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Celia Capace - Life in Self-Isolation

Going on from last week’s blog, being forced into self-isolation with my mother has been interesting, to put it nicely.  I didn’t realise how much my mother’s daily occupation of socialising gave me much needed personal space. This personal space has contributed greatly to a (mostly) harmonious mother/daughter cohabitation. 

My relationship with my mother, or should I say smother, has always been a clash of two strong personalities.  My mother thinks she doesn’t play favourites, but she does and I am her in-your-face favourite. I’m surprised my siblings don’t resent me more than they justifiably already do.  As a child, I didn’t realise I was the favourite. This knowledge came as I tried to grow my own independence.  

My mother is now using me for her entertainment.  My mother and I are close but I have to be careful how much of my time I give her for if I give her an inch she doesn’t only take a mile, she will take advantage and try to take the whole highway.  Once, when I wasn’t able to work due to my illness, I decided to give my time to my mother as a birthday present. As I was broke and she was always begging me to come out with her and her friends (I don’t know why but my mother loves to show me off) I thought giving myself as a present for the day was cheap and smart. Five of her friends joined us for the day.  We started with morning tea, then shopping, lunch, a trip to the casino, then afternoon tea. My body couldn’t keep up. I begged her to take me home while she continued without me. After six hours my body was exhausted. For my mother, this was a normal jaunt with her friends, not just a birthday celebration day.

In the current crisis, there has arisen some practical considerations for surviving self-imposed isolation.  For example, feeding oneself. I’ve never wanted to learn to cook. My mother is not only is a great cook but also loves to cook.  My mother finds cooking therapeutic and even chose it as a profession. She did not pass this gene onto me as I hate cooking. I find it a chore and can happily live off sandwiches.  Though I know I’ll regret it one day I’ve refused all her efforts to coax me to learn from her, maybe because she yells at me a lot when teaching. I’m crap at cooking and I know it. She says it’s imperative that I learn now for when she won’t be around.  Even though we truly believe and hope the current crises will pass without either one of us being affected I jokingly asked, “you mean like in two to three weeks?”

Celia Capace - Vafanculo

 “Vafanculo”, she laughingly replied, simultaneously gesturing with her fist.  They say laughter is the best medicine. Though it’s only been one week if this coronavirus crisis causes us to stay self-isolated for too long one of us might end up dead and it won’t be due to a virus.