Maybe the only really good thing about this little virus problem we're having, other than finally understanding why Grandma hoarded everything and reused aluminum foil, is that we've all learned how dependent we are on one another and how helping each other just a little can go a really long way.
A lot of people really want to help, but just don't know what they can do. They don't have a bunch of N95 masks lying around they can donate, and they aren't millionaire rich enough to donate a bunch of money anywhere... hell nobody would know where to give it if they did.
Well we've got some ideas for you. EASY ideas. Here's our list.
1) #TipAnyway is what we're calling it. This past Sunday we would've gone to a place called We Olive & Wine Bar in Shreveport for some appetizers and a bottle of wine. It would've been about 60 to 65 bucks and we'd have tipped $15. Well, we couldn't because... you know. So, we sent a tip by Venmo. Fifteen bucks.
Now you're asking, "what the hell difference does that make?" There are bartenders, wait staff, hair stylists, nail salon employees and a zillion other service people who are sitting at home right now wondering if the government is going to help them pay their mortgage or rent. Lots of them are looking at their guitars and their golf clubs and wondering if they should sell them.
Your fifteen bucks a few times a week, if we all do it, will not only keep those people out of panic mode, it will make it easier for them to get back to a normal life and contributing to the economy when this is all over. Try it. Find your favorite place online, grab an email address for the owner, and #TipAnyway.
2) Remember when you used to stick those plastic things into a box next to your TV and watch movies? Hahahaha... some of us still do, but lots don't. Either way you've probably got a TON of DVDs you don't watch now and probably never will. Guess who doesn't have Netflix, or Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, and hasn't gotten a new DVD in forever? Your local nursing home. That's right. The residents in those places aren't getting visitors anymore and as dreary as things were before this for lots of them, they're much worse now. If you have a bunch of DVDs you aren't watching, put them in a box, call the nearest nursing home, and leave them on the porch. Hours of entertainment for folks who need it. Beautiful!
3) Your local burger, or taco, or steak place is selling online and on the curb and doing pickup, but we both know that ain't gonna pay the bills. They're also sitting on a LOAD of food they would usually be selling that's going to go bad. Well, most of those places have started selling the "raw materials". Hamburger joints are selling ground beef. Steak places are offering great deals on steaks.
How about, instead of fighting the crowd at the grocery store for the very last package of ground beef, and dodging fists to get it, you buy a few pounds from your favorite local burger joint? Keeps the food from going to waste, keeps them from eating the cost, keeps you out of a crowded store, and keeps their business afloat. We bought three MASSIVELY thick ribeyes from our local place last night and grilled them (to perfection if I do say so myself) last night and we felt AWESOME about it and enjoyed the hell out of a well-priced cut of meat.
4) Plan your next vacation awfully close to home. There's a cabin, a bed and breakfast, an amusement park or attraction really near you. Someone who works there or maybe even owns the place lives right near you. When this all breaks loose and we can all go about our lives we're all going to want to get the hell out of the house and spend a few days vacating. Why not do it close enough to home that those dollars are pumped back into your local economy? At the very least don't go overseas. It's time to hunker down and help your neighbors. Even those maroon bastards in Tuscaloosa. ;-)
5) We're seeing people put up Christmas lights to spread good cheer. Why the hell not? We love it. You know what would be even better? Once you're back on your feet financially, go to a LOCAL store and look for something made right here in the U S of A, buy it, wrap it up in Christmas paper, and give it to someone to make their day. Maybe you'll get something too, but man, either way think of how you'll be helping everyone financially and emotionally with just a little gift.
6) Simmer down. You once came home from a REALLY expensive vacation and you were exhausted. You even said "one of these days I'm going to take a two week vacation and just sit on my butt, take naps, watch TV, piddle around the house, and REALLY relax for a change." That's all the heck the more you're doing right now, relaxing and piddling, so treat it like that dream vacation you've always wanted. Rearrange the closet, weed the yard, and nap, nap, nap. What a great deal this really is for our batteries. Recharge away!
Hang in there. Chin up. We'll all be fine. Wash, wash, wash your hands and holler at us if you need anything, even just a kind word.