The Way We Live Now 9: Masks.

The minority opinion: I like masks. At least, I kind of like them.

I feel obligated to point out a few things I don’t like about wearing masks. When it’s hot outside, it’s hotter and more humid inside the mask. I don’t like that. When it’s cooler, my glasses fog up. It’s difficult to make myself understood sometimes, through a mask and a plastic barrier. Some masks dislodge my glasses and make them go sliding like an Olympic ski-jumper, which is inconvenient.

But there are several cool things about masks that I feel are being overlooked.

Minimizing Make-Up:

I was never a big make-up person; okay, any kind of make-up person. In my case, the degree of improvement never justified the expense or the effort. A mask covers enough of my face that I don’t even need sunscreen most of the time.

But, for those who wear make-up, masks give you an excellent “stage” for first-class eye cosmetics. I’ve seen men and women making the whole eye-liner thing work, and the masks really help draw the attention upward. A woman cashier in her twenties helped me at a shop in Mendocino. She wore a moss-green mask with bold flowers—orchids, I think—as the print, and a tracery of gold. She’d done the elongated, cat’s-eye line in kohl-style eyeliner on her eyes, had spikey black lashes, and her shimmery shadow was the same shade of green as the fabric. Way to rock a mask!

Fashion Accessory:

Masks can harmonize with your outfit, or be outfits in themselves, with sequins, flashing lights, and fashion prints. I have two cotton masks with bright floral embroidery on them and I get compliments every time I wear them. And at least once a day I acknowledge someone else’s mask.

Sloganeering, Not Just for T-Shirts Anymore:

Our chests, backs, heads and arms are already prime real estate for brands, sports times, artists we like, our pets, our favorite witty sayings, favorite art, or strong political statements. And now, masks. I’ve seen many I Can’t Breathe and Black Lives Matter masks. The other day at the farmers market I saw a Biden/Harris mask. People wear the stars and stripes. There could be Trump/Pence masks—oh, no, I guess there wouldn’t be. I have a mask of a print that shows old book covers, and my Mendocino Coast Writers Conference mask is my spare mask, in my purse at all times.

Mask of Mystery:

Various face coverings come in different shapes. I have two that have the flexible nose wire and extend down under my chin—like superhero masks. I can pretend I am a superhero. All I need is a cowl and a cape. Oh, wait, no capes, we know they’re unsafe. Anyway, mask, cowl, and a superpower, and I’m good to go.

Plenty of Cover:

The one thing no one admits; it is much easier to talk to yourself when you’re wearing a mask!

So, other than the most obvious thing about wearing a mask—that you are protecting others and yourself from a potentially deadly virus—there are several other benefits! And, in closing, I restate that I know this is a minority opinion.

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One Response to The Way We Live Now 9: Masks.

  1. Terry Connelly says:

    Wonderful! I chuckled several times. My favorite is “it is much easier to talk to yourself”. I have caught myself doing this.

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