Favorite Masks

26 Mar

I reach into the canvas tote on the coatrack, hoping one of the good masks is available. This fall, the school gave us a mask that’s soft. It’s also adjustable, with loops that adjust for each ear and a lanyard to go around your neck. They gave us the opportunity to order more. Since it fit so well and was so comfortable, my family order a bunch of them.

My youngest son always seems to get to the mask bag first in the mornings, and he always chooses one of these masks. Sometimes, I feel jealous if I’m stuck with one of the elastic banded masks that tugs at my ears all day.

One of my colleagues borrowed her daughter’s mask. It’s so dense that she feels suffocated by it. Good for effectiveness, not so great for projecting one’s voice over a classroom full of students.

I don’t think I could have imagined having a favorite mask a year ago. (Remember back then, when we thought masks weren’t effective against COVID?)

What makes a mask a favorite?

It needs to fit my ears. There’s nothing worse than that low grade headache after a day (or an hour) of demanding elastic bending your ears, stealing my thoughts, like those blaring commercials blasting from the gas pump as I fill up my car. I don’t want my mask to interfere with listening to you.

It needs to be effective at its job. If it’s too thin and my breath passes easily through it (Can I blow out a candle while wearing it?), then what’s the point? But it also can’t suffocate me. Honestly, I haven’t had a lot of problems in this area. I don’t know if my lungs are strong from running, if I’m used to running with a face covering during our frigid Michigan winters, or what. I haven’t tried double-masking or run into a mask that left me gasping, but I know some have. Their voices muffled and unheard. I want to be able to communicate clearly.

It needs to fit the nose too. I like the masks with the wire that wraps around the bridge of my nose. It just feels better. I wish my students’ masks all had this feature. There are a handful who just can’t keep their nostrils contained in a mask. They’re willing to pull it up when I ask, but I get annoyed when I have to keep asking. It’s like a signal that they’ll wear a mask, but they don’t really care. Wearing a mask properly is an easy way to show others you care.

It needs to look good. Okay, so I’m including this, but I don’t care too much about matching my mask to my clothes. I rarely look in a mirror, so unless someone is so uncouth as to tell me my mask doesn’t match, I’ll never know. The masks we choose and how we wear them can communicate a lot, though. Right?

For what it’s worth, I did get one of my favorite masks today.

P.S. I wonder how many tweets, blog posts, and articles have written about the (metaphorical) masks we wear while writing about the (literal) masks we wear.


Posted by on March 26, 2021 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Favorite Masks

  1. TalaTimes

    March 26, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Who would believe that this would even be a real concern a year ago?! Well, a little over a year ago!

  2. amyilene

    March 26, 2021 at 11:15 am

    I never thought I would have a favorite (literal) mask…but I do. It is soft and fits perfectly, with nose pincher things that fit under my glasses on the days I can no longer stand my contacts. Unfortunately, it is also too thick for teaching, so I wear the surgical blue paper ones at school.

  3. lynnedorfman

    March 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    You did a great job exploring the masks that you can enjoy wearing. I have some masks from the Danbury Mint that are both beautiful and comfortable – with cardinals, bluebirds, or yellow finches. I am afraid that masks may remain a part of our lives even after this summer. I’ve bought some new masks recently from the flower shop – yes, the flower shop. I think you’ve done a great job covering this topic!

  4. Lisa Corbett

    March 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    At my school we are required to wear disposable medical-grade masks that are provided for us. I have adjusted, but I’m not a huge fan. On the weekend it takes me a few tries to adjust to a fabric mask. I’ll be so glad when we go back to not needing them.

  5. shawndastories

    March 27, 2021 at 1:01 am

    I remember last spring when my grandmother send my family our first masks, ones that she made. Those are still some of our favorite. I tried making them using her pattern, but they didn’t turn out as good. I’ve tried several different ones, but I think my favorite are the Vera Bradley ones from Target. They have beautiful patterns and have the lanyard around your head instead of ears, so much more comfortable for me! Great topic to write about!


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