Stir-crazy family resorts to mundane activities as an alternative to murder

Ted Chmyz/The Miscellany News.

Board Games: My family already has an extensive board game collection, so, in the early days of the pandemic, we turned to them like Vassar students flock to Crafted Kup in winter. By 4 p.m. on day two, after a single round of Star Trek Catan, the battle for who could drive each other crazy the most was won long before the battle for longest starship chain. Tears and accusations rained well into the night and the games cabinet was locked up by dawn. 

Puzzles: The nation-wide, week-long frenzy of jigsaw puzzles for us was not a mere sprint;, it was a marathon. No surface in our house was spared, no matter how small. We had a case of puzzle fever for days, each of us separately building 1,000-piece scenes of Greek islands and unicorn fever dreams to escape our newfound apocalyptic existence. Fun fact: Used puzzles are not to be trusted.

Bread: Were you even in lockdown if you didn’t make a sourdough starter? Yeast was as rare as hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes, resulting in a 14th-century barter system in the neighborhood, but my sisters certainly made their fair share of loaves. The baking of gluten bombs soon took over their lives, and my bread-loving self wasn’t upset about it in the slightest. Consumed with the idea that they could become the next star baker on “The Great British Bake Off,” they became obsessed with testing one recipe after another, until they remembered that we aren’t British.

Knitting & Crocheting: My sisters haven’t abandoned this one yet! One sister is making little Halloween coasters and small spooky bags for candy, and the other is barreling through birthday and Christmas gifts by crafting cozy blankets and scarves. I, on the other hand, took out my dusty needles, re-taught myself how to cast on stitches, and made it roughly four rows before realizing I didn’t even know what I was making and abandoned the project entirely. Ah, motivation, how I wish you were not so fleeting.

Walking: I think this one was universal. Getting out of the house was one of the only ways to stop ourselves from committing accidental first-degree murder, but led to yet another (actually healthy) obsession. My sister fell for it the hardest and became a glutton for steps, checking her pedometer every minute to see if she achieved her goal of 6000 a day, and dragging us all along with her.

Can’t wait to go home for break and go through this all over again! :)

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