by Alysa Stryker
For the past year, I, like everyone else, have been quarantined due to the global pandemic. To be perfectly honest I’ve been finding it hard to get excited about anything. I’m low energy, not very fun to be around, and hard to keep happy.
Recently, however, my girlfriend brought home a snow globe. As I sat watching the globe, I felt something new. I felt no anxiety. I felt free. For the first time in a year I could forget about my life for a moment and focus on other people’s lives — in this case the lives of plastic woodland animals playing in a sea of glitter on a hill. It was the first time I smiled in almost a year.
About a week after receiving this life-altering gift, my girlfriend and I met up with two friends for a socially distant get together in a park. When we got there they immediately started talking about the Coronavirus, their jobs, families, etc, the usual. Not what I wanted to talk about though. Without much thought I interrupted to say, “We just got a new snow globe.” My friends were a little taken aback but kindly asked for some more details about our new purchase. “Oh yeah? What kind of snow globe? Where did you get it?” That kind of thing.
“How much time do we have?” I asked with a laugh. No one else laughed obviously because they weren’t on my page yet and didn’t get that I’d need a lot of time to get into this. I honestly would have thought the same thing a few weeks ago, but not now.
About nine minutes into an extremely elaborate explanation of the ideal place to put a slow globe in your home (you can’t just put it anywhere, rookie mistake), I was getting a lot of body language telling me to stop. Which felt a bit premature because I had literally just started.
“You’re getting a little too excited about this thing,” joked one of our friends. They went back to talking about quarantining. Again I went mute on this topic because that’s not what I’m interested in. Someone eventually brought up gifts they were going to send to their parents for the holidays.
“Well, might I suggest a snow globe?” I said with a straight face this time. “What is with you and these snow globes?” my friend started to say before I interrupted. “There are literally hundreds of options in terms of what kind you can get,” I said, a little rattled at this point. “Your classic winter wonderland scene. A glitter dome. A night-at-the-disco themed globe. It’s all out there, kind of mindblowing when you think about it.”
My friends told me they’d consider it and then started to express interest in leaving the park. I was already irritated at that point and had to leave immediately.
It’s unfortunate that I had to stop talking to these friends during quarantine, especially during a time when I don’t see any friends, but I can’t be around people who are toxic. Not right now.
It’s a strange time for me because some of my relationships are failing/not doing well (friends, family, girlfriend) and some of them are doing great (snow globe). When anxiety hits, I give the globe a shake, and I’m not myself anymore. I’m anew. And there are no limits or guidelines on how long you can escape into it. I was staring at it for 4 ½ hours the other day, for example. It’s really all up to you.
Mom asked what I wanted for Christmas this year and she received a list featuring 10 snow globes and various snow globe paraphernalia. Mom has been the best in terms of accepting what’s going on with me and my new interest but my girlfriend is having a hard time. Similar to my mom’s list I asked my girlfriend that she please get a custom embroidered wall art piece that either reads “It’s snow globe o’clock” or “Keep your friends close and your snow globe closer.” I gave her the option to choose, which I thought was a nice gesture.
We’ve been attending couple’s counseling but I don’t really understand what she wants from me. She joked with my therapist that she was going to sneak into our room and steal it, which is the most unfunny thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Apparently she heard me whispering to the globe in my room alone but I don’t remember that. I black out sometimes when I’m watching it. That’s called deep relaxation. Ever heard of it?
All things considered I’m doing the best of anyone I know in quarantine. So if you’re looking for a way to de-stress this season, might I suggest a snow globe?