If you are like me, then between waves of productivity and relative calm, you are overcome with a feeling of anxiety and panic. After all, it is really weird to be locked up in your apartment, suspicious of the present, and unable to process the future. I have those moments. And when I do, more often than not, I take a little meditation break. Sometimes, I do a pranayama ritual, and life regains a sense of normalcy. At least, as normal as it can be in an unending pandemic compounded by politicians and their idiocy.
Of course, there are other ways to cope, like giving in to guilty pleasures. And no, that is not just my advice. It is coming from Shira Gabriel1, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Buffalo:
“We evolved to need one another and when that need isn’t filled we suffer…my advice in this crazy and stressful time is to stop feeling guilty about guilty pleasures. Let yourself spend time on social media. Eat the foods that make you feel happy. Do silly and seemingly pointless things just because others are doing them. Watch TV whenever you want to.”
I, for one, have been stress shopping for two things I absolutely love: socks and coffee. Stuck at home, it is clear that I am not likely to get a good espresso for a while, so why not get some seriously good beans from my favorite coffee shops (that are still shipping) and make a good pour-over. By ordering coffee from some of my favorite local cafes — Sightglass, Linea Cafe, Ritual, Andytown, and the Coffee Movement — I know I am helping them while, at the same time, indulging myself.
Given that I have a two-cup a day limit, my challenge has been too many beans exposed to oxygen, and I am worried about that — though it’s a relatively small worry, all things considered. Lately, I have started to give away bags of coffee to friends who are willing to drive over and pick them up from the front desk, which is also nice to be able to do.
My other guilty pleasure is socks. I love socks, especially from small brands based in far off places. I stopped buying the crazy pattern socks after Silicon Valley bros abused that look. For now, it is just plain socks, less dressy and more thick and cozy. They work well when you are walking around at home, and they do a good job when you wear them with boots.
My current favorite2 is a mix of merino, cotton, spandex, and polyester. I stopped buying clothes and socks in December, but earlier this week I broke down and bought a pair from a brand I recently discovered, Thunders Love3. Unfortunately, they won’t ship for a while, but they are worth a try just for the name alone, don’t you think? And then there is this one4, which I have been dreaming about for a few days.
Actually, I have one last guilty pleasure — my watches. I have decided to take turns wearing a different watch based on the day of the week. Today is a Grand Seiko day. Tomorrow is a Grand Seiko Day. Thursday is a vintage Seiko Day. Friday is a vintage King Seiko Day. Saturday and Sunday are Apple Watch days. Monday is you guessed it — a vintage Grand Seiko day. Yeah, I know, I am a Seiko fanboy.
So, what is your guilty pleasure?
April 8, 2020. San Francisco.