We all have a little Jack Torrance in us right now
I remember back when quarantine first started and I was a sweet, innocent, summer child who thought all this forced family togetherness would be nice. After all, getting my tweens to hang out with me these days isn’t always easy, and now, we had endless hours to do puzzles, go on walks, bake cookies, and just bond. I know now how naive I was all those weeks ago because the way this would go down was in front of us all along.
Because no, my friends, we are not the first humans to try this total isolation experiment. Jack Torrance showed us decades ago the hazards of a family spending months together all cooped up at home — I mean, shit went that badly and they had an entire hotel to escape each other in. How did we not see this coming? That’s why it only makes sense to lay out the stages of quarantine in gifs from the classic horror film The Shining.
The Early Stages
Week 1. You’re fresh AF. Still styling the hair and wearing real clothes because “it just feels better.” A few months at home with no real-life intrusions? No relentless youth sports schedule to build your whole week around? No PTO coffee hours? No commute? Giddy up.
This will be great. We’ll take daily nature walks and post dreamy photos on Facebook. This is it. The life we were meant to live.
But it soon sets in that one constructive activity per day isn’t enough. They always want to play.
So eventually, you kinda let that vision of perfect togetherness and a stimulating homeschool curriculum go in favor of free-range arts and crafts hour/nap time.
Meanwhile, working from home is going just swimmingly. Trying to get everything done while also peeling your feral child off of you every 15 minutes? A sure recipe for career success.
Like, stop asking so many questions and I’ll give you more screen time, kid. How much are we paying teachers again? TRIPLE IT.
The Middle Stages
A daily happy hour is now extremely a thing.
Kinda had to. Life was getting, shall we say, monotonous.
The kids are stir-crazy.
Like, how much longer can we stay cooped up like this? How many more questions can my first-grader ask? How long until we can casually browse TJ Maxx again in person? How early exactly can I start happy hour?
The Late Stages
The kids have started sleeping past 9am and you now fight them to make their daily class Zoom meetings. And to put on pants. Fuck it. Nothing matters anymore. Go pantsless, kid. Just don’t stand up.
The cabin fever is here.
WHY ARE WE OUT OF TITO’S AGAIN.
WHY WON’T THESE GOD DAMN KIDS STOP TALKING.
WHY DOES MY SPOUSE EAT CEREAL LIKE THAT.
WHY CAN’T I FIND ANY YEAST AT THE GROCERY STORE AND WHY WON’T PEOPLE WEAR MASKS.
NO SERIOUSLY DO YOU HAVE TO CHEW THAT LOUDLY HONEY.
And we all know how it ends.
Just… order some fun crap on Amazon. Lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour and ignore everyone. Eat half a cake. Do whatever you gotta to come out in one piece.
It will all be ok in the end — just maybe don’t watch this movie again until this is over.
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