Smith Says

SMITH: COVID-19 has brought an end to the handshake

Random thoughts while folding clothes. (My tombstone will read: “Laundry was her spirit animal.”)

• I’m on the second season of Grace & Frankie. People said it was funny, but it’s hilarious! And Jane Fonda’s figure is GOALS.

• Will hand-shaking ever come back in style? I’m a shaker (and a hugger, if we’re friends), but I honestly think that habit is over.

• Am I the only one who blows a diet on Wednesday and then just says, “Eh, that’s it for the week”?

Today I ate healthy—broiled salmon and broccoli. But I put tartar sauce on the salmon and ranch on the broccoli, which isn’t great.

Then I was still hungry, so I had a protein bar which turned out to have 22 grams of carbs, thus negating the salmon and broccoli. What the heck--I then made nachos with cheese and salsa, because why not as this point? I put ranch on that, too. (I put ranch on everything, and it drives Widdle insane.) Up tomorrow: Fried eggs and frozen yogurt.

• There are two things I miss desperately: Going out for wine and appetizers, and getting books from the library.

I’m still scared to do the first one, but I’ll be standing at the door for the second one. If it’s raining, I’ll be waiting in my car, clutching my library card with sweaty hands.

Newspaper deadlines being what they are, the library may be open by the time you read this. If so, be assured I was first in line. I can always drink wine and eat chicken wings at home, but nothing replaces going to the library. NOTHING. Thinking about all those new books being shelved leaves me weak in the knees.

• Remember renting? When you didn’t have to worry about termites, paying property taxes, fixing the roof, replacing a hot water heater or cutting grass?

Some days—when the pipes clog, or we find more wood rot on the porch--I get nostalgic about renting. Of course, that was back when a two-bedroom apartment in Wilmington, N.C. was $400 a month—in a beautiful complex with two swimming pools and a park, across from the college. The complex is still there, but a two-bedroom now goes for a cool $1,200.

• I wash and sanitize my hands so much, polish peels off after two days, so I quit doing my nails. ‘Rona has made us more low-maintenance.

• Speaking of maintenance, all I can do with my hair now is laugh. If I try to dye the roots it will just be a disaster my hairdresser has to fix, so I’ll wait. In the meantime, don’t judge my 2.5 inches of gray roots.

• I’ve been back at work for about five weeks now, thank God. Turns out I’m not great at staying home. There are only so many books you can read and movies you can watch. Netflix is amazing, but too much of it is like eating four Reese Cups: You feel nauseated and hate yourself a little.

• OK, ignore what I just said. Immediately, if not sooner, treat yourself to “After Life” starring Ricky Gervais, who also wrote and directed. It’s hilarious, sad, tender, profane and utterly original: How does an atheist who doesn’t believe in life after death cope when his wife dies? (My favorite character was Pat the nosy postman. Or Daphne, the soft-hearted sex worker.)

• Costco chickens are huge and cheap, but tough and flavorless. On the other hand, their pre-cooked Mediterranean chicken skewers are to die for. Life is better when you’re eating chicken on a stick.

Julie R. Smith, who thinks about food 24/7, can be reached at