Today was my official coming out day. It’s the day I’m marking in the calendar as “Started wearing mask in public“. I finally finished my hand-crafted creations. They do have a pouch for a filter, but are otherwise quite unremarkable. My housemates have been mostly polite about them, excepting a few comments about being uneven, or baggy, or weird smelling. I know these are not in their longer-term wardrobe plans — I’ve seen their orders for more colorful alternatives in our Amazon account.
Much about the future is unclear, but one thing I’m pretty sure of, is that masks are here to stay for a while. Regardless of the recommendations, requirements or regulations where you live, or what your personal stance is on these, they have arrived.
Fashion, culture and profit is going to make sure we buy more than we need and perhaps even keep wearing them longer. As we start venturing out into public and shedding our sweat-pant-pajama-workout-shorts rotation we might want a sporty one for outdoorsy gatherings, a more chic model for dinner and the theater, more formal for church, more business-like for interviewing, and so on. Will they need to match shoes and purse, or belt, or earrings, or what about glasses frames. And of course, we’ll need some new organizer gizmo for the collection in our drawers. I see a new complexity to getting dressed penetrating a world I’m constantly trying to simplify! The materials, the colors, the designs could become the next frontier for designers. They might even add tassels, lace, sequence, or who knows what?
But before we leap to all this, I have some basic questions, like how the heck do you really breath in these things if you have a filter in them? I felt like I was recycling carbon dioxide in the grocery store this morning to the point where I might slump over in a faint on the egg cartons.
Then there’s the fogging up of the glasses challenge. It would seem that if you put a decent filter layer in the pouch (that took all that extra effort to make), the best way for air to enter and exit is through the top, passing by your glasses. They then fog up.
How on earth do I train myself to not touch my glasses that keep slipping down on top of the material now covering my nose; to not touch the itch from the elastic on my ear; to not touch the mask over my nose that seems to be covering the one nostril completely; how to not touch anything above my neck that is all itchy and uncomfortable? How?
I learned how to walk in high heels, wear pantyhose in the Houston heat and painfully heavy earrings when that was in fashion, so I’m sure I can master this mask. But I might need to upgrade my home-grown pioneer version for a Nieman Marcus deluxe model at some point, if Nieman’s doesn’t go out of business.
And then, practically speaking, how can I safely take it off and put it somewhere that isn’t going to contaminate some other surface? How frequently do we wash them, or reinsert a new filter? There appear to be varying opinions and there’s no definitive right or wrong answer. As somebody, who likes to know how to do it right, this is very frustrating.
For the time being, I’m going to have to live with answers like ‘You’ll get used to it’, ‘Just do the best you can.’ and ‘Some protection is better than none.’ I’m washing them in Zum patchouli laundry detergent this afternoon, so that should help a little.
See you out there with your mask on 🙂 Wave in case I don’t recognize you.