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An introvert’s newly found love for masks

I hear you. Masks can be uncomfortable, they feel kind of weird and have become, for me at least, just another thing to forget at home. Phone, wallet, keys…mask: that’s the new pre-flight check. Like many, the adoption of complying with mask orders felt like a cumbersome transition at first. My morning run ends around Roy’s Pasties & Bakery, a completely intentional carrot-on-a-stick type motivational method I have procured over my years here. With that being said, I cannot tell you how many times I have run away from my house, slowly (emphasis on slowly) nearing the great bakery by the water, only to arrive with the realization that I have forgotten my mask. No breakfast pasty for me today. No yeast-raised, cocoa pebble topped donut. No coffee. A terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad start to the morning. Alas, this may sound like a complaint about masks, but it is not. This, if anything, is a complaint about my own ineptitude.. The devastation of not being able to consume that Roy’s breakfast is a great reminder to always have a mask on me. These are the growing pains of living in an ever-changing world I presume. While I am very much not an optimist, I have been able to identify a few positive outcomes from mask orders, and even kind of grown fond of masking up in public. 

As the title suggests, I am unabashedly an introvert. I love being around people….when I want to. When I go to Econo Foods, I am pretty much never in that mood. On a scale of one to ten, you can ramp that feeling up to eleven when in my hometown downstate. I would rather die than have to engage in small-talk with a litany of characters from high school. I know it’s dramatic, but, wow, is it how I feel. Thanks to mask-wearing, I feel no shame as I load a bag of Totino’s Pizza Rolls into my cart. It rivals the bag of mulch my mom asked me to grab for her in size. I finally get how Bruce Wayne feels. I am fully incognito-mode browsing the produce aisle and LOVING it.  

On top of this, I have a reflection problem. If a surface is even slightly shiny, I must look into it. I must check myself out. I really think this is more of an anxiety thing than a narcissism thing, as I truly would rather look at any other person more than myself, but what if I have something on my face? Oh wait, I do. I have a mask that covers seemingly 75% of it. Sweet.

Wearing a mask in public for the last few months has truly been an interesting experience for me. I think I might almost prefer it. No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service. If this is the new normal, I think we can all get through it. Until then, if you see a guy acting like a small piece of fabric has granted him complete invisibility, just leave him alone in the fantasy.  

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