The Planner

July 20, 2020 | New York, NY

For the first time in months, she reached into her desk drawer and pulled out her gold 2020 planner. She cracked it open and breathed in. It smelled new, filled with possibility for the year ahead. The year that she was going to get bangs.

It was right there in her last entry: “March 12, 2020: Get bangs.”

She’d sensed deep down that bangs would change her life. Perhaps (along with hiding some persistent acne), a sheet of hair against her forehead would make her feel young again, glowing with innocence, untethered to a life of daily minutiae. The only thing between the present moment and the woman she was meant to become was a good fringe.

She was pretty sure.

She’d never believed in conspiracies, but it was kind of strange that in the same week her life was supposed to change, a global pandemic hit. It felt a little too specific that they closed down all the salons and hordes of online articles warned women, “Do NOT cut your own bangs at home.” That we’d entered a time of major civil unrest and possibly the worst economy since the Great Depression – a period for which, she thought wistfully, bangs would have looked great.

She sighed – then opened her computer, made a donation to a trending charity, took a screenshot, posted it on her page, and went on with her day.

Maybe she’d have to wait until 2021 to change her life.

 

Worrios

SPONSORED CONTENT

Years from now, when far more advanced (and reasonably governed) humans study how we adapted to our abrupt new circumstances, they’ll notice we ate a whole lot more cereal.

Here at General Mills, we want to say, Thanks for that.

We know that when you’re digging through your cupboard in the wee hours of the night, you’re looking not just for food, but comfort – the kind that comes in a cardboard box filled with tiny grains reminiscent of a simpler time. And in the mornings, when you can’t tear your eyes away from the news, we know you just need a healthy standby that includes sugar in a fun, colorful way.

While we can’t take your troubles away, we can help you stuff them deep down in your stomach. That’s why we’re introducing WorriosTM.

Our newest cereal is for those of you worried about morning meetings being scheduled as you brush your teeth; unsure whether your pilot for “Friends, but on a cruise” will ever get picked up; stressed about your 2020 plans being delayed by a year (or two or three), having a less than desirable employment status, and other such things.

From the people who brought you Cheerios, here’s a cereal that’s truer to life. We’re not feeling so cheery these days. So, don’t worry – well actually, go ahead and worry with Worrios.

From the people who brought you Cheerios, here’s a cereal that’s truer to life. Each box of Worrios is filled with pulverized oats in the shape of an ‘O’ – or as we like to call it, a Woe.

Each box of Worrios is filled with pulverized oats in the shape of an ‘O’ – or as we like to call it, a Woe. Start by pouring some Worrios into a bowl of milk. Now, look into the bowl and face your Woes. If you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and dip your nose in your Woes. The first step towards making an annoyance go away is facing it.

Did that? Great! Now, sit with your Woes. Stir them around a little. You have ten minutes to reflect on them before they get soggy. (Unlike Cheerios, for which Time Until Soggy = 9 minutes, we’ve added an extra minute for you to stare at your bowl in melancholy.) When you feel ready, go ahead and eat your Woes.

Just like that, you’ll see your Woes be gone*. Do this as many times as you need until you feel better. Let (y)our Woes empower you.

(*Our nutritional breakfast may not literally obliterate your worries. But you will be well-fed for a few hours.)

Our tasty, toasty Woes of oats are chock-full of Vitamin B1 (more than corn, rice, and wheat!). Like their sister cereal, they’re grainy and savory – just how we know you love them – and come in multiple flavors: Original, Honey Nut, Fruity, Chocolate, Blueberry, and Banana. They may also help you lower your cholesterol, but we’re not allowed to say that anymore.

Anyway, is there anything more American than eating your emotions? At General Mills, we’re proud of making the food the world needs. What we eat should reflect who we are – and we’re worried.

Eat your woes with Worrios.

Disclaimer: These United Scrapes receives compensation every time a reader buys an imagined, yet necessary, product featured on this site.

 

Humpday Haiku #13

Love in the age of quarantine, Pt.II

You know you’re soulmates
because he uttered the words,
“I Swiffered the floor.”

Humpday Haiku #12

Love in the age of quarantine

Loud and passionate
arguments over the risks
of taking a stroll.

