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Throw A Rockin' Pity Party, Coronavirus Edition

Several years ago, I wrote about the value in throwing an intentional Pity Party when things are hard, and included some tips for making it a good, miserable one.

So now, an honest-to-God global pandemic is upon us. I'm not going to go into all the terrible things it has brought, nor the predictions of what may be to come. Those are plentiful and easy to find, should you need them. (You don't need them.)

A couple of weeks ago, my family threw our own Coronavirus Pity Party. Really, truly. It was a smashing success, and I recommend it for everyone.

First: plan it several days in advance. You need some time to prepare. During that time, whenever anyone in your household (or group -- you absolutely can throw a Zoom Pity Party!) complains about something coronavirus has taken away, everyone else should say, "Save it for the Party!" It's just like when you used to plan that giant party that you cooked for days in advance, and someone would try to sneak an hors d'oeuvre. "Don't touch that, it's for the party!" It's just like that ... but you know, not.

As written about in the previous Pity Party post, figure out your food and drink, though you may need more creative thinking these days. Decide on your movie. We decided to just jump into all our fears and grief and watched the 2011 film Contagion. If you have any issues with anxiety, I don't recommend that. So plan a movie that you know will bring on the waterworks for you. Steel Magnolias, Field of Dreams, whatever.

Lay out boxes of kleenex.

Settle into comfy chairs and plates of comforting food, and begin:

Round 1: go around, one person at a time, and name the top three things you're upset about losing due to the pandemic/quarantine. The only appropriate response to the complaints is "yeah, that really DOES suck!" or adding to it, e.g. "Yeah, you're probably not going to have a prom and your dress is PERFECT and you're so beautiful in it!" "That's so unfair!" is also a good response. Not allowed: putting anything in perspective. That is NOT helpful at a Pity Party.

Rounds 2, 3, however many it takes: go til you have no more complaints to talk about. Concerts! Restaurants! Everything you miss or are going to miss.

Next Round: What are you afraid of? Get it out there. From the "could happen" to the ridiculous. Deep or petty. Name the fears - you'll find they have less power afterward.

The good thing about going in rounds where you start with the biggest things, then keep going on til you have no more is that inevitably, it will get silly. "Zombies!" And that's good, too.

Party on, Garth.


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