It’s springtime in Southwest Florida, and I take a gander at my calendar. For the kind of girl who never lets grass grow under her feet, it’s perfectly jam-packed full of fun and adventure—just how I like it.
On one Saturday, there’s a date with neighbors boating to North Captiva where I look forward to swimming in the Gulf waters, collecting shells and taking pictures of the island’s beauty. A Friday promises the start to a weekend to Marco Island to visit a girlfriend and go dancing to live local music. The following Sunday is all about a 20-mile bike ride with my husband and then a bottomless mimosa brunch in downtown Fort Myers. In between, there are plenty of plays and musicals to experience at area theaters, a date with friends for a Red Sox spring training game, a food festival in Bonita Springs, an art show in downtown Fort Myers, a charity gala that requires an updo and a ball gown, kickboxing with my workout buddy at the gym, and a mini getaway to Sarasota to go thrift shopping. Being idle has never been my thing.
As a bit of a social media junkie, I tend to chronicle my lively schedule on Facebook, “checking in” at spots all over our little corner of Florida and posting photos of my adventures airboating in the Everglades, playing pickleball in Estero, paddleboarding off the waters of Sanibel or touring our barrier islands from the sky in a small plane. The reactions I get from friends range from “Do you ever slow down?” to “Never a dull moment!” to “Why not stay home now and then?”
I know the comments are tongue-in- cheek, but they made me realize: While my weekend adventures are fun, most of them are also challenging—and yet the very thought of being confined to our condo from Friday at
5 p.m. until Monday morning instead not only sounded dull as grits but also made me itchy as the thought of claustrophobia began to set in. And yet, there was no denying it—for a social butterfly like moi who thrives on being out and about, could staying at home be the most challenging adventure yet? I decided to give a weekend at home a whirl…
5 p.m. I start my stay-at-home adventure weekend by turning down text invitations for everything from shopping at the farmers market to Friday happy hour martinis at The Veranda. When I decline an invite to an outdoor concert in favor of staying home, one friend texts back, “Are you sure this is you? Has your phone been hacked?”
6 p.m. I find myself eternally thankful for the clever tech developers behind the Shipt app. While I normally enjoy shopping at my neighborhood Publix and running into friends in the wine aisle, now that I’m a homebody for the weekend, that means no leaving the house—not even for a carton of eggs. With the app, I can shop for whatever I need and have it conveniently delivered right to my front door. I figure that because I’ll likely be bored, I’ll need comfort food. My virtual grocery cart looks like it belongs to a frat boy who’s barricaded himself in his dorm to cram for a final exam: Doritos, macaroni and cheese, Dr Pepper, Honeynut Cheerios, ramen noodles, Velveeta cheese, Triscuits, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and lots and lots of dip. I remember eating like this in 1992 after a horribly devastating breakup. In a way, I’m breaking up with my social life for a weekend, so it seems appropriate. I’m even more grateful for Shipt when I see that the app also works for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. My weekend may not have much spirit, but it’s definitely going to have some spirited beverages; I start loading my cart for delivery.
8 p.m. It happens to be a weekend that my husband is working a lot, so I don’t even have him to entertain me. I’m not much of a TV watcher, so I examine our six remote control devices in an effort to figure out how to turn on the set. After some trial and error, I’m able to discern the difference between the on/off remote, the cable/DVR remote, the volume remote, the Roku remote, the Apple TV remote and the Amazon Fire remote—I struggle with another remote for far too long before I realize it actually controls our living room ceiling fan. Technology is not my strong suit, which ends up being fine, because Friday night TV has little to offer. I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve watched television, as I have no idea what Ransom or Undercover Boss is. Meanwhile, I stumble across The Real Housewives of Atlanta and decide that when I’m finally able to leave my home, I really need to get some acrylic nails and hair extensions—while these housewives are excruciatingly annoying, they look fabulous.
10 p.m. I fall asleep early with a bowl of Doritos and a White Russian by my side, and a remote in my hand.
10 a.m. After a nice long sleep, I wake up, prepare coffee and start scrolling through Facebook only to discover that FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a real, true condition. FOMO is caused by becoming ensconced in social media and developing anxiety when you see what fun everyone else is having while you’re not. I scroll anyway and see that my friends are enjoying the best Saturday EVER—Melinda is deep-sea fishing, Karen is boarding a cruise ship in Miami, Lia and Maria are at an art show in Boca Grande, Anne is in Estero running the trails, Heather’s doing yoga on the beach, and Gina’s at a wine tasting. I keep clicking—I see that Sarah is at a wedding. I click on the bride’s profile. I don’t know her, but I kill time looking at her engagement photos. I click on the groom’s profile and now I’m scrolling through his bachelor party album. The party was on South Beach at the Delano Hotel. Now I’m looking at the Delano’s website—before I know it, I’m lost in an internet wormhole and it’s now 2 p.m.
2:05 p.m. Netflix is a homebody’s best friend. It would be perfect if it were raining, but alas, it’s a gorgeous, sunny Saturday. So I pull the drapes closed, locate the Netflix remote, make some mac and cheese, and try to decide which series to get lost in—Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black or House of Cards? I go with season 1 of Stranger Things, the ’80s-era sci-fi fantasy series starring Winona Ryder—and before I know it, it’s midnight. Binge-watching is a time-sucker.
10 a.m. It’s at this point that I realize I need to do something productive, so since it’s Sunday Fun-day, I mix up a pitcher of bloody marys and commence online shopping with Amazon Prime. After approximately two delicious breakfast cocktails, I’ve ordered eye cream, a new toilet seat for the guest bathroom, a pair of lounging pajamas, a new case for my iPhone, some cat toys (because my two cats, Pony and LaLai, are just as bored as I am), and a really fancy food steamer (because after this weekend of junk food, I’m going to need to start steaming vegetables for my new diet). Online shopping occupies hours.
3 p.m. Even after several bloody marys, I’m certain this is the best time to clean out the closet in the spare bedroom. The adventure begins with two lawn-size garbage bags. One will contain the clothing I’ll donate, the other is for the clothes I’ll eventually launder and hang up. It’s like Sophie’s Choice and incredibly difficult. How do I say goodbye to the adorable baby-doll dress (black with pink flowers) that I wore to the Lilith Fair in 1997 and have never worn since? Meanwhile, I’m certain that I’ll one day fit into the size 2 Lucky Brand skinny jeans that I bought for a ridiculous $250 when I was on the Atkins Diet and working out twice a day. And yet, the donation bag gets filled to brimming. I’m actually making progress.
7 p.m. I decide that Sunday evening is an excellent time to connect with relatives who aren’t on social media and use only telephones. I call my conservative uncle in Alabama who asks me who I voted for in the presidential election—his disappointment in my choice turns into an awkward two-hour debate that has me switching from bloody marys to straight vodka. I catch up with my cousin in Ohio (who knew you could kill an hour discussing menopause symptoms?), and finally I call my son, who pleads, “Mom! Please, get out of the house!”
11 p.m. I fall asleep playing Words with Friends on my iPhone. I wake up on Monday morning with an invigorated outlook on life. Ready to kayak, to dance, to laugh with friends. But, everyone I know is working and/or recovering from a festive weekend. So I walk outside, feel the sun on my face, and realize that being alone, and comfortable in one’s own skin, is not only an adventure but also a discovery—even if the only thing you discover is how to use the remote.