Quarantining: An Introvert’s Olympics

A Letter from Soné | April 2020

I have spent every second of the past twenty-something years trying to get out of plans. As my parents tell it, I “cried too much” as a baby – a conclusion that feels highly unfair, seeing that I didn’t want people looking at me. I just wanted to sleep.

I’m proud to say this quality has held up over the years. I’ve memorized the size any handbag needs to be to carry a paperback book, a list of excuses to dodge happy hour (“Sorry, doing my fifth load of laundry this week!”), and a list of powerful introverted women I can cite in case of the occasional side eye.

All that to say, when New York City entered lockdown mode in light of our latest supervillain (see: COVID-19), I realized: I’ve been training for this my whole life. I’ve arrived at the only Olympics I’ll ever be qualified to compete in and am going for gold.

Here’s how I get it done:

Rise and Shine!

What time do you wake up in the morning? 6AM? 9AM? It doesn’t matter – you don’t have anywhere to be. I suggest looking outside your window. See those houses, the (fewer) cars on the street, the people walking their dog?

You don’t have to talk to any of them today.

Revel in this as you shower. Allow yourself to sing the full rendition of The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” as someone bangs on the door to hurry up. What’s your family going to do, leave? Oh right, they can’t. You may as well be happy.

As you get dressed, reconsider your power outfit. What’s your current go-to: A classic white button-down? A structured plaid blazer? Step back and ponder the merits of those fleece-lined sweatpants that never held you back in any way.

When New York City entered lockdown mode in light of our latest supervillain, I realized: I’ve been training for this my whole life. I’ve arrived at the only Olympics I’ll ever be qualified to compete in.

Slew of Early Morning Conference Calls

No more gulping down your morning coffee as you sprint between meeting rooms! Take a few sips as someone says, “Can you guys hear me?” for the fourth time and reflect on the peace that comes with not worrying about a spill.

Also, no need to silently encourage yourself to Speak Up. The beauty of conference calls is that we’re all riding the same airwave.

Speak at any volume you want. You will be heard.

Lunch

Does your normal lunchtime routine consist of picking up a bowl from a fast-food joint and shoveling protein into your mouth? Let’s put that aside for now.

I highly suggest making a menu. Whether you title it “Quarantine Meal Menu” or “Dining Options at Chez [Your Name],” write down all the meals your cupboard currently allows you to make. Then, choose one and say it out loud.

Rather than slapping together two slices of bread, saying “I will have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a side of iced tea in a wine glass” means you are still dining. And therefore, you are still living.

Midday Slump

There will inevitably be a moment when you start puttering around your home like a lost meerkat looking for nuts. Get your claws on that drawer you’ve been meaning to clean out for eight months. Finding that local sandwich shop rewards card (one purchase left before a free sub!) and your friend’s baby shower invitation will have you reflecting how far you’ve come as a person.

Probably not that far.

There will inevitably be a moment when you start puttering around your home like a lost meerkat looking for nuts.

Midday Slump #2

Text all your friends (including the one who now has a 2-year-old baby) and invite them to FaceTime. Do this as often as possible, while you can spend quality time with them from the comfort of your couch. This ensures that when we’re past this mess, you will 1) Come out of it a social winner; 2) Be exempt from real plans because you’ve hung out with them plenty.

And that, after all, is the real prize.

Happy Hour

Celebrate your new lifestyle with a puzzle.

Evening Into Night

Personally, I’m a huge fan of putting on some lipstick, a French music playlist on Spotify, and revisiting my “Dining Options at Chez Soné.” No subway delays or windy weather to worry about when you’re going out to dinner…to your kitchen. And because the commute back to your bed is quick, you have time for an extra episode of Netflix’s “Love Is Blind.”

As you wind down, look out the window once again. The world is still here. You still have a roof over your head and a bed to rest your head on. So, think about what song you’ll sing in the shower as you prepare to stay in all over again.

And so it goes.

Until next time,

Soné

Humpday Haiku #11

Treasures found while deep-cleaning

An unused coupon
from Victoria’s Secret:
One Free Lace Panty.

Humpday Haiku #10

Life, generally.

Consistent proof that
you had it all figured out
at the age of 5.