Kelly of WaPo: Cope By Vacationing In Your Guestroom

Kelly of WaPo: Cope By Vacationing In Your Guestroom

Kelly of WaPo: Cope By Vacationing In Your Guestroom

The Washington Post columnist, John Kelly, takes his turn as Marie Antoinette in this bit narcissistic, tone-deaf fluff written under the ironically labeled Perspective category.

The struggle is real!

It was the same dispiriting routine every day: Wake up. Slide out of bed and change into sweatpants. Go downstairs for breakfast. Trudge to our respective “offices”: me in the study, Ruth at the dining room table. Stare at a computer screen. Worry that our loved ones might die. Worry that we might die. Meet for lunch. Go back to “work.” Meet for dinner. Watch TV. Change out of sweatpants and slide into bed.

Oh, the HORRORS. Telecommuting from home while paychecks are still hitting the bank and bills are being paid. But the feelz of cabin fever is très over-whelming!

So we opted for a change of scenery and a change of mind-set. We packed our clothes and phone chargers and carried them into the bedroom next to ours: the guest bedroom.

Not an Airbnb, an Ourbnb.

What follows is a too-cutesy-by-half dialogue between John and his wife pretending to be critiquing the “vacation rental.” John admires “they” have shampoo he likes. Wife Ruth wonders if the “town” has any entertainment for the weekend.

We’d made a reservation at a restaurant in town — the only restaurant, it turned out. There was only one entree: steak, seared on a cast-iron pan in a kitchen we could see from our table and served with green beans, roast potatoes and a peppercorn sauce.

Nice to know John and Ruth don’t seem to be worried about a stocked refrigerator, either.

Understand, I certainly don’t begrudge this couple their home and incomes. By all accounts, Kelly has worked himself into a nice, well-appointed existence by his own talents. Congratulations, guys! John Kelly’s perspective, however, is myopic navel gazing at its most cringe-worthy, betraying a very shallow existence. Outside of one reference to worrying about dying for himself and his loved ones there is no self-awareness here of either his great fortune or the collapsing fortunes of others.

He and his wife decide on a drive into the country to pick up some bird seed. Meanwhile, others drive in their cars to wait in long lines at food banks and churches handing out boxed meals and only dream of —

It was just us two at breakfast! In the center of the table was a basket of scrumptious banana bread muffins, a nice change from the granola and Cheerios that typically comprise our morning meals.

Kelly mentions antiquing. Does he not realize that those small businesses may not be there when his country-club house arrest is lifted? That having steak with peppercorn sauce may be nothing but a memory by winter?

Professor Glenn Reynolds recently wrote:

There really are two Americas here: Those still getting a paycheck from government, corporations or universities, and those who are unemployed, or seeing their small businesses suffer due to shutdowns. And the America still getting paid is, so far, not showing a whole lot of sympathy for the America that isn’t.

And I don’t believe it is an oversight that the recounting of their guestroom vacation didn’t include streaming a church service on Sunday morning. Gratitude and humility are sorely lacking.

This bit from Australia brilliantly makes the point …

… that us regular folk have had just about all we can take of Marie Antoinette stylings. John Kelly, get some perspective.

featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock, standard license

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3 Comments
  • GWB says:

    Worry that our loved ones might die.
    Trust me, your loved ones are going to die. You are going to die. I can practically guarantee it. You didn’t worry about them before?

    Stare at a computer screen.
    So, you’re saying that you’re not really doing what you’re getting paid for while “working” at home? But they’re paying you anyway? Sounds like a lot of privilege you need to shed, bubba.

    pretending to be critiquing the “vacation rental.”
    Do they roleplay frequently? Or is this a manic break for them?

    John Kelly’s perspective, however, is myopic navel gazing
    It’s also a YUGE amount of privilege. Why isn’t he sharing that with his brothers and sisters (and non-gendered siblings) of color? Why didn’t they invite some lesser folks into their spacious home so they could socially distance at home, and they could go rent a hovel somewhere? Hmmmm?

    a drive into the country to pick up some bird seed
    Whoa! Is this trip necessary? Get back in your box!

    And the America still getting paid is, so far, not showing a whole lot of sympathy for the America that isn’t.
    Not entirely true. Plenty of us still getting paid (and still going in to work, I might add) are angry as hell at the shutdowns. Many of us know what it’s like to be out of work. We sympathize, trust me. As much as I love my commute right now, I’d rather have all those people back at work.

    didn’t include streaming a church service
    They’re privileged enough they don’t need God.

    John Kelly, get some perspective.
    Or, “Check your privilege!”

  • DAVE says:

    This is a snapshot of what vacuous, vapid, meaningless lives consist of — the sneering superiority of people devoid of even being able to SUSPECT that a spiritual dimension exists outside of cocktail party blather about the philosophical ramifications of existence, the fear of death, fear of the unknown, clinging to ideology as the ONLY answers to essentially cosmic rhetorical questions, and a vaguely fragile overall framework of life in general. This is The Atlantic/ New York Magazine/ NPR/ Bill Nye/ sophomore philosophy class excuse for an experienced and truly EXAMINED life … very sad indeed! They have been self-quarantined in more ways and for far longer that they realize.

  • Scott says:

    “And the America still getting paid is, so far, not showing a whole lot of sympathy for the America that isn’t.
    Not entirely true. Plenty of us still getting paid (and still going in to work, I might add) are angry as hell at the shutdowns. Many of us know what it’s like to be out of work. We sympathize, trust me. As much as I love my commute right now, I’d rather have all those people back at work.”
    Agree 100% GWB! (though people actually only calling 911 for emergencies would be a nice thing for them to remember after this ChiCom flu is over with…)

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