So, first off, I have to say I admire her energy, her confidence, and her determination. When I suggested that a 14-year-old Prius was not a good choice she replied that she didn't want to owe anyone anything, not even her parents. But, after explaining to her that she isn’t going to be able to get a car that fast, or that cheap, and that she was going to need help from the Bank of Dad (and getting backup from her aunt and uncle who restore cars and build hot-rods for a living), I sent her a link to reputable used car corporation, she selected a few more rational choices, which I test drove and then selected the most new-driver-friendly. (She's only had her license 7 or 8 months, certifications for driving a 15-passenger van be damned!) The car actually seems to be a ridiculously good deal, 4 years old but with less than 10k miles, smaller engine (and smaller drivers seat) than I would have liked personally but, hey, perfect city car for an aspiring young professional. I dropped a deposit on it and the plan was that Lamb and I would purchase the car together on Saturday.
However, as time went on, Lamb steadily failed to provide us with flight information, chalking it up to gummit inefficiency, but finally mentioning that "they" were talking about making her particular team quarantine-in-place in Ain't-Nothing-Here, Colorado. Texting me she indicated that there were concerns that her unit might have been exposed. So, SWHTL and I were working on our personal forms of acceptance and trust, when word came in that she was flying out after all.
And 15 minutes later the governor of Pennsylvania announced the state-wide shutdown.
So, I sprang into action, emailing the used car dealer, and warning Lamb that things might not go so smoothly as she had imagined. The next morning the dealer replied that I could grab the car if I came by RIGHT NOW. I thought about it a bit (It was clear Lamb wasn't heading to Baltimore and wouldn't be paying me back any time soon, but it really was a nice, clean, used car...) anyway, I spent Friday running to the car dealer, finding a place nearby to stash the car once they closed their security gates, then 50 miles up to my office to snatch my desk chair (my home office chair's been giving my back a hard time) then to the airport to pick up Lamb. I even made a detour into a non-quarantined state to grab some of Lamb's favorite alcohols.
Stopped at the car dealer to retrieve Lamb's new-to-her car (although it was in my name, not hers, because she wasn't there for the paperwork)
Tada! Time for a celebration. SWHTL had picked up sushi for us while we were travelling, and we all settled in for binge watching the Muppet Show and drinking our favorite beverages (I was still working my way through some single-malt I had picked up at a local distiller when we were down Williamsburg way.)
The next morning she pulled me aside and, looking very grave, explained that the previous week a member of her team had been exposed to someone who appeared to have COVID-like symptoms. She was really worried, because she had even tasted my bourbon from my glass the night before....
But, seriously, what can you do at that point? SWHTL and I had already figured out that someone in Lamb’s unit had been exposed, and we were still happy Lamb was home with us instead of stranded two thousand miles away. As for drinking from my glass, WTF, we're sharing a bathroom. The truth is that by the end of the year all of us are going to have been exposed, there's an unknown chance that despite exposure we won't get it and, failing that, an 80% chance that we will have a minor case, a 10% chance it will be serious and a 10% chance it will be really serious. There's still some dispute about the mortality rate, and if we actually start staring that statistic in the face it's going to suck, but we'll face that if we get there, and we're going to get there whether or not Lamb had come home or not.
Still, it means I won't be delivering baked goods to my neighbors or assorted parents like I had planned. I mean, rational assessment of risk and all that.
Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by an oppressive weight, a foreboding about the future, whether medical, economic, or just personal. Still, I can't describe how affirming it is to hear Lamb and SWHTL laughing at a TV show upstairs.
Oh, and the Little Lost Lamb has been initiating conversations with both Lamb and I, which also makes me happy.
I'll take it, and consider it a win, regardless of what happens next.
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