There was a time, not so long ago, when if someone walked into a store wearing a mask, everyone would get nervous.
A robbery in progress, perhaps? But these days, there’s more likely to be trouble if someone walks into a store without a mask. The coronavirus certainly has turned our world on its head.
It used to be that anyone wearing a mask was probably either a bandit, trying to make themselves unrecognizable, or a hero, trying to protect their secret identity. Of course, the masks worn by most of those heroes wouldn’t cut it in today’s world.
The Lone Ranger, Batman, and Captain America would find that their masks wouldn’t be good enough for entrance into most stores. Spider-Man is one of the few heroes with an acceptable mask. (But if you want to get really serious, nobody is better at masks than Darth Vader.)
I recently started working at a local grocery store, and I’m required to wear a mask all day. Sure, it can get uncomfortable and annoying, but for the most part it’s not so bad.
In fact, there are some unforeseen benefits to wearing a mask. For one thing, I’m much more attractive with a mask on! With a mask covering half of my face, people have to guess as to what I actually look like, and they usually err on the side of more handsome than the truth.
And it’s not just me, it’s everybody. When we are left to fill in the blanks of the area covered by the mask, we tend to picture people’s features to be as pleasant as possible.
Most people seem better looking with half of their face covered. And then there’s the recognizability factor. If you see someone at the store that you don’t want to talk to, you can just pretend you didn’t recognize them with their mask on. It’s called plausible deniability.
Or, if you do want to talk to them, you can start your conversation with something like, “Jimmy? Is that you? I wasn’t sure with that mask on.”
Masks can say a lot about someone’s personality. Does your nose peak out? Do you wear it down over your chin? Does your mask hang loosely from one ear by the strap? Or, does it always cover your nose and mouth? (I worked for my new boss for more than two weeks before I knew that he had a mustache.) So, yes, wearing masks can be annoying, but, they aren’t so bad if you just imagine that everyone has a smile on their face just below the surface. For more funny-ish stuff, check out slowjoe40.com. (Capell is a Serve Daily contributor.)