Today I’m wearing velvet. Because – social isolation. Who’s going to know or care?

I bought these leggings last year. They’re teal/emerald green velvet with a black leaf pattern on them. I saw them and immediately said OOOOH.

If you look at the leggings, you think of a tall, slim, blond woman – impeccably groomed, welcoming her scintillating dinner guests to her New York penthouse where they will truly appreciate the depth and palette of the wine she’s selected and discuss the latest trends in modern psychometrics.

None of that is me… but I’ve got the pants.

Gorgeous in a size two – rather more like an unfortunate sofa upholstery choice in an XXL. So I save them for Alone Time, when I can blissfully stroke my own thigh without being regarded with deep suspicion.


I know there are many, many reasons to mourn what is happening to our nation – but I find that in this, as in all things, one can only sustain TRUE fear for so long. After that, you have to calm down a little and share with others the lessons one learns to make life more regular, more endurable, more open to the possibility of joy and calm.

I have two such thoughts for you, and now that I have my velvet pants on, I’m ready to share.

FIRST: An online exercise class is EVERY BIT as annoying and sweaty and exhausting as an in-person class… and at the end, all my stress and grumpiness has been purged. Washed out in the sweat. I’m tired – but I feel better. Stronger. Like I’m ready to tackle The Next Thing, whatever that might be.

So I strongly recommend you cast about for a class you can join online. All of the Body Dynamics classes have gone virtual, and new faces are showing up and bitching with us every day – which is fun, for misery (as we know) loves her some company. The website is and all the class times are Eastern Standard Time. Or find a different provider… but treat yourself to an hour of not thinking about whatever has you stressed and instead thinking about how utterly annoying Barbara is when she peers through the screen and notices that you’re totally slacking off. How does she ALWAYS know?! (Oh – that’s probably just me…)

Bonus to online classes: You hit mute while you’re working out, which means you can BITCH OUT LOUD, provided you have the breath to do so. Favorites of mine so far are “I want to stop this now” and “Oh, how many more of these do you expect me to do?” and “Christ, that’s enough abdominal work, BARBARA.”

SECOND: I did not hoard toilet paper; I wasn’t smart enough. But now that every grocery store shelf is empty, now that Amazon is telling me they can send me some in late April, now that the Charmin factory has turned to – what? Making ventilators?? Why aren’t they cranking out the white stuff, damn you?! – I’ve had occasion to wander my house and survey the supplies on hand.

I have eleven rolls. That really OUGHT to last a human quite a long time. Probably to late April. But maybe the kid is going to come home from Vermont, and how can I ration HIM the way I’m rationing ME??

So I have a bit of the wiggins about the whole thing. It’s raw panic – I know that. It’s not SENSIBLE. Still, if someone approached me on a street corner and offered to sell me a four-pack for just twenty bucks, I’d pick up a little black market bumwad and scurry home with my ill-gotten gain.

But here’s a solution I offer, in case you are similarly panicked. Amazon DOES still have Kleenex available. And if you take one Kleenex – high volume but far too soft and dissolveable to be used alone in regions of higher-than-normal moisture – and bundle it inside an outer coating of a few squares of hoarded toilet paper (like – what, eight or ten squares?), then SWEETPEA – that roll of Scott tissue is going to be on duty (or on doody) in your potty for WEEKS.

There. Don’t you feel better now? Who else is going to tell you these things?


Smooches to you. Stay inside; wash your hands; put on your velvet pants. Share your solutions, if you care to!

4 thoughts on “Velvet

  1. love the velvet pants! And I think bringing the sensual into our lives right now is terribly important. I am knitting the the softest yarns I have around, and stroking the hats and scarves as I go. And enjoying my hot tub even more than usual. I live alone in the woods of Oregon, but still dress up for just the good feelings it brings some days.


    1. What a good idea! And now I want to knit… some of that velvety, fleecy yarn that knits up like four stitches to the inch and you can finish a job during a good movie… the cat and I are going to have to come to an understanding here!


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