Having vaccines come available is absolutely glorious. It’s what I’ve been praying for since last summer. It fills me with such hope after this long, isolating time. Still, I have a problem.
It means that before very much longer, we won’t be required to wear masks anymore. I know, I know. That is cause for rejoicing to most of you. But as I slapped on my mask this morning for a quick trip to the market, I was suddenly horrified.
Today I was able to leave home after simply throwing my hair into a bun and skipping any fuss with my face, knowing that my mask would eliminate the need from eyes to Adam’s apple. For me that’s a minefield I have come to love disarming so simply these past months.
I do, at least, manage eye makeup most days, but on weekends I slack off mightily. I wear my spectacles rather than contacts, and in concert with the mask, my glasses camouflage a host of other imperfections. Never mind that I look like a geek. I look mostly like everyone else for now and that will do.
I can get out the door so much faster when I can just cover my face with paraphernalia. I have even become accustomed to wearing a KN95 mask. It’s not the kind you would find in a hospital room, but it is considerably heavier than the cloth ones I first wore.
It makes me feel more secure, but more importantly, no one but I can smell my breath. It has been such a vacation, to be able to drink coffee and eat onions and garlic and not spend the day worrying if I am socially acceptable.
I still have mints and sprays at the ready, but, dang, that mask has made “close” conversation easier. I know we aren’t all that close, but one still worries.
I will have to think long and hard about surrendering my mask for all the reasons tricksters have loved masks down the centuries. Masks keep secrets better than any BFF — and what woman doesn’t have secrets?
Jean Gillette is a freelance writer thinking face tattoos are beginning to sound reasonable. Contact her at [email protected].