Annie Dear: Who is that masked woman?

Staff Writer
The Examiner
The Examiner

If I haven’t thanked you enough in the past, dear health care workers, please accept my abject humility and unworthiness to you in my greater appreciation for what you do, all the while cheerful, positive, and wearing these bloody masks.

If I have to wear one, I will. I will not be the idiot woman video-taped while shrieking that she wasn’t going to wear a #@%$ mask in the $%^^ store, nor will I be the one throwing a small tanty and sitting on the floor refusing to budge because someone insisted her face be correctly covered.

So rather than bitch, whinge and moan about having to wear a face mask, I’ve been looking for the positive aspects.

No. 1: You can mouth-breathe without looking like the village idiot – with apologies for the no doubt horribly politically incorrect statement, but hey. I’m old. I’m an Aussie. Get over it.

No. 2: If your mask is of sufficient depth, you can actually poke your tongue out – in an ever so grown up manner – if something ticks you off.

No. 3: You can go out and munch on parsley and spinach to your heart’s content, or crunch through an acreage of flax seeds without wondering whether you’ve got stuff stuck in your teeth.

No. 4: A biggy for us girls. You don’t have to keep applying lipstick as it rubs off inside the mask and you tend to take on the look of Batman’s Joker by the end of the day.

However, for every up, there has to be a down. I think I remember something about this in my increasingly dimming past in science class. Everything has an equal and opposite reaction, or whatever it was.

So for my ups, I naturally have four downs:

No. 1: Breathing seems to be relatively optional. I find when I don my “black fashion mask” I tend to hold my breath for some unknown reason. And then when I do breathe, it’s just not as satisfying as it should be.

No. 2: Once you’ve removed the mask, you must keep in mind numbers 3 and 4 above – removal of flax seeds is advisable, and if you’re anything like me, the reapplication of lipstick will save you the humiliation of people assuming you’re about to drop off this mortal coil all together, so pale are your lips.

No. 3: It is summer. It is hot. I don’t want to “glow” beneath my mask – it is erky.

No. 4: A combination of glasses and masks poses new challenges. If not worn correctly, your mask will cause you to exhale eyeballwards and therefore fog up your glasses. If worn correctly, you have to clamp the nose piece of your glasses over the mask and onto said schnozz, but further down the nose than you normally would. This gives you the added thrill of not being able to see as well as you should.

No. 5: The elastic ear loops on my mask don’t seem long enough, so I end up looking like Prince Charles before the ear-pinning.

Oh dear. Sigh. The cons outweighed the pros by about two and a half ounces. I must think of something more positive to create balance and harmony.

– Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at