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Article Published February 11, 2021

Forever and a Day

By Juliana Gribbins/

So it’s come to this. I’m pushing a giant piece of furniture across the rug, wondering if I’m going to like where I put it. I sure do hope so, because moving it is like moving the Mayflower. It’s a solid wood desk that I sit in front of every evening watching Netflix instead of writing. I’m swapping its position with that of another monstrous piece of furniture. After I move the desk, I have to move a daybed. My back is already wondering what it ever did to deserve this abuse.

This is what happens when you’re almost a year into a pandemic. Staring at the same four walls, you get restless. You start moving furniture.

Time has been funny over the past almost-year. The days are like a pile of lumpy mashed potato. They just sit there, congealed on the plate in a lifeless mass. There are no longer the things that distinguish one from the next, such as holidays, birthday celebrations, family gatherings, and parties. So there’s an odd effect where it seems like just yesterday that we were all out and about, going to the grocery store armed only with a list and no mask. But yet, it seems like forever that I actually saw anyone other than at work. Nothing is happening and everything is happening.

The desk is finally in place. Now for the daybed. It’s lighter but larger. What was I thinking buying a huge daybed and trundle? Oh yes, it was for people staying over. It was for my sister-in-law and my niece to be comfy each autumn when we do our annual Girl’s Weekend. It was so that when we came home from a local fair and then stayed up late talking and laughing, they’d crash out and sleep a cozy deep sleep. Then we’d pile into the car and do a daytrip somewhere.

Did that really happen?

I have to remind myself that yes, it did. It happened several years in a row. It’s even harder to imagine that it will happen again.

I pull the trundle from under the daybed and wheel it to an area out of the way. My cat Wolfgang looks rather disturbed at what I’m doing. I can tell he thinks I’m crazy. Cats believe that all items in the house are theirs, bought specifically for them and for their use. Moving their things around isn’t sane. Cats don’t like change.

Right now I need change. The daybed creaks as I tug it across the rug. It, unlike the trundle, was not graced with wheels. I remember putting it together. Ten million metal rods and clamps and it was a bear to get one side pushed into the back part without knocking the other side out. When it was all put together I collapsed on it and it hasn’t budged since. Until now.

The desk and the daybed are in their new places, so now the steamer trunk I use as a coffee table has to find a new spot. So does the table with the blue glass top and also the hammock chair. Everything I pulled out of the desk and heaped onto the floor has to be put back. This whole project takes up hours of time. That, in itself, is worth the back pain.

When all is put into position, I step back and take a critical gander at what I’ve done. Do I like it?

Actually, I love it. Why didn’t I do this years ago? Oh, that’s right. I had a social life that took up my time.

When Girl’s Weekend resumes, the sleeping spots will be ready. It feels like it’s been an eon since I sat in here and laughed with people. Yet when I think about specifics, it’s like my sister-in-law and my niece were just here. Like it was only yesterday that we cozied up, bellies full of fair food, and giggled about this crazy, loud teenager vaping and yelling on the Alaskan Bobsled ride. We dubbed him “The Vape Ape.”

I almost don’t know what to make of this strange elastic time that’s taken over since the pandemic began. It’s been forever. And it’s been a day.

Juliana Gribbins is a writer who believes that absurdity is the spice of life. Her book Date Expectations is winner of the 2017 Independent Press Awards, Humor Category and winner of the 2016 IPPY silver medal for humor. Write to her at Read more of her columns at