Words & Banter

We’re Not Masking Our Feelings

Photo by enviromantic for iStock


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I know I shouldn’t say this, but I can’t stand N95 masks! They make me feel like a duck.


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That quacks me up. Regardless, they are much more effective than cloth masks. And, FYI, they do come in different shapes.


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I just wish they were more comfortable.


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It is a lot more comfortable than being on a ventilator or in a hospital. Or dealing with long-haul symptoms of COVID. It seems like such a small sacrifice – not only to protect yourself, but also those around you.


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Which is why I’ve been masking from the beginning of the pandemic, and, in fact, I often double mask, just to be on the safe side. Although sometimes, it’s because I want to cover up my ugly “duck face” mask with a more attractive fashion mask.


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Funny that you mention “attractiveness,” as there have been studies done, and masks can actually make people more attractive. But, I guess a PSA stating, “Improve your looks, wear a mask” might not be well-received.


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Now that’s funny. But hopefully, now that the government’s going to make 400 million N95s available for free, no one should have an excuse not to wear one. I can remember at the beginning of the pandemic when you couldn’t find any masks, not even “fashion” ones.


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That problem was solved, only to be replaced with a bigger issue. A combination of people who always resisted wearing masks, those who do not think vaccinated people need them, and those who are just getting tired of wearing them. After two years, so many people have lost whatever patience they used to have with COVID.


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That’d be like our parents and grandparents losing patience with World War II and deciding to stop making sacrifices for the good of the country. But rationing went on for years! Whether it was cars and gas, or luxury items like silk and nylons, Americans didn’t think twice about doing their part.


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Small sacrifices for the greater good. It is especially appalling when you think of those people who have made significant sacrifices, and I include all the frontline workers, for this nation, while others cannot do something as simple as wearing a mask.


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That’s because in America, wearing a mask has become political. And I don’t know how even logic will help you get around it. All I do know is it just makes me roll my eyes.


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Something you cannot hide behind your mask …
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As you know, I love history, but I appreciate many people don’t.


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I am one of those people, so not sure where you are going with this.


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Exactly. So, when you first wanted to talk to me about the history of credit cards, I should have known something was up.


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Or, at least been curious.


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How was I supposed to know it would make a difference in my life?


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Why else would I want to give you a “history lesson”?
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Photo by mevans on iStock
Let’s be very clear. Autism has no correlation with intelligence; it’s a developmental disability (or what Black refers to as “DIFF-abilities”). And it’s a spectrum disorder, which means each autistic person has their unique mix of abilities, challenges, and ways of seeing the world (can’t that be said of all of us?!) So, as we celebrate World Autism Acceptance Week, remember it’s more than just awareness – it’s about acceptance.

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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As much of a history buff as I am, I’m embarrassed to admit that for a long time, I didn’t know March was Women’s History Month. But now that I do, I’m amazed by all the inspirational stories of women’s remarkable achievements.


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Too bad Natasha and Sawyer do not still live at home; it would be fun to start a conversation by asking them what women they find inspiring.


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I already know who they would pick. The first woman to race the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And I’d have to agree with them. Your Ferrari racing has made an impact on so many people. But especially girls.


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Until you mentioned it several years ago, I never thought about that. In the 1970s, I was one of the few women in business school. I then made a career in the male-dominated oil and gas industry. I am used to being a “token” female.


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Trust me. I watch people whenever we’ve done speaking engagements. It’s predictable ... we put up the family tree, and Natasha and Sawyer get awws, but your two racecars get everyone’s attention.
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