Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Interesting fact: Derek Thompson, writing at The Atlantic, calls the presidential administration’s coronavirus efforts “a shambolic bonanza of incompetence,” and that is now my favorite five-word descriptor in the history of coronavirus.

Dear Rachel,

I am in my mid-50s and otherwise healthy. Next week, I am supposed to go to my much younger half-brother’s wedding in Miami. I must admit I am a little leery of flying right now, given coronavirus concerns. But this is the kicker: my brother and his betrothed met on a cruise ship, where they both work, and many of the weddings guests are cruise ship employees. I am not particularly close to my brother but I do feel bad because most of the rest of the family has already bailed. Am I giving into the panic by not going, or am I flying in the face of red flags if I go?

– Please help, Holding Pattern

Dear Guest,

Between you sending this letter and my answering it, the question feels wildly quaint. There’s no way you should get on that airplane. There’s no way you should get within coughing distance of a cruise ship. And there’s no way no how you should take a +1, because remaining six feet apart negates the entire purpose of taking +1s to weddings. Has your brother considered that this entire global pandemic might just be a sign intended for him that he should not get hitched right now?

– Send my regrets, Rachel

Dear Rachel,

My lady friend looked at my kitchen counter the other day and pondered aloud why men are the only ones who use toaster ovens. I balked at the accusation. But I realized, my dad has a toaster oven and my mom does not. And my toaster oven is made by the same fine factory folks as my power drill. It’s conclusive: she’s right. But why? Why do only men use toaster ovens?

- E-Z Bake

Dear Simple Chef,

I thought for certain that the famous product you allude to is, as you spelled it, E-Z Bake. But the internet tells me it’s an Easy-Bake Oven. I’m disappointed in the branding team from the ’60s. But in my circle of friends, once-young girls used the Easy-Bake at a 5:1 clip compared to once-young boys. And remember that movie about the Brave Little Toaster? I remember a certain gender balance in our love of that film. Maybe women should reclaim the toaster oven. It’s time.

– Rise up, Rachel

Dear Rachel,

I seriously can’t figure out the s#!tstorm about TP. If things get that dire, guess what? I have wash cloths and old T-shirts, and a laundry machine that accepts bleach. We will survive a paper shortage, my fellow humans. And the grocery store meat counters are bare, while the produce sections overfloweth. Squash quarantines just as well as pot roast. Can you give me one thing that will restore my faith in people?

– Alone and Forsaken

Dear Home Alone,

I was born for this. I feel like the Grinch on Christmas morning, realizing that the world goes on without sports and pub crawls and all the junk we use to distract ourselves. Now we can get down to some serious housecleaning in our souls. By which I mean, housecleaning in my streaming video queue. Does that make you feel any better?

– A shambolic bonanza, Rachel

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