A Livermore couple that had to postpone their big wedding decided to get creative, holding a walk-by, yell-your-congratulations-and-grab-a-beer reception instead.
Lindsey Dale said she doesn’t know where her wedding to Sean Widger would take place, because who knows anything right now.
But doing nothing didn’t seem right either.
“We had to do something,” she said. “We wanted to do something silly. It seemed like a good time for it.”
Dale, a preschool teacher, and Widger, a sommelier, were supposed to have a big outdoor wedding last weekend in a Mill Valley park and an even bigger reception at a San Francisco steak house. Six dozen guests sent back their RSVP cards.
As preschool teachers know, life is one big arts-and-crafts project. With scissors and glue she turned the suddenly irrelevant RSVP cards into a giant wreath and put it on display in the front yard of the couple’s home on the 1700 block of Locust Street.
On Saturday evening, well-wishers strolled by on their evening exercise walk, staying just long enough to holler congratulations to the couple in the decorated front yard, to grab a beer, to grab a virus-free non-wedding cupcake, to sign the guest book — actually a giant toilet paper roll — with a disposable pen and then quickly depart, allowing the next well-wisher to do the same.
There was no handshaking, fist-bumping or kissing of the future bride. But there were 6-foot-apart chalk marks on the sidewalk, just like in front of a supermarket.
After the socially distanced reception, Dale and her husband-to-be got on their bicycles with a “Not Married!” sign on the back and pedaled around the neighborhood, to make it official.
Zoom conference for pets: How is life different for the dogs and cats of America during the pandemic? They’re spending a lot more time watching their owners use the bathroom.
That was the result of a possibly scientific poll of pet owners participating the other day in perhaps the biggest-ever conference call among owners and their pets in history.
The Zoom call, arranged by the Freshpet pet food company, featured screen after screen of critter and human. There was Diana, with Peanut the dog. There was Amanda, with Archibald the cat. There was Liv, with Lilly, who could have been either a dog or a cat. Hundreds of animals and humans crowded into grid after grid of tiny rectangles on a cell phone screen, making it hard to differentiate among mammals.
“What crazy things are your pets seeing you do?” host Rainn Wilson asked the 900 humans during the live call, and then he listed four choices. “Going to the bathroom? Singing songs? Sitting through photo shoots? Dancing?’’
He paused. From across the U.S., the pet owners tapped their screens. The votes flooded in.
“Um, OK, that’s great, amazing,” Wilson said. “‘My pet watches me use the bathroom’ seems to be the winner.”
Library forgiveness: Great news from the San Francisco Public Library: Everyone is off the hook.
You don’t have to bring anything back to the library for a long time. In fact, you can’t bring anything back to the library for a long time. Not only are the libraries closed, but the return slots for dropping off checked-out books and movies are closed, too.
“We don’t have the personnel to collect the books, sanitize the books or handle the books,” said library spokeswoman Kate Patterson.
Right now there are 336,046 books, movies and other library items checked out.
When are they due back? That’s complicated, said Shellie Cocking, the chief of the collection.
Usually you get to keep library items for three weeks. Because of the pandemic, however, all due dates were extended to June 1 — the same day the current citywide shutdown is scheduled to end.
But, said Cocking, who knows whether the shutdown will end on June 1? Librarians can answer a lot of questions, she said, but they can’t answer that one.
Anyway, the last thing the library wants is tens of thousands of San Franciscans trooping down to the library on the same day and dumping it all on the return counter.
So when the shutdown ends and the libraries reopen — whenever that is — patrons are invited to return their checked-out items pretty much whenever they want. Because the library last year stopped charging fines on overdue books — on the theory that overdue fines are unfair to people who can’t pay them — there’s no longer a penalty. There may not even be such a thing as an overdue library book.
“We hope people return their materials as soon as possible,” Patterson said. “But our patrons can take their sweet time.”
Steve Rubenstein is a staff writer at The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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the ‘good news’
Amid the sobering daily coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, there are rays of light: young people helping older neighbors, musicians and fitness coaches offering their talents online, neighbors having social-distancing dance parties. We’d like to know about examples of good news you have witnessed during this time. You can tell us your thoughts online at SFChronicle.com by using our Assignment Editor tool, or send an email (which can include a photo) with the subject line “Good News” to email@example.com.