Traumatized by seeing her aged face on Zoom, — “things are happening here that never had happened”— actress and writer Kathryn Grody rants, despairing and conflicted, to her son Gideon as he films her with his iPhone. It is one of the many illuminating moments captured on @Mandy Patinkin, documenting the everyday life of actor Mandy Patinkin, Grody and Gideon as they shelter at their cabin in upstate New York during the pandemic.

Grody nails the all-too-common pressure of being at odds with what she believes she should feel and how she really feels:

I don’t agree with how I’m feeling. I feel very differently. I should read my essay about aging well. I am philosophically in conflict with how I feel about how I look and how I feel I should be embracing how lucky it is that I’m here...The conflict is I don’t want to give a shit and I do. I just looked at myself on a Zoom call and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Two months earlier, Grody shares her reasons for being against plastic surgery, and then illustrates the effects.

The homemade videos celebrates complex feelings in two touching, funny minutes. As do many other of the little moments captured in the Patinkin’s quarantine life, including the realities of a long marriage, the irritations and rewards of living too closely together, a sometimes-pain-in-the-ass son, the general mess of living in all its complexity. (You can read the backstory at Scenes from a Marriage, Patinkin-Style at the New York Times.)

It is a curiously heartening joy to watch them lounge, bicker, snuggle, squabble, debate politics, declaim facelifts, make overcooked omelets, nap to wake perplexed and angry at their nosey son’s camera

It is a welcome addition to my instagram feed of whales, art, New York, trees…

With thanks to Susan Dworski for throwing it over our transom.

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