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“Everywhere else, we are someone else, but at home, we remove our masks.” Matthew Desmond

I will admit, I am an Orange County California girl all the way. Moving to Santa Barbara, I fought the laid-back attitude. The main uniform women wear in Santa Barbara is yoga pants and Patagonia jacket. I haughtily thought “that will never be me”.

Representing OC, I proudly was different with my vegan leather jacket, and doc martin boots, I was taking the town by storm. Forget about sneakers I pounded the streets in boots. I had to be different after all, I was just being me.

I refused to cave. Eventually, I realized the most comfortable outfit one can wear is yoga pants and a puffy jacket. I dress just like all the women around me, tennis shoes included. Thank god for the outfit because it can walk me for miles.

Now masked up, I admittedly am sliding down a slippery slope. I manage lotion on my face but it stops there. I often pass on make-up, horrified that brushing my teeth has become optional. I mean really the preverbal spinach in the teeth is held politely behind a mask. Lipstick to show off my glossy smile, not so much. I try to remember earrings as it has been said accessories separate us from wild animals.

When masked up our eyes are front and center, I try to remember to add mascara. Sunscreen and mascara, a far cry from the cleansing régime that would hold me in front of the bathroom mirror for twenty minutes. I have not forgotten how to be a girl; I just am confessing with mandatory masks I have become slothfully lazy.

This goes beyond my mask as I have been buying pajama clothes and stretchy sweat pants vs. the flouncy blouses as I did before. I am not only hiding behind my mask I am hiding in the car and at home. I am walking the dog, doing home yoga, movies, cooking, writing.

Some would say this year-long moment has been wonderful in ways unexpected. I have turned to home projects I never managed to make time for. I have picked up books. I have reminded myself that I am a yogi. The adjustments with a pandemic have mostly sucked. However, I admit I can hide some sins behind my mask. Who doesn’t want some mystery? After all the Botox bill has been cut in half, but the flannel shopping has doubled. Balance is always important.

Are you wearing lipstick under your mask? I am going to pretend we all are! Polished, flossed, and ready for minty kissing.

My Mantra: “Let your smile shine through your mask”