When Max moved in with me in 2002, we had a talk about keeping our relationship lively. Before we cohabitated, we lived about an hour away from each other, with traffic. We got together for a date every Saturday. It was the highlight of the week for both of us. When he moved in with me, I wanted to make sure we still had that special dedicated time to have fun together. I made him agree that, even if we were living in the same home, we would still have a date at least once a week. I am happy to say that we have kept that agreement, almost without fail. Since my retirement, we’ve even upped the ante and have spend two days a week doing something fun together. Since the COVID-19 invasion, this has been a little more challenging, but we’ve managed to pull off some form of a date a couple of times a week even during the pandemic.
However, when I talked to Max about my need for a weekly date way back in 2002, getting a COVID-19 test together was not exactly what I had in mind.
The other day, we set out on an admittedly low-key date day. We went to Starbucks and sat in the café. We chatted, sipped our beverages and shared a slice of pumpkin bread. It is still kind of a thrill to be inside the Starbucks, so I suppose that, in itself, might qualify for a date. We had even more exciting plans, however. Our original schedule involved going to Home Depot to return a towel bar and then wander the tiny, not-quite-a-mall in our town. Whoo-hoo!
When we got to the Home Depot, Max spotted a white tent-like structure in the parking lot. We wondered what it was and drove around it to investigate. It turns out that it was a pop-up COVID-19 testing facility. Max suggested we get tested. I was not quite on board because I could not think of any reason we would be at risk. As far as we knew, none of the people with whom we are in contact has the virus. Neither of us has any symptoms. The infection rate in our county has been decreasing. Still, I could not think of any reason not to get tested, so I agreed to undergo the procedure to please Max.
The operation was efficient. A masked and shielded greeter registered us and explained the processing and results procedures. There was one person ahead of us getting tested when we arrived. Max took the first turn and the technician ushered me in right after finishing with Max, before I had a chance to even ask him what it was like.
As a public service, I am going to tell you what it is like. It is like having a tiny eggbeater pushed up your nose into your brain for ten seconds in each nostril. I am glad I only have two nostrils.
I would not say it hurt exactly. “Pain” seems too strong a word. It was more that it was such a weird sensation than that it actually hurt. It is sort of like the eyeball, nose, and ear equivalent of chewing on aluminum foil. My eyes certainly watered and I felt my face doing some weird contortions, like when you taste something extremely sour. I later found out that there is sometimes a problem with testers who want to make the test more comfortable so they end up not going far enough up the nostril to get a valid specimen. I do not think my technician had that problem. That night, I looked it up on the internet. Apparently, if your eyes water, that is a sign that the technician is performing the test correctly because the process puts pressure on the tear ducts. Gold star, COVID-19 tester outside of Home Depot.
The people at the testing site told us that we could set up an account on their website and would be able to access our results in 2-5 days. Less than 48 hours later, their website revealed that we both tested negative. Yay, us.
The other thing that the people at the testing site told us is that you should get tested every fourteen days if you are out and about in the world. Yeah, no. That’s not happening.
What is your idea of a romantic date? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a romantic day!