‘Greasy-Haired and Glamorous’

Photo by Charlotte McManus
The night we played dress-up. I’m in the bottom left, and my little sister stands behind me. Ruth, center, dances with Katherine, right.

Charlotte McManus

Dear Diary:

Early quarantine was a blur then, and it’s a blur now. Our lives changed in an instant, the world turned upside down, etcetera.  I developed the very healthy habit of staying up till four in the morning and baking cookies every other day. 

After realizing that this quarantine would last longer than two weeks, and tired of being cooped up in their small apartment, my sister, Ruth, and her roommate, Katherine, came home from the city to quarantine with us— making my house a seven-person household. 

It’s selfish, how much fun I had with Ruth and Katherine around: people were busy dying, and Ruth and Katherine would rather be in the city, continuing their exciting college lives. It’s selfish but it’s true. We learned how to play chess. We watched Rupaul’s Drag Race every night and Katherine would make kettle corn. One night, we pulled dresses from mine and Ruth’s closets and took pictures of ourselves— greasy-haired and glamorous. 

Ruth and Katherine are artists, and I’d explain the parts they missed of whatever movie we were watching while they were busy stretching canvases. (I think we paused Patriot Games about seven times while I carried out my role as the sole keeper of the plot.) When it got warmer, we spent our days on the patio— I would read, Ruth would watch lectures, and my mother even entrusted Katherine to paint our garage. 

Of course, it had to end. Katherine went to live with her own family in Minnesota, and Ruth moved back into the city. The days became more structured, stress about school and work became more relevant and we emerged from our homes to sit with friends in parks. The world began operating, just differently, and we fell in line.

Early quarantine was a blur then, and it’s a blur now. I wish, like everyone else, we were warned in advance— a big blinking sign somewhere reading every aspect of your life will be different in April, so you better be ready for it— and I wish I was warned that I’d miss it.

Find Katherine’s artwork here, Ruth’s artwork here, and more of McManus’ photography here. 

Charlotte McManus, Senior (and staff reporter)

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