When I was a little kid, I used to love to watch Bewitched. Samantha was so glamorous. I so wanted their home when I grew up, the whole layout and the warm feel of it all. I loved all the magical things that happened there-just ridiculousness of it all.

I especially adored the madcap entourage of relatives who popped in like Endora and Dr. Bombay, and Uncle Arthur and Aunt Clara. I loved how Mr. Tate (in what was in hindsight likely an alcohol-induced haze) just ignored what was going on and went with it as normal. Good times.

I always wanted to be just like Samantha when I grew up, with her cozy and fun life.

But I find recently that I am not Samantha at all. You know who I have become?

Mrs. Kravitz.

Gladys Kravitz.

Remember Mrs. Kravitz? That spying neighbor across the street who was a freaked out witness to all the hoopla going on at the Stephens house?

Remember how she would pull back the curtains and peer through her living room window and her eyes would bug out as she screamed AAAAHHHH!? She would call her husband Abner to come to look at what was going on at Samantha and Darren’s house, but by then it was over? Remember how she was the only one in the whole neighborhood calling shenanigans?

Poor Mrs. Kravitz, being gaslighted before gaslighting was even a thing. Even Abner gaslighted her and accused her of being a little kooky when she claimed she saw Endora make a newspaper float into the house.

Yep, I’m Gladys these days. I peer out my window and scream a lot these days. My living room window, my car window and through the glass screen of my TV and laptop, doesn’t matter, there is a lot to scream about here.

Last week, after days of distancing in my house, I looked out my window to watch a St. Patrick’s Day parade go by on the street. All the parents and kids on my street decided to have a party apparently. Bikes and wagons all greened out. But with ZERO distancing for the grownups, I mean, notta lotta space between them, walking side by side down the street with beers, chatting as the kids intermingled through them on bikes for hours.

Later that day, I pulled back my curtain to see teenagers in my neighborhood going arm in arm dancing around out there, as if it was a snow day. Teens hopping in and out of each other’s cars, going god knows where, I dunno, maybe a Florida Beach.

And just like that, this kid loving, cool, Samantha like mom became Gladys Kravitz. Me, (now the same age as Gladys if not older) who usually sits out and cheerfully watches the neighborhood Halloween parade go by, now screaming AAAAHHH! and calling my son to come look. (At least he didn’t gaslight me, he texted AAAHHH too.)

I went out in my car once all week. I HAD to go to the bank before a slew of checks bounced. I agonized about this trip out. So I elected the drive-through, carefully washing and sanitizing my hands and steering wheel out of respect for the teller.  As I sat there waiting for her to do the deposit, I peered through the glass banking window. And there was a freaking line of people inside the bank! No distancing. No nothing. And I about blew a Gladys sized gasket.  I came oh so close to yelling in over the speaker AAAAAHHHHH!

I glance into store windows on my walks, and see people gathered because apparently shopping for antiques and getting your hair dyed is essential during a pandemic?

I turn on my TV and watched these idiot drunk kids on the beach in Florida and their “boomer remover” stupidity. I found myself thinking, “Won’t be so funny when the people bankrolling your spring break and providing that basement you live in are gone because of your asshattery will it?” And the rage, and the sense of being gaslit, builds.

And just don’t get me started on people who know they could have been exposed, or who are sick and are STILL going out. I found out this week that a knowingly sick person went to a concert at our arena, and walked around the floor seating all night.

Even as I watched our president do it, shaking hands with everyone stepping up to the podium at a presser standing side by side, and I realized my rage was escalating to unhealthy levels.

Let me tell you, there ain’t no rage like Gladys being gaslighted rage.

This anger has become something unlike me. I don’t want to be Gladys. I want to be happy go lucky Samantha again, or even high-risk group Endora now that I have aged into that. But not Gladys.

But my eyes are bugged out daily, I am just like, am I missing something here?  Wasn’t the idea to stay home and flatten the curve?

I am a rule follower, always have been. Sure, I have always had little flashes of indignation at people who cheat the system, who don’t merge well in traffic, who hop in line in front of you at Disney, or who take more than one of something offered like from the cookie box at the grocery store.

