was beautiful. The sun was shining, waves crashing and we had our toes in the sand. And, for about an hour, we totally forgot about the rest of the world and COVID-19.
- I’ve driven over 100 mph several times in the middle of the night when coming home from work. I don’t miss the bumper-to-bumper, rush-hour traffic at all.
- Discovering that there was virtually no traffic while commuting to Glendale from Redondo Beach to renovate a newly vacant apartment, I took advantage and hit some amazing iconic L.A. takeout restaurants all over the city. There were few lines, and I made it back to Redondo each day with something yummy — usually in 30 minutes!
- I’ll go check the mail again after 30 minutes just for fun — even if I know it’s still empty.
- I sneak to the beach where no one can see and lie in the sand with my dog.
- I take extra-long going to check the mail and getting the newspaper because that’s the only thing I find joy in.
- My toddler son and I visit my mom every weekend and hang out in her big backyard in Pasadena.
- I have a family-bubble quarantine with another family so that our kids can play with each other. It keeps the kids and parents sane. Our nanny, who lives with us, goes home once a week.
- I sneak onto the closed beaches at night.
- We snuck into Wisconsin to self-isolate at our cabin. We have had no contact with Wisconsin residents but, as Minnesotans, we’re feeling sheepish. Saw four boats on our lake on Saturday. The fishing opener!
- I’m a cyclist and I’ve been hitching my bike to my car, driving long distances out of L.A. County and going for bike rides out in the desert or down around San Diego or up by Santa Barbara. The way I see it, while it might technically violate stay-at-home orders, I’m not harming anyone. I’m doing it solo, bringing my own food and drink, sanitizer and wearing face coverings if I do have to encounter someone like at a gas station or wherever. I live in a cramped apartment complex, so anyone with a house and backyard who wants to criticize me is kindly invited to go shove it.
- I’ve been traveling from L.A. to my parents’ house in San Diego to do laundry. I don’t have a washer or dryer and feel safer making the trip every few weeks to their house than I would going to the laundromat. I know it’s selfish and I shouldn’t be putting them at risk. But they’re OK with me coming down, and it’s nice to be with other people since I live alone.
- A group of us get together every Sunday for a dog walk at the university. Everyone but the dogs stay six feet away. Every week there are a few more dogs and their owners. It is so successful now kids are coming too. We make the action at the beach look tame! I think my dogs like it even better than I do.
- I go on drives around L.A. I don’t exit my car, but it is nice to see the ocean and the city.
- I refused to refund a guest’s vacation rental deposit even when they begged as their restaurant had to close and they couldn’t make rent. I caused my longtime Airbnb Superhost partner to quit.
The grab bag of shameful behavior
- I ruined my $2,000 dining-room table by spraying disinfectant on it. It now looks diseased. I put a tablecloth over it and hope my family won’t notice.
- I still mock people who take the pandemic too seriously and those who don’t take it seriously enough.
- I hope that coronavirus conspiracy theorists become infected with the coronavirus.
- Science long ago proved that we need hugs daily! In this time of isolation, I concluded my friendly little 9-pound terrier dog needed me just as much or more than I needed him. While he has always been satisfied to lie on my lap or against my leg as I sat on the couch, I decided I needed more. Although this confession is not shame-inducing or rule-flouting, I wanted to share my unusual behavior. At least once a day — sometimes three or four times a day — I lay my little doggie’s flattened belly up on my bare chest, and we hug. Sometimes we stand still. Sometimes we walk around. And sometimes we dance. Although dancing is my favorite hug, it’s his least favorite. He loves me to just walk around while we hug. Seriously!
- I hate living with people. I have two of my three roommates living here right now, and it’s just too much for me. They’re good people, although I’m considering if I am after all this. It’s just that I need my space. Placing a value on my independence has never come up before. I guess it’s pushing $1,800 per month at the moment.
- I consider myself a rather liberal thinker with a penchant for researching and educating myself. While I do my part wearing masks in public, sanitizing often, nodding and acknowledging people’s contamination fears, I also find myself at least giving the benefit of the doubt to some conspiracy theories that are making the rounds about coronavirus origins and public figures attached to them, to some degree. Why demonize theories that might be grounded in some facet of truth? This is how history has led us from whispers to governments eventually confirming “those long-held rumors.” I don’t share my thoughts with others at work, observing that society now generally frowns upon anybody who doesn’t hold the same ideology as the masses or applies critical thinking. It makes me cringe to know that perhaps my point of view translates into a more conservative view of the pandemic but, deep down inside, I also look forward to finding out what’s true and what’s far-fetched.
If you have some pandemic-era bad behavior to confess, we’re still taking submissions here. We can’t guarantee we’ll publish them all, but we’re pretty sure you’ll feel better getting your thoughts off your chest. Be sure to check back on Memorial Day when we’ll air a fresh batch of dirty laundry.