A few weeks ago I was walking home from errands. I had bags in my hands, mask on my face, and I had to go to the bathroom.

As I approached my building I saw two of my neighbor friends sitting on folding chairs in a little alcove in front of my building (this is the modern high rise pandemic equivalent to the old fashioned stoop) They were talking to another neighbor…

If I didn’t have to use the bathroom, I would stop to chat. One of these women is my book club friends and the other is my movie friend. We always have much to discuss.

But you know…woman of a certain age, lack of bathrooms, small bladder….

Not wanting to alert the male neighbor chatting with them that I did indeed need to pee and therefore couldn’t stop to chat, I mouthed

Sorry- need to go to bathroom

Of course, as I was on the elevator I remembered that I was wearing my mask, and my friends had absolutely no idea why I walked past them without a word…

So yeah…

another masked conundrum…

the art of the facial expression is obsolete…

36 thoughts on “Lack of Understanding

  1. It is funny how one finds themselves still making facial expressions and mouthing stuff, even with the mask on. Its just so natural for us to do!! I hope you were able to clear up your friends confusion. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did, but I miss smiling and commiserating with people via facial expressions. I didn’t realize how often I did that till I started wearing a mask!

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  2. Why would sharing with a male neighbor that you need to go to the bathroom be a problem?
    I’m definitely suffering without the facial cues from others. When I went to the dentist, she was wearing a mask and a face shield so I couldn’t hear most of what she said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because I don’t know him well, he’s a bit of an ass and probably don’t need to share with everyone that I had to go to the bathroom…there’s a point where it’s TMI

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So funny AND true! My daughter-in-law sent me a photo the other day of herself, my son, my daughter and her BF…All of them had sunglasses and masks on. I texted back.. “I’m going to guess who is bothering to smile for the picture under all that”- turns out-only my son-out of habit he said. I mean why bother? esp with sunglasses..might as well have a bag over your head..no one can tell if you are smiling, being sarcastic, paying attention, taking your tongue out..😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL I am sure they will understand once you explain. I often find myself smiling at others before realizing they can’t see it. Aw, the days of communication via facial expression is a thing of the past (for now at least).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know all about being a woman of a certain age. At work the some of the environmental services employees use ride on floor cleaners–sort of like a riding mower. One of the guys that uses one is very obnoxious. I whispered some unrepeatable words to him—he wouldn’t have been able to hear because the machine is noisy–and he couldn’t guess because of the mask. Not one of my finest moments.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You could have simply said that the contents of the bags in your hands needed to get put in the refrigerator right away. Maybe start a winking trend. Obnoxious as it is in real life, maybe we should bring it back to substitute for a smile. Although that might look like a ‘come on’, so maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Writer of Words wrote a different take on this yesterday. I like your blog today. To be honest, I am reminded of my Korean days when once I was invited camping and the pot a belly or whatever was 15 feet off the ground in a little shack up a hill and to be accessed in the early evening. I didn’t keep a journal entry but I sure do remember that day especially since my students made me try a “snake wine.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The interesting thing about this story is how different males and females maneuver in like situations. My husband would not have worried about stiffing the neighbors if he had to use the facilities, he would have passed by with maybe a wave, and onward to his objective. As a woman I always feel like I have to explain or justify my actions? I don’t know why but my children point it out to me often. I’m wondering if this is a generational thing? Or just the way I move in the world? Love how you share such universal situations. C

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  9. I guess we need to find other ways of passing those subtle messages. The obvious way is by using the eyes, although you have to be very careful. I’ve been trying that for the last week or so and so far I’ve bought a pound of cannabis from one neighbour, started a torrid affair with a second, and passed state secrets to a foreign power via a third.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. We’ve all done that! I tend to mumble in normal times, but with a mask on, I honestly think very few people can understand me at all. And forget about giving people a smile as we pass! I know masks are necessary right now, but dang….they make connecting with other people so much harder than it has to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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