Pandemic Fantasies by
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My dream kitchen?

My world was shrinking, even before the pandemic.

I seek solace with HGTV, the Food Network, and Rick Steves.

House décor looking tired, worn carpet and peeling paint.

Diet without wheat and dairy, no sourdough or ice cream.

Adventure travel too rigorous, cruises inadvisable.

Now, in a dated house, eating gluten-free food,

I seek solace with HGTV, the Food Network, and Rick Steves.

The home renos come out perfectly, on time, on budget, and no one cries.


Amazing holiday baking takes the cake, and no one gains weight.

Exciting travels to exotic locales happen with personal guides, and no one gets tourista.

What better pandemic fantasies can there be?

RetroFlash 100 words

Profile photo of Marian Marian
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Your kitchen looks fantastic, Marian! Dan is the HGTV maven in our house. He watches it constantly; I drop in from time to time, but I understand how you use it for safe get-away fantasy. Dan watches Million Dollar Listings on Bravo, but that’s real estate porn!

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Love this, Marian. Have taken a break from HGTV after our frustration in selling a wonderful home that apparently was not “updated” enough. My baking skills are more in line with “Nailed It.” LOL

  3. I want to see the view outside your kitchen window! Great place for a bird feeder while we’re all inside!
    Wonderful melange of imagery and text, while fusing of past and present, reality vs. fantasy.

    • Marian says:

      Thanks, Dale. This is an updated imagining of my real kitchen. I’m blessed because my real kitchen is huge, has lovely stone counters, and a view through the family room to a back patio with a hummingbird feeder. I can’t complain about either the fantasy or the reality.

  4. LOL…kind of how I feel about exercise videos, Mare. None of the pain, but alas none of the gain. I can almost convince myself I’ve worked out.

    • Marian says:

      I get that, Barb. To get around that phenomenon, I paid for an online subscription to exercise videos for women with low bone density, watched them, and then wrote down the steps and weights involved in the exercises. Then I don’t open the videos unless I can’t remember something, so I actually do the workout.

  5. John Shutkin says:

    Food and home porn, I sure get it, Marian. Though we focus on the dramatic series for our streaming. The F & H P we tend to watch, particularly on weekends, when we are suffering from CNN/Trump Dumpster Fire Fatigue.

    • Marian says:

      Yes, John, it’s hard to stomach CNN when Dick turns it on first thing in the morning … I try to limit my news watching without completely losing track of what’s going on. We are probably the only ones in our development that get the print version of the San Jose Mercury News (we are the oldest and therefore the most fossilized), but I find the news easier to take that way.

  6. Suzy says:

    I haven’t seen any of the shows that you write about (never even heard of HGTV), but I’m glad they bring you solace and fantasy during the pandemic. And from comments on other stories, it seems that you and I are the only ones who watch shows when they are broadcast!

    And I agree with you about reading the print newspaper rather than getting news from TV – I never watch news on TV.

    • Marian says:

      Shortly before the pandemic, I stumbled upon the HGTV network, Suzy. It’s a distorted form of reality TV. I didn’t watch it too often until about May, when I started getting stir crazy or frustrated and needed an escape. Glad to find someone else who reads the newspaper!

  7. Wonderful fantasies and Retroflash Marian! I’ve never watched HGTV but I love furniture and interior design so I should, and since lockdown I’ve redecorated my apartment in my head!

  8. Risa Nye says:

    You really nailed it here, Marian. For me, Someone Feed Phil takes care of the urge to travel and to eat wonderful food that someone else has prepared! We’ve all learned something from this prompt, so thanks!

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