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KELLY: Birthdays, horror, & COVID oh my!


Last Wednesday, October 6, I turned 28. Months in advance I requested to take the day off so my sister and I could do something fun to celebrate. But things don’t always go the way we planned them…

This little thing called COVID – maybe you’ve heard of it – decided to wreak havoc on my sister’s house. For the record, everyone is on the mend, slowly but surely. 

We had everything planned out – go to Columbia, do some shopping, maybe (definitely) eat at Olive Garden and just have sister time. 

I guess it’s a good thing she didn’t come to my house the evening before (September 27) to watch Dancing with the Stars. Despite being fully vaccinated, I didn’t want to risk it. 

I’m not going to lie, I was bummed that we couldn’t spend my birthday together, but I decided to make the best of it. After all, I knew we would eventually be able to hang out again once everyone was well enough to.

So I kept the plans I’d made and spent the majority of the day in Columbia – but not too long because I didn’t want to get stuck in the crazy lunchtime traffic. 

My first venture was to the mall. I specifically went to the mall to look for Halloween shirts. Anyone who knows me knows I love my horror movies. If you’ve read any of my columns I’ve mentioned some of my favorites. I ended up buying a Michael Myers T-shirt and a Friday the 13th eyeshadow pallet. I almost bought a $65 pair of Friday the 13th Vans, but they didn’t have any in stock. And I also sat in one of those massage chairs in the mall and got a three-minute massage. I use the word massage very loosely. It felt like I was on an amusement park ride, but my back did feel a little better.

My second and final stop in Columbia was to 2nd and Charles. I’m sure that’s shocking to absolutely no one who knows me and my love for books. It was a pretty successful trip – two books, a new notebooks (as if I needed a new one), and a 500-piece It: Chapter Two Pennywise puzzle. My sister and I are already planning on when we’ll put it together.

I do have to say, my timing is pretty impeccable because I decided to head back to Newberry just as the traffic started to become congested. I know I’m not alone in saying that driving in Columbia traffic makes my nerves go through the roof. 

And, because I love to find a good deal, once I got back to Newberry I went to Burke’s Outlet and used my 15 percent birthday discount. I may or may not have bought a notebook while I was in there. Don’t judge me, it’s a writer thing…

All in all, it was a good birthday. I jokingly told my sister she needs to get better because this Friday the new Halloween Kills comes out in theatres. It was supposed to come out last year around this time, but of course COVID happened and changed everything. That’s another sister date in the works that we’re looking forward to. 

And I leave you with this, by the time this column is published it will be 23 days since the last time I was face-to-face with my sister. That is a LONG time for my sister and I not to hang out with each other…


Kelly Duncan is graphic designer and writer for The Clinton Chronicle. Reach her at 864-833-1900.

Kelly Duncan