Jan. 6 was a good day for me personally.
The violence at the Capitol sort of took the shine off of everything, but before that happened, I was just thrilled with the way the world was unfolding, and overall, I still am happy and hopeful.
First of all, it was my ninth wedding anniversary. They call the ninth anniversary the pottery anniversary because it represents a raw element (clay and/or two humans with intense personalities and various lifetime traumas) being transformed into something beautiful (a mug or a bowl or a married couple who have learned each other’s triggers and how to fight fair) through a lot of work.
Second of all, it was Epiphany, the start of the Carnival season. Yes, Carnival is going to look a lot different this year, but this challenging time serves as an important reminder that Carnival season is not just parades. It’s King Cake. It’s the Krewe of House Floats/Yardi Gras. It’s a feeling in the air that transcends COVID restrictions and cannot be found in any other city. (“I tried to explain why we get a week off for Mardi Gras to my friends in St. Louis,” my older daughter told me earlier today. “I told them, ‘We need the whole week off to celebrate and then recover. We also need the Friday after Muses off because we stayed up too late hoping to have shoes thrown at us. But you only get shoes thrown at you if you’re really lucky.’ They looked at me like I was crazy, and I realized that what I was saying sounded like complete nonsense to people from the Midwest.”)
But finally, and most exciting of all (sorry to my beloved husband, to whom I truly am thrilled to have been married for almost a decade), Jan. 6 was the day my 83-year-old father got his first COVID-19 vaccine.
I made the appointment on the first day I could, after stalking the Louisiana vaccine website waiting for the list to be posted. And on that Wednesday, my dad and I drove out to Chalmette to get the shot at Walgreen’s. A lifelong pessimist, I was terrified I would show up and they would tell me it was all a joke or a mistake, that they didn’t have the vaccine doses after all.
And of course when we walked into the store, there was a big sign on the door saying they didn’t have the vaccine. I almost walked out in disgust, shaking my head and muttering about “typical Louisiana.” But just inside the door was a COVID-19 table, and they had the vaccine if you had an appointment. We had an appointment. We were good to go.
I can’t say enough good things about the process. Everyone was kind and cheerful. My dad got a sticker and an appointment to come back for his second dose. The women working the vaccine clinic gave us socially distant elbow bumps and air hugs to celebrate and didn’t make fun of me when I cried as the needle went in his arm (tears of joy, to be sure).
I’m a skeptic and a cynic. But I still believe in love, New Orleans, and science.
And I got to celebrate all three things on the same day.
How lucky am I?
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