Camp NaNoWriMo Day 11
Seven months ago, my thoughts on masks were mostly centered on wondering how, in fiction, a piece of fabric covering a fraction of the face could completely conceal an identity. Regular people can become superheroes by putting on a mask. You can be two people at once.
Now with the pandemic, it still catches me off guard sometimes when I see commercials or stock photos promoting an activity without any outright mention of COVID, and the people in them are casually wearing face masks. It’s strange to think how societal behaviors can change so quickly!
In my day job, I’m now wearing a face mask often for almost eight hours a day. I’m glad to do what I can to keep people safe. It’s also making me feel like a character in a book – somehow I don’t feel like quite the same person in a mask, or at least that my perspective is different. It’s like I’m looking through a car window, even though it’s not my eyes that the mask obstructs.
Here are some lighthearted observations I’ve had about wearing a mask and customer service:
- My eyes aren’t as expressive as I thought! I have to really squint to show I’m smiling.
- In fact, there’s a lot of emotions that don’t come across. I need to work on using my eyebrows more, I guess!
- I’m not as frazzled by angry customers anymore. They can’t tell I’m on edge as easily, and for some reason…that keeps me calm?
- Complimenting mask design is a fun conversation starter!
Here’s an interesting writing prompt: you know how writers are always told to show their characters’ emotions with their face and actions, rather than naming the emotion they’re experiencing? Write a scene where 2 characters are wearing masks, and see how much the emotional cues change.
Behind a face mask I'm any protagonist Of any tall tale