Mel Reviews Items Around the House in the Time of Social Distance

Buddies-at-Home is a series of content shared by Buddies staff, working from home during physical distancing – from recipes, to playlists, to musings on living in isolation. This contribution is from our Residency Program Director, Mel Hague.

Hello World –

Here’s a meme. 

A meme. Text "How I used to begin work e-mails: Hi!" "How I being work emails now:" Below the text is an image of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, with the caption "I hope your family is in good health."

Look, I am thinking about theatre. Our future as an industry – this time has taught me that I didn’t tumble into live performance by accident – in the old world, I didn’t move into digital media because I love the feeling of being in a room full of people, watching people, then talking to people about the people we just watched talking. And even though I can’t do that right now, it’s all I want to do. So I will do that again. 


Right now, I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. I’ve done some good stuff. I painted my living room. Restrung my guitar. Planted seeds in an egg carton, then realized that I used the wrong soil, so threw those in the garden and did it again with new soil. Been drinking 8 glasses of water, and taking gummy vitamins like a normal, regulated person.

I have NOT baked bread. I’m not there yet, I’ll let you know. 

I joined TikTok and realized I was too old for TikTok. 

Anywho, now that I’m staring at the same walls every day, I would like to share with you how I feel about a collection of objects in my house. I have rated them based on the following:

Pre-COVID usefulness /10
COVID usefulness /10
Aesthetic Value /5
Indefinable Quality /5

For a total cumulative score of 30. I will rate, then rank these objects, and then do nothing with the information I gather. 

Hand Sanitizer from Spirit of York

Pre-COVID usefulness 0/10
COVID usefulness 9/10
Aesthetic Value 3/5
Indefinable Quality 4/5


We quickly ran out of hand sanitizer early in March, but thankfully the local Gin distillery Spirit of York made a pivot to making hand sanitizer, so we popped down to the distillery and grabbed some. Pre-COVID, hand sanitizer was not something I thought about at. All. Now, can’t leave home without it, critical. Lost one point because the formula was a touch watery, but mixed with some Aloe Gel, its perfect. Lid on this one’s a bit loose so sometimes my pocket gets sanitized. Hands smell like Gin, just like grandpa. 

Miir Coffee Mug

Pre-COVID usefulness 0/10
COVID usefulness 11/10
Aesthetic Value 5/5
Indefinable Quality 5/5


This whole thing has really called my relationship to coffee in question – do I really like coffee or did I like the experience of buying a 4$ Americano and feeling superior that I didn’t put sugar in it? 

Turns out, I don’t like coffee, I’m straight up addicted and needed to make coffee at home. So I do, and I got this fancy ass cup to have some continuity in my snobbish coffee consumption. Bonus, it keeps the coffee warm, and I can’t lose it because I don’t go anywhere. 


Pre-COVID usefulness 4/10
COVID usefulness 6/10
Aesthetic Value 2/5
Indefinable Quality 5/5


If we’re talking about Instagram as a whole, then it’s been super useful – I’m scrolling through constantly, the memes are fire, and everyone’s going Live, great time. 

But, if we’re talking about my IG, you can see the tumbleweeds rolling through the screen – not a big picture taking time for me. I did shave my head, so it was fun throwing that out there. But, realistically, my hair went from an inch and a half long to half an inch long – so, earth shattering it was not. 

My Mailbox

Pre-COVID usefulness 2/10
COVID usefulness 11/10
Aesthetic Value 3/5
Indefinable Quality 5/5


Before this, my mailbox was a repository for bills, grocery store flyers, KFC coupons, and notes from the recycling committee. 

Now it’s a gateway to the world. Coffee. Guitar Strings. Glasses that promise to block blue light out so I can stare at screens. Sweatpants. Garden Stuff. Ikea Shelves. All hail the mailbox and the incredible postal and shipping workers #essential #avoidamazon. 

My House Plants

Pre-COVID usefulness -10/10
COVID usefulness 25/10
Aesthetic Value 5/5
Indefinable Quality 5/5

TOTAL SCORE: 20 (if I do math right and include the negative number? Is that Math? Did I do a math?)

So before COVID, I wouldn’t subject another innocent living creature to my careless lifestyle. Could barely keep myself watered let alone a silent home companion. Now, I’m watching these folks grow like it’s the Superbowl. Every morning I take them outside for sun time, I talk to them, prune them. They are my coworkers. They’ve been quiet in the group chat though. 

I fear that they will be used to a level of care that I won’t be able to provide once I’m not staring at them for 6 hours a day. Until then, I’m going to keep as many of these little things around me as possible, and treat them like my silent green children.  

Thank you for coming on this tour into my mind and home today. I hope that you are making new friends with the objects in your house, and projecting human emotions onto things as I am. 

Until we are together again, 


Mel Hague

Mel is the Residency Program Director at Buddies.

“18 years old, first week at York University, got free tickets to see Here Lies Henry. I remember at the time thinking I couldn’t figure out which way was up in the black box space, and for years every show I saw in the Chamber I felt like I came in a different entrance—Buddies is such a fun maze, and I still find new doors years into working here.”

Read all posts by Mel Hague