Life in a Bubble

Closing the Window on my computer monitor, I spun my office chair around to face Tammie. I’d just taken in a fresh dose of news about the three-month-old COVID pandemic and felt poisoned. “When is this all going to end?” I questioned. “Every news report is more dire than the last.”

When this COVID craziness started, I’d asked my youngest daughter, who’s able to work from home, to stay with me. She looked comfortable sitting in her remote work station, my office recliner. A board spanned the chair’s arms to give Tammie a place to rest her laptop computer. She shook her head and commiserated, “Listening to the news once a day is enough for me, too.”

Leaning back in my chair, I relaxed and confessed, “At first, three months ago, I felt panicky when I heard businesses were closing and everyone was to stay home. But now, I’ve come to realize that I feel safe at home and there isn’t a thing we can do to change what’s happening out in the world except pray. I’m so glad I’m able to visit friends and family electronically. It sure beats snail mail.”

Nodding, Tammie agreed, “And I’m happy we’re here together, doing what we can to be safe. By the way, I ordered a few more things online last night. The stuff I ordered the other day is supposed to arrive today.”

As if on cue, the doorbell rang. I glanced out the window and saw the mailman’s car pulling out of our driveway. I found a big box sitting on the deck. Carrying it into the office, Tammie exclaimed, “This is so much fun! I feel like it’s Christmas. I’m getting to open presents!”

Laughing, I questioned, “Doesn’t knowing what you ordered take some of the excitement out of opening the boxes?”

Placing the box on a stool next to her chair, I slit the tape holding the box shut. Tammie explained, “I know what’s in there. The website I ordered from had pictures of everything, but I didn’t get to do the most important part of shopping: feeling the fabric, holding the glassware, smelling the lotion.”

Bubble Wrap and other packing material fell to the floor as I pulled out each item. After examining everything, Tammie directed, “Put everything back in the box. I’ll take care of it after work. Then, please put all the sheets of Bubble Wrap on the arm of my chair.”

Having completed these chores, I sat down at my desk again to scan new postings on Facebook. At first, I ignored the sound coming from my daughter’s chair, “Pop! Pop! Pop!” Finally, I turned around and stared at her. Looking up from her computer screen, she stopped popping the Bubble Wrap to ask defensively, “Is the sound bothering you?” Holding up a sheet of it, she invited, “Take some and try it. You’ll like how good it makes you feel.”

I took the sheet Tammie offered. The bubbles felt incredibly soft. Uniformly, they were plump, but not tight. Like little soldiers in military formation, they marched in perfect lines from one end of the sheet to the other. At first, I squeezed gently and it pleased me that the bubble became firm. Squeezing a little harder, I was rewarded with a loud, “pop!”

The sensation of popping the small plastic bubble reminded me of an old potato chip commercial, “Bet you can’t eat just one!” Popping one bubble wasn’t enough. I wanted to pop more. “Pop, pop, pop!” My fingers worked their way down the length of the sheet.

I exclaimed, “I love it. Doing it and hearing the sound it makes gives me a strangely satisfied feeling! The plastic feels so silky. It’s like an addiction!”

Giggling, Tammie admitted, “It is like an addiction. An addiction that millions of people all over the world have. We’re all homebound by the pandemic and ordering stuff on line. Bubble Wrap comes in every shipping box!”

“It’s ironic,” I pointed out, “Here we are living as if in a bubble, together but unable to interact with the rest of the world, comforting ourselves by popping bubbles.”

“Yes, it’s crazy, isn’t it?” Tammie agreed as she worked her way down a row of bubbles, “pop, pop, pop!”


One thought on “Life in a Bubble

  1. POP,POP, GUESS EVERYONE HAS DONE THIS FUN, TOO! Got to have some ‘excitement’ in days like these. Thanks for sharing.

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