From the Back Nine: Three months behind the mask

  • Wednesday, July 1, 2020 1:30am
  • Opinion
From the Back Nine: Three months behind the mask

I imagine you’ve had the same issues with masks that I have; condensation, snot, and slobber. But it is a fact of life, and so you wear it even if you miss deep breaths. In fact, a list of what we all miss would overlap for the most part. Nonetheless, we each have a few of our own peculiarities … some more peculiar than others.

I, for instance, profoundly miss eavesdropping. I realize that might not be on your list, but it is a fiction writer’s stock in trade to listen in on the unsuspecting. Oh, the love scenes and murders it can lead to for the person who loves to make up stories.

Social distancing put the kibosh on all that “overhearing.” I can hardly yell from a muffled six foot distance, “Excuse me, but could you speak up for Pete’s sake? I’m trying to work here.”

The mask has created something of a dilemma for me. My New Year’s Resolution was about not buying new clothes. And I haven’t (even though I have a well-meaning friend who swears that shoes are foundation garments and should be exempt).

Here’s the dilemma: Is a mask medical equipment or an article of clothing? I mean, industrial strength white? Sure, medical. But what about cute masks with puppy prints and singing birdies plastered across your pie-hole? A fashion statement? You see the problem.

In the great cosmic lost-and-found, I have located two things I rather like about being a shut-in. Since I rarely leave the house, I have become aware of a running battle between a red squirrel and my dog, Dotty. The squirrel darts window to window to peek inside. It literally calls to and teases Dotty, who goes doggy ballistic, dashing from place to place like the dupe in a Looney Tunes cartoon.

This happens over and over, a drama that I assume occurred back when I wasn’t here to see it, same as now. It’s pretty funny, although it has been loudly suggested to Dotty that she find a quieter use with her time.

The second thing is that my laundry habits have changed. I only wear about three outfits now, washing and drying them while other shirts grow dusty with disuse in the closet. If you only wear a few things over and over, you don’t have to bother with folding and hanging. Think of the time I save. More time to do nothing.

But oh, how I miss smiles. If I see you out and about, please know I am smiling at you. I want us all to be healthy, I want Black lives to matter, I want us to turn all our hate on killer hornets instead of each other, I want to know public restrooms will be open when we are desperate, I want to ride the Coho ferry again.

Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors. Her newest historical novel, “Dr. Emma’s Improbable Happenings,” will be available in August. Contact her at

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