Wednesday, July 8, 2020
‘Things I Won’t Do Ever Again After the Pandemic is Finally Done’
Mary Mott tries to pen something once a week, and that endeavor has certainly been aided by stay-home recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sunday, June 7, 2020


“Should I tell you that when things start to go south, I turn to buttered noodles? Or that after an airplane trip I put Q-tips in my ears and pull them out slowly because it’s totally orgasmic?”

Mary Mott loves to write. And she’s not about to hide behind a façade of pomposity.

She values authenticity, and she hopes her writings inspire others to feel more comfortable in their authentic skins, as well.

“I really find it’s so hard to have someone know you if you don’t write. It gives me a way to get my feelings sorted out,” said Mott, who lives in a contemporary barn-inspired home on the banks of the Big Wood River north of Ketchum. “Today’s society is filled with cocktail parties in which people don’t have much chance to get beyond the surface. Fewer and further between are the times you have sitting on the couch truly getting to know a girlfriend.”

Of late, of course, Mott has been driven to write about being in quarantine, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that forced Sun Valley-area residents to shelter-in-place beginning in mid-March.

She pulls no punches.

“Until now I never realized that my immune system was so compromised,” she writes. “Wow. Guess it’s an age thing. So this morning I had two shots of elderberry juice, a scoop of mushroom powder in my smoothie, one glass of grapefruit juice, one green drink, three Airbornes, one vitamin D and a shot of an immune boost they were selling next to the cash register in a long silver tube.”

Her goal, she said, is to write about what people are talking about without being silly.

“And sometimes things people should be thinking about and maybe aren’t,” she added. “With this pandemic, I’m someone who’s over 60 and I always thought I would live to 110. Now, CNN is telling me I’m elderly and I’m not going to live to 110 because I’m vulnerable. So, I’m facing my own mortality.”

Mary Mott has always penned the thoughts she’s thinking. She has since she was a teenager. Working  in advertising in New York and San Francisco only added to her writing flair. A fan of theater, she also has penned four one-woman shows based on her life and musings, including one about turning 70 and another titled “Things I Haven’t Told You.”

“We moved here in the early 1990s and there was athletics and athletics,” said Mott, who still spends part of the year in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. “If your children weren’t into sports there were no theater programs. So, we bought the nexStage Theater, which was a car dealership before that. We brought groups through and created a home for local performers. And now I’m on the board of Spot. I love those young people—it takes me back to my young days.”

Mott has also recorded a few dozen podcasts based on her writings addressing such subjects as “Social Media Disorder” and “Sleepover.”

“Looking back, I realized I forged some of my closest friendships at sleepovers in which we really got to know one another. Adults don’t do sleepovers. And so, I think it’s harder to get to know one another. I find I do get to know houseguests better because you really get to know each other talking over coffee in the kitchen in the morning.”

Mott has always been an observer of life. Some of those observations led her to ponder summer in the Wood River Valley versus summers on the beach.

“Having grown up on the East Coast, I associate summer with the beach at Cape Cod and really heavy air. I started talking to people who live here and I found out that those who grew up here associate summer with mountains and wildflowers. It’s made me realize that people’s interpretation of summer can be very different depending where they grew up.”

And that, she notes, easily lends itself to another writing piece.

“We took a camping trip to Fourth of July Lake. Around here people don’t talk about how miserable that can be. But it was really tough,” she said. “But that’s another story.”

Here’s Mary Mott’s musings on the coronavirus pandemic, which she’s titled:


“wipe my dog down with hand sanitizer after someone pets her

participate willingly in a zoom dance party

be on a recipe chain letter for my favorite quarantine dishes

cut my bangs with a kitchen scissor

turn down the foot file when offered after a pedicure

check the gruesome death toll in New York City every morning

write about being a shut-in

run out of Q-tips

convince myself that if I let my hair air dry and wear no makeup, that I am doing something healthy for myself

wear camo sweatpants

watch “Ground Hog Day,” “Pandemic,” or “The Walking Dead”

wash broccoli in Palmolive dish soap

scrub down the outside of delivery boxes and bags.  twice.

forget to wash my hands without doing the inside of my thumbs

take daily shots of Airborne, Emergen-C and grapefruit juice

look out the window.  ruefully.

forget that if I don’t wear earrings for two months, my holes will close up

clean the toilet without that blue stuff

wait for a shipment from the puzzle factory

order generic groceries for two weeks at a time.  and cook three meals a day with them

play any board games whatsoever with my husband

melt zinc pills on my tongue as a preventative

drink elderberry elixir for god knows what reason

ignore anything Andrew Cuomo says. ever.

imagine a wild monkey, sordid affair with sanjay gupta

not know the difference between state and national government rights

dress like a slob because no one will see me and my husband will relate

ever vote for a red governor.  or red anything.

wear a N-95 mask while hiking

wash and wear my cotton blouses justifying that they’re wrinkled but clean

take a shot of Lysol

acknowledge Donald Trump as our president

wear latex gloves in the post office

and finally….

say longingly…. ‘if only I had time,  I’d get this done’.”






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