Whimsy for Today

Becky Kueker

The year 2020 made me a different person, and as my husband often says, in a very scary way. I kind of like that definition though. Apparently now you can actually use sarcasm to punch someone out. Never would have considered it before but now, bam, hard left to the jaw. You know there are so many opinions out there, that I wish people would come with a 30-second trailer so we could determine if we wanted to waste our time listening. We’re all in the same  “on my side,” “by my side,” or “I don’t want you on either side,” boat. It is exhausting. In my subdivision there is a huge fight about getting the COVID-19 shot. It went viral on Nextdoor and as I watched it unfold, I thought, “gosh everything is a reason for the person who just wants to fight.” Everyone’s an expert on the good, bad, and ugly of the new vaccines. Now any Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter thought that comes across the screen we take for gospel and spread like wildfire. Remember when we were warned to avoid mass gatherings in March and then millions of people stampeded into grocery stores knocking each other out of the way, scooping up mass quantities of toilet paper and hand sanitizer? My neighbor swears this was a secret ploy by Charmin in the scope of our herd mentality and what we did or did not know, who knew!?

A friend sent me this quote: “The virus has done what no woman had been able to do … cancel all sports, shut down all bars, and keep men at home!” The virus has worked miracles in mysterious ways. We women hear us roar as we sit with our men, significant others, or partners munching sweet and salty snacks we would have never allowed in the house before. Watching nine hours of anything on Netflix requires powerful snacks to keep you going.

My husband lovingly says that I am the glue holding the family together during these trying times. If so, I want to be glitter glue so I can stand out, behind the sequined mask, trying not to cough, causing my eyeglasses to fog up while repositioning my impressive fake eyelashes. Yep, a whole new me putting myself back together.

I tapped into my inner child in the last nine months and discovered a new persona. I have removed people from my life who try and make me feel less than I am. I am no longer fragile and I strive to be as brave as the four-year-old in the Wonder Woman costume posing in front of her mirror. The pandemic has brought out so many issues, shook the stuffing out of them, and made us cringe as we faced new ones every day. My newest one, I was told that I don’t sneeze at an acceptable volume so now I try to practice quiet sneezing. Jeez!

After retiring from a career as senior partner in a commercial architectural and interior design firm, Becky Kueker published a memoir on life after retirement, Hiding in My Pajamas that launched a national speaking career. Her second book, A Classic in Clown Shoes was published in May 2019. Both books are filled with deep, funny, intimate discussions and poignant stories from women and men who have proven that aging does not have to define you and that laughter changes everything.