Big Comfort = Bigger Pants – By Janie DeVos

     Going through this shelter-in-place order for some weeks now has caused me to do things that make me realize how strange yet interesting human nature is.  As our daily routines have become anything but routine from what they were just a short time ago, I find that my body, mind and spirit are craving those things that bring me basic comfort.  In the body category, things like hamburgers and French fries, fudge royal ice cream, chicken wings and pizza are frequently on the menu.  I heard a comedian on TV a couple of weeks ago talk about how we’re all going to gain fifty pounds from staying at home so much.  I laughed at his joke then, but I think once I forego the sweatpants and oversized t-shirts for a pair of skinny jeans and knit top, the painful truth will be realized.
In trying to be a little more mindful about what I’m putting in my body these days, I made a very healthy hummus for us on Easter Sunday.  The day before, I donned my mask and gloves, and worked my way down the vegetable aisle in the grocery store, selecting cucumbers and carrots to eat with our hummus; my attempt at creating a healthy snack was very ambitious.  As predicted, the carrots and cukes were great for scooping up my yummy hummus, but the Fritos were, too.  Those were able to scoop up so much more per each dipping than the healthy, skinny-girl veggies could.  Oh, well, I tried.
When it comes to comforting the mind, I’ve found that watching lightweight movies like Caddy Shackor Sideways, or sappy, feel-good movies, like any and all Hallmark Christmas flicks, work real well for me now, too.  Gone are the tearjerkers or deeper films, like Still Alice, or One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.  And funny books, like Carl Hiaasen’s Skinny Dip, or anything by Erma Bombeck, are turn-to’s on a daily basis. 
Comforting the spirit is an interesting part of this isolating process now, as well.  Today, worship services are attended by sitting in front of one’s computer and watching one’s pastor, priest or rabbi on Zoom.  There are no weekly gatherings at our churches and synagogues, where the shaking of hands or hugs of welcome were as common and expected as the passing of the offering plate.  Today, the dipping of bread in a communal chalice would be such an infraction of what we’re allowed to do, we’d probably be thrown into the pokey for a night or two to reflect on the potential harm our actions may have caused.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for following the guidelines set in place in order to reduce the spread of this horrific virus, and I’m diligent about practicing them to the tee.  But, unquestionably, these days are strange ones, strange ones, indeed.  Now, back to this chicken wings and French fry situation…
I heard on the news the other day that eating comfort foods is like receiving a hug.  If that’s the case, I’ve received more hugs than I did on the day I graduated, got married or had my first book published…combined.  In all fairness to myself, I just bought an air fryer so I had to use it, and use it often in order to get the hang of the thing.  So, as a form of new appliance experimentation, I’ve cooked wings, fries, and eggrolls in it.  And just to be sure that I’m becoming well-adept at using the contraption, I’m going to try some pot stickers later today—pot stickers I ordered on QVC.  Oh, did I happen to mention that home shopping networks and internet purchases have become great sources of comfort for me, too? 
Amazon is my higher power.