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Archive for February 25th, 2021

In the times of covid..

Posted by Pepper on February 25, 2021

Two weeks ago, my mom went to the salon to get her hair colored. I think I need to backtrack a little here. To start with, my parents have been highly covid conscious. I mean, not like they had a choice. With my mom’s history of cancer and my dad’s kidney ailment, they were both high risk. They followed the recommended protocol, stopped stepping out of the house, dealt with the hardships that came with the loss of their house help. They weren’t fit enough to take on the daily task of sweeping and mopping among the million things that they were having to do. My sister who lives with them had an excruciatingly busy schedule and was struggling in her own ways between managing her work and my parents needs of wanting to do things at a certain time. In short, they really struggled, but they did what they should have done to avoid all exposure and got through that period.

And after months when things seemed to be relatively stable in Mumbai, they brought back their house help. It was a well calculated move and we all agreed they needed the support and were falling sick without it. But how was I supposed to manage my anxiety? I would look up the number of cases in Mumbai every other day. If I was on a video call with my parents and saw the helper in the same room as them, I would yell at the top of my voice and ask them to go and get their masks. For the most part, everybody kept their masks on, but the occasional slip would stress me out.

I was living on the edge. And then one day my mom told me she was sick of seeing herself in the mirror and hated her hair. She wanted to go to the salon to get it cut and colored. I lost my head and yelled at her, asked her if she was nuts. Reminded her that she was high risk and had to be thankful that she was in fact leading a normal, medically uncomplicated life. Why on earth would she think of taking the risk?

She seemed to accept my opinion for a while. But time and again she would bring it up, only to hear me explode. I kept telling her being alive was more important than worrying about a grey head. She would tell me how important it was to feel good and some such crap. I told her to let my sister cut and color her hair. Weren’t we all donning the role of a hair stylist anyway? Unfortunately, she wouldn’t trust the sister to do the job as per her liking. *Eye roll*

Months passed, we kept going back and forth. This subject would come up every few weeks and would result in a heated argument with me yelling at her. In the midst, I would also have to deal with other stress of my dad going to the bank because “it was very important”. Why can’t you just do things online now, I would ask? And he would say he doesn’t know how to do it online. Each time, I would start the mental countdown of 2 weeks and pray nobody has any symptoms. But since the work was supposedly important and unavoidable, I was more understanding of the situation.

But hair salon? Really? How can you think of such frivolous activities when you are high risk? My mom brought it up again one fine day and I got mad and asked her to do what she wants. She said she would use her discretion and make the call. And she did. One morning when there was nobody else in the salon, she went and got her hair cut and colored.

And while we aren’t on the same page on this and while I still deem these activities as unnecessary and unworthy of the risk they pose, I can see how much better it makes my mom feel to not have her hair so out of place. Of course, I love annoying her by telling her how shallow she is. As usual, I waited for 2 weeks to pass before I could breathe a sigh of relief. Like every child, my parents are most precious to me and I wish I could keep them in a safe bubble. They are my lifelines and I worry so much. I hope the world heals soon and we don’t have to stress so much about simple everyday living.

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 25 Comments »

 
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