PLEASE MAY WE KEEP THE MASKS?

I don’t really sit around and think about my appearance much…on most days I have bigger problems…but I’m going to be honest and admit that I’ve wished on more than one occasion that the ‘resting bitch face’ was not so strong in me. Judge me gently if you must, but if you’re an okay person and you live your whole life knowing that people think you are Beelzebub simply because of how you look, it becomes a burden.

Over the years I’ve trained myself to smile for absolutely no reason. Walking into a supermarket? Smile! Looking for coconut milk? Smile a little! Getting the death stare from the world’s unfriendliest cashiers? Oh go on, smile a smilie!

But then corona made its assholey appearance and life as we knew it changed. In one big way, it leveled the playing field…

Suddenly extreme beauty is hidden behind masks. Noted un-attractiveness is tempered by cloth. And devastatingly bitchy resting bitch faces are softened by covers.

All we have now are each other’s eyes. And apart from the possibly shy, allegedly criminal or probable sun-sensitive folk who also wear shades, we are all equally vulnerable in our eyes. Everything that is hidden hides there and no smiling or smirking or pouting can hide it more.

And we have nowhere else to look! I find myself peering into the eyes of more human beings than I ever have, because that is all I see. And I love it. The slightest frown, the smallest wink and the most subtle squinting can indicate friendliness or teasing or offense. It’s a mystery novel each time I walk out my front door…

And my eyes are all that others can see now. I no longer feel this suffocating burden to set people at ease by smiling, because by themselves, my eyes are completely benign. Even friendly. I find that people smile at me quickly, are quick to return smiles (a smile these days are squinting of eyes I guess…) and do not walk circles around me. A few gentlemen have even asked me for help and directions. It was a first for me…

The irony is, now I can’t stop smiling.

So if you ask me, we can keep the masks.

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