The Great Unmasking


The hairs on my chinnie chin chin.

The signs in store windows are beginning to disappear. Events are starting back up. We are now being advised by the CDC that if we are fully vaccinated, we can unmask. Finally, there is a light at the end of this very dark pandemic tunnel.


I recently saw someone unmasked that I have seen regularly since August of last year. I realized at that moment that I had NEVER seen her without a mask. I felt confused and disappointed. I must have assigned attributes to the rest of her face that didn’t even begin to live up to the unveiling.


It also occurred to me that I can’t hide behind my mask anymore. During the pandemic, my personal care routine faltered a bit. OK, a lot. I happily abandoned make up, especially lipstick. Bad breath? Who cares? No one was getting near me. And, like so much of nature, my post-menopausal unwanted facial hair flourished.


I am proud to say as a woman, I try to go with the natural look as much as possible. Maybe it’s because I’m cheap, or chicken, or I not-so-secretly wish that I was a man, but I just say NO to fake nails, cosmetic rearrangements, spackle, plastics, fillers, etc.

I do, however, love my spa pedicures. I probably could use a good teeth cleaning. I also get waxed. I am convinced, if left to its own devices, my mustache and beard would rival any man’s. I’m sure there’s other things I’ve neglected.


Wouldn’t it be great if there was an automated total body detailing place that would take care of it all in one quick visit? For the low price of, say just $19.95, you walk into this box, strip naked, and kind of like a car wash, you get a deep cleaning. Cat in the Hat like hands would come out and clean every orifice head to toe, remove all unwanted detritus, polish and shine everything. You’re welcome to steal this idea; all I want is a free pass for life.


I am looking forward to seeing others' whole faces again. And to showing them that I am smiling when I say something sarcastic. Maskless and exposed? This is a big adjustment. Aside from reinstating my personal care routine, no more hiding my snarky smirks behind multiple layers of cloth. The biggest challenge by far is the reality that I'll have to go back to being discrete when I talk to myself out loud in the produce section.


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