But that said, I have always been one to believe that rule-breakers get theirs in the end. I’m more of a let it go kinda girl. I believe that while the karma train often does take time to arrive, it always comes, and the scales are evened in some way. Hopefully in a way that teaches a lesson to the person. I mean, I fully believe Lori Loughlin will do her time one day.

My dad taught me to be a giver and not a taker, and my mom taught me empathy- to think about how your actions impact others. These too are rules of life I follow, as is the habit of making my actions pass through the litmus test of “need versus want.”

That’s how I do me. And usually, I can just shrug off how you do you.

But I can’t right now. Because how you do you could kill me and others.

Nope, I refuse to be Mr. Tate, and take a shot and go on with this as normal.

And I am mad. I am mad because I am old. I am mad because I have friends who have autoimmune disorders and asthma and cancer. I am mad because I have friends who are front line nurses and doctors in emergency rooms.

This blatant ignoring of mandates for public safety is just not fair to anyone.  The karma train won’t just arrive at their door, it will run over the thousands of undeserving people who, unfortunately, are on the same track.

And that is where my eyes bug out.

Why are people ignoring this mandate? Oh, I can think of a thousand reasons, but none of them are good. The arrogance of youth, lack of understanding the “flatten the curve” theory, lack of empathy, or just a basic inability to put other’s needs first are some of them. Selfishness and irresponsible folks who early on told people “it’s no worse than the flu and will be gone in the spring” are others.

Whatever the reason, it all boils down in a nasty witch’s cauldron chock full of someone’s inability to connect the dots of how their behavior harms others. How their behavior could harm our elderly and importantly first responders and nurses and front line doctors.

It’s selfish, it’s stupid, it’s egocentric and it’s wrong.

Like did Lori Loughlin, just not get that she was stealing slots from other kids who had the grades and who worked hard? Does the idiot in the hurricane targeted town who says, “Oh, haha, I’m gonna ride it out” not think of how he brings harm to others when he then calls first responders as he and his home is being sucked into the ocean?

Gosh how I wish that like Samantha, I could twitch my nose, and like a miracle, the virus will all go away, but it’s not going anywhere. How I wish Dr. Bombay could pop in with a cure, but not yet. We aren’t there yet people.

I think we all had hope that people would do the right thing. We admonished folks on social media with memes saying “grandpa went to war, and the least you can do is sit on your couch for a few weeks.” We tweeted “flatten the curve” charts, and hashtagged #stayhome, and #contagiousbutnotsymptomatic.

We have explained if you don’t do stay home, you will have to stay home longer. We have tried endlessly to explain what we were trying to do with distancing, that it was for the greater good of all, and that it would help our helpers there on the front lines making sure we all get help.

We even have said for god’s sake, “Anne Frank did this for 3 years people in 750 square feet with 7 people” surely we can hang on in our homes with internet and space and TV and amazon or instacart delivering food for a month here.

But it didn’t work. It hasn’t worked. Distancing and staying home is not what is happening. And when you tell people to quit taking more than one cookie from the box and they keep doing it, there is nothing left but to take the cookie box away, like Andrew Cuomo has done, and likely all of us will soon experience.

So I am gonna just lay it out. Don’t gaslight me. I know what I am seeing out my window, and it’s crazy and wrong. And scary. Stay home. I don’t wanna look out my window and see any more of this selfish behavior.

I don’t want to feel Gladys kinda cray-cray anymore, OK?

Be a giver not a taker, don’t steal other people’s health safety away. Don’t take doctors out, many of whom are doctors with wee ones at home. Understand facts. You can carry the virus and give it to others and never know you had it. Young people too can get very sick despite early reports of invincibility. Just like Lori’s kids took some other more deserving kid’s spot in that college, you may wind up stealing an ICU bed or a ventilator from your Grandma.

And then put your big boy/girl pants and do the right thing, respond to your needs in the safest way possible-preferably a way that your asshattery doesn’t kill other people for heaven’s sake. Maybe even use your “need” to get out to leave groceries for an elderly neighbor instead of going to beer pong with friends.

Practice empathy. That means you stop and think, “Gosh how scary must this be for people with cancer, for my friends with asthma, or for my grandma or grandpa, what can I do to help?”

Please, people.

Don’t be a Lori.

And please for the love of God and fellow man, don’t make me be Gladys.  Older high-risk group or not, I am far too cool to be her.