I let the mask drop from one ear the exact split second I walked out of the store. I let it hang there until the breeze threatened to lift it off the other ear, so I grabbed it that I might be able to reuse it a couple or three (or ten) more times. There was a permanent berry-hued lipstick stain across the middle and I wondered to myself Why do I apply lipstick only to put on a face mask and then look like a kid with a koolaid stain when the mask comes off? I'll tell you why I put on lipstick: It's what I do. I am not completely dressed without my lipstick. In fact, sometimes it's the only makeup I apply. Sometimes I get busy and run out the door without makeup, but not without lipstick. It is my security blanket so to speak. It helps me think I look a bit more put together than I truly am and allows me to look healthier as opposed to not feeling well, which my best friend once told me I looked like when I didn't have my lips painted. But the face mask has cramped my lipstick-applying style. So I just put the mask back on the next occasion, lipstick stain and all, and go on my merry way. No worries, it's a perfectly lovely shade of red berry pink.
These are strange times...really strange times.
Last week I was in Athens, Georgia to do a little shopping and I had to wait in a line just to get inside the store. They were letting one or two persons in as one or two came out. The people waiting around with me were surprisingly patient with their masks on just talking as if the times were completely normal. There is nothing normal about this! But we have gotten used to wearing masks, social distancing, and making fewer shopping trips to the store. And when we get to the store and the store is at peak capacity, we just take it in stride and learn to wait our turn like preschoolers have to learn. We've learned to just "do what we have to do." Perhaps all this is helping us to slow down and take our time more, make each moment count more, enjoy the moments we do get to go out more, and learn to play nicely together. I would like to think that.
But speaking of preschool...
Most of the surrounding counties where I live are preparing to start back with virtual learning, then easing into the classroom in shifts. Then some are just jumping in the pool headfirst and hoping they're able to swim through this whirlpool of change. They're taking measures to lessen the threat, keep the faith, let the kids learn and grow in a normal surrounding, and come out okay on the other side. I'm sort of in that camp. You have to weigh the full picture and kids need to be in school. I think a lot of our children have suffered from being so isolated and are truly craving the company of their own kind because they are little social creatures. So let's just put on our face masks, folks, try to lessen our exposure, and live our lives! I'm just praying and keeping my fingers crossed that our preschool will start when they're saying but, who knows, this is a time of mushy foundations where nothing said is ever in solid concrete anymore.
Sooo... I've been a busy little preschool teacher-beaver preparing for my precious 15 or so 2-year-olds who will inevitably come bursting into the room on opening day like an overzealous t-ball team wholeheartedly expecting to win the game! I look forward to their enthusiasm, their 2-going-on-20 attitudes, their hilarious antics, and all the wonders a 2-year-old has to offer this world. It is a time of tremendous growth for them, a speed-of-light learning season, and the advancement of baby to big boy or girl. There is a tremendous change in how a 2-year-old enters preschool at the beginning of the year and how they leave preschool in May, and I count it a privilege and honor to help guide them in their journey.
Back to the face masks. I must confess that I truly hate wearing one. They make my glasses fog up, they make you feel as though you're talking from the inside of a barrel, they hide your facial expressions and don't allow you to see others', and I swear I cannot get the air I need to breathe well! (and did I tell you they mess with my lipstick?) But we keep putting them on (well, most of us), because if we can protect ourselves and others a little bit longer and they allow us to go on living out the other things in our lives more normally, like going to church and the doctor and the local eatery and the grocery store, then we're glad to do our part in the family of humanity to help out. A lot of people say that we are just not as friendly wearing masks all the time and they do kind of give us anonymity. We tend to walk straight ahead with the look of a horse in blinders and get on with our day in an all-business sort of way. And social distancing doesn't help either. I am a talker and (as you know) a hugger, and when I see someone I know out and about in the community, it's hard not to tackle them with a big bear hug and, if it's a really good friend, a peck on the cheek. All this has not only cramped my lipstick style, but my social style for sure.
But here's the thing. I've noticed recently that quite a few folks actually also smile with their eyes. If you look closely, these folks' eyes crinkle a bit when they're smiling and, even though you can't actually see their mouth, you know they're smiling because of their eyes. When I smile, my eyes pretty much go away, forming into tiny little squinty slits. I cannot smile behind a mask and people not know it. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and I believe it to be true. If you'll take a minute to notice, you can tell most people's facial expression by looking at their eyes, even with a mask on. Could mandatory mask-wearing be the tool that helps us to look more into a person's soul?
As we continue to move forward in these new and different times together, remember:
The human race is a resilient race.
We face the unknown with courage, we conquer our fears, and we plan for a better day but adapt to our new realities because this is what we do. God has given us the great potential of adaptation and we prove it over and over again every single day. So while you're putting on that mask, go ahead and put on a cape as well and be a hero to someone today. This world needs more heroes.
And don't forget to smile at someone with those gorgeous peepers!
In full disclosure, I saw the title of this post quoted on the DMV billboard on Interstate 20 and loved it! Also, the quote below from Dr. Phil refers to another another kind of mask...for discussion on another day for sure! Kinda sounds like social media, right?
"We all have a social mask, right? We put it on, we go out, put our best foot forward, our best image. But behind that social mask is a personal truth, what we really, really believe about who we are and what we're capable of."
- Phil McGraw
Posted by CC
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