I have a non-ideal mask situation as I wait for the ones I ordered a while back to finally arrive; it’s basically a hiking buff folded and tied with hair bands and either it’s too thick or too tight or I’m just a sensitive pansy because wearing it feels like breathing with someone firmly pressing a pillow into my face with murderous intent. I should just go the bandana route until I have a better solution because at least then I can pretend I’m enjoying some cowgirl cosplay during my infrequent Safeway outings: howdy partner, pardon me as I reach for them there Nillas.

Oh, the homemade, rinky-dink masks everywhere. This is one of the many things that are what you make of them right now, I guess: why not choose to view all the various cobbled-together face coverings as people trying their best to do the right thing for one another? But also: ugh, we are all so freaked out and uncertain and deeply, scarily unprepared.

Some people are out doing vigorous exercise in their masks, or at least I have seen joggers and hikers wearing them, and I find that pretty impressive. I am the type of person who finds the tiniest discomfort to be mentally insurmountable during cardio, I remember back in my running days when something like a butt-crawling pair of shorts would drive me absolutely batshit, so if you are out there doing wind sprints with fabric over your mouth then I salute you! From my couch. Where I am probably shoveling yet another fistful of circus animal cookies into my mouth, and not even the Keebler brand but the terrible discount kind from Bi-Mart where the frosting tastes like partially hydrogenated monkey sphincter.

I miss so many things that feel too dumb to even mention, and I miss bigger things like spending time with family and friends, and I miss seeing faces. My friend Anna and I have a habit of texting each other when we haven’t gotten together for a while: I miss your face! And while I have always been a social hermit I cannot believe how much I miss not just her face, but everyone’s face. Dear world: I miss your face.


8 Responses to “I miss your face”

  1. Amber Lena on April 21st, 2020 7:17 pm

    Gawd, you’re funny. I don’t know you ITL, but I miss your face.

  2. Martha Pepek on April 21st, 2020 8:04 pm

    Today is my birthday. Quarantine birthdays are the worst, especially when you and your husband have a terrible, and stupid, argument and then your 11 year old boy totally melts down saying he feels like he’s in prison and he can’t take much more of this (hello week SIX). I know everyone else is suffering, many in much worse ways than my little family. Still, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Your missives lift me up (along with John Krasinski’s SGN and dear friends who text at just the right time sending photos from her 16th birthday party, lo so many years ago). Thank you. Thank you for being you, raw and real. I appreciate you.

  3. Shawna on April 22nd, 2020 5:39 am

    Martha, every time Facebook tells me it’s someone’s birthday these days I feel a pang of sympathy for them. What a sucky time to have a birthday!

    I bought a stash of iTunes gift cards so whenever my daughters friends have birthdays (they’re all turning 14 this year) we leave them a handmade card with a gift card in it in their mailbox and then she texts the friend to let her or him know. (They all seem to have iPhones around here.) It doesn’t make up for the lack of seeing friends at a birthday party, but they all seem to appreciate it.

  4. Kim on April 22nd, 2020 5:44 am

    A couple of us are allowed to go in to the office on Tuesday mornings to collect mail & do the minor tasks necessary to keep the law school running during final exams. Yesterday after doing that, I took a walk around campus, something I would normally be doing every day, especially during this glorious time of year in the South (you know, before the heat & humidity set in to sap my will to live). A few other people were walking or jogging, most wearing masks. It felt wonderful & terrible to see what is essentially a ghost town. And yes, wearing a mask with prescription sunglasses on? An exercise in patience.

  5. Donna on April 22nd, 2020 9:04 am

    I literally can be alone with no problem. Yesterday was the boyfriends birthday, we’ve been having problems for awhile, I’d decided to move out, and he tried to ask me to marry him to keep me here. I stopped him, I’m still moving out and things couldn’t be more insane and emotional if they tried.
    He needs to be alone to figure out his life and where his loyalties lie. (He cheated).
    I learned a long time ago that I’d rather be alone than be with someone I can’t trust and he needs to learn why he does the things he does.
    I miss my girlfriends that would love on me, feed me, and commiserate with me. All their faces.

  6. Gigi on April 22nd, 2020 2:34 pm

    I’m actually adapting to staying home but I know what you mean – I actually typed the words “I miss seeing your face.” to a friend last night. And I miss seeing our son. He stopped by this evening and we were able to visit for a minute while being separated and that gave me pure joy.

  7. Jill on April 23rd, 2020 1:00 am

    I have read your blog for years and I am so SO glad you are writing here more often. I’m in South Korea, and we are finishing up week 9 of being home. I am over it, and my kids are sick of virtual school. I want to go back to “normal” and be allowed to order a coffee and drink it in an actual coffee shop, instead of ordering and then scurrying out of the shop to remove my mask once I’m safely away from all the people. The odd thing, though, is that I was walking with one of my boys today and there was a chilly breeze blowing off the water, and I found myself thinking “I’m totally wearing a mask next winter, my face is nice and warm.” My face is also disgustingly … moist from breathing into a mask with nowhere for my breath to go and god help me if I still have to wear this damn thing when it’s 95* all summer.

  8. Joanna on April 23rd, 2020 7:54 am

    I definitely can’t run while wearing a face mask. I’m already a mouth breather – I guess if I’m looking for an efficient way to shoot warm wet coffee breath directly into my eyeballs I’ll give it a try. For now I’ve traded my outside run for my indoor rowing machine. Navigating around the occasional other runner or dog walker was kind of wiping out the stress relieving benefits of exercise. It can’t help but imagine myself inhaling tiny virus particles or fatally sharing them with the nice old Russian guy that walks his little lap dog. Mental health is my primary motive for exercise right now – balanced by discovering new combinations of late night snacks: teddy grahams dipped in frosting, Oreos slathered in peanut butter, the ideal ratio of glutinous bottled cheese dip and salsa.

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