I’ve noticed more freedoms — not less — in wearing a mask each time I go out.
I don’t have to remove the bits of spinach in my teeth after eating a salad.
There’s no need to pluck that one stray hair that grows out of my chin every month.
I can sneer undetected or mouth all kinds of obscenities at annoying people who get in my space.
I save a lot of money on lipstick and dental work and no one is the wiser.
A mask, combined with large sunglasses enables me to crash random gatherings and visit random people. They don’t know that they don’t know me.
Case in point: I recently traveled to Virginia and stayed with my son and his family.
At least, I think it was my family.
Come to think of it, the house looked different and the grandkids were taller and more grownup than I remembered.
I watched the man I thought was my son forgo his 7-mile daily run and down three pieces of pie in one sitting. Weird.
I watched as the very fit and health-conscious daughter-in-law downed two glasses of wine before dinner, turned her head too quickly, grimaced in pain and rubbed cooling gel on her aching shoulders.
Who were these people?
At dinner, I overheard the grandson as he leaned over and whispered to his younger sister, “Wasn’t our grandma a lot taller? “
“I think so,” the girl said, glancing at me sideways. “And,” she said, “I don’t remember Grandma telling the same stories over and over and always leading with, ‘When I was your age …’, do you?”
“I’m scared,” the teenage boy said. “Her eyes look a lot like that crazy cat lady down the street.”
I excused myself, grabbed a bottle of wine and went out on the front porch to recheck the house number. Was it possible that I missed it by one or two numbers? Was it possible that my GPS had directed me to a family in Maryland instead of Virginia? Was it possible that it was not actually me inside my mask?
Life has become very confusing during this pandemic.