I had a really interesting zoom conversation last night with my sisters -in- law and we were talking about the difficulties experienced as women trying to stay safe and keep our families safe during Covid, when so many are seemingly loosening up their personal boundaries and personally interpreting the guidelines.
We talked about feeling ashamed for not speaking up when someone who isn’t wearing a mask gets too close, or comes too close when wearing the mask improperly.
The endless mansplaining about how we're being too careful or taking this too seriously without listening to our concerns.
About being so happy to have husbands that listened and supported us, stepping up to the plate and helping to raise the kids, make craft cocktails and even cook dinners!
I was so proud of my husbands courage the other night when we were having dinner and he simply and quietly asked a gentleman we didn’t know was going to be there where he’d been in the last few weeks.
Neither man was offended or upset and it gave the other man room to be honest without feeling threatened. We had a lovely and safe evening. I was truly inspired by it and watching it helped embolden me.
As women, we tend to simply "behave" and then wonder why we did so, living with self loathing instead of empowerment. Feeling violated because we didn't stick up for our beliefs.
Shrinking, instead of dancing.
From now on I will remember to take a deep breath and simply choose courage.
I had a chance to think about this more yesterday when I had a bad experience again yesterday at the very same garden center it happened at before...I was determined to give them another try out of 30 plus years of loyalty. The manager actually took down her mask less than three feet from me and took my plants. I scooted away and then came back to pay for them and she did it again, but was fortunately behind plexiglass.
The entire time I was wearing my mask. I was really disconcerted and angry and what I realized I should have done was simply leave, but I was too busy being polite to do so. I called them back to politely let them know how I felt, and was met with absolutely no apology and instead was hung up on.
Needless to say they’ve lost a customer that spends thousands of dollars with them every year.
After processing that experience and the conversation my SIL’s and I had, as well as a full night of Covid dreams where I kept being infected by people who were moving into my personal space , I woke up feeling stronger than I've felt in weeks.
I realized something important for myself.
I’m tired of being shamed or laughed at because I’m choosing to stay as safe as I can for my family and my friends. I've had even close friends tell me that I was taking this overboard, making it seem as if I'd succumbed to silly and unsubstantiated fear. That this was no different than a flu or cold.
No...That’s me exercising my own freedoms.
If you don’t wear a mask and /or keep the social distance in the middle of this, you absolutely know what you are choosing for yourself and that is absolutely fine, but you do not get to choose it for me or my family.
I may not agree with you but if you want to play with this virus in that way that’s up to you.
If you take down your mask when I’m wearing mine and move in close, you’re disrespecting my freedoms to try to stay as healthy as I can... you’re coming into my personal space, potentially with a contagion that can’t be seen and unless you’re part of my Covid clan I don’t know where you’ve been.
As I've said before, I wouldn’t dream of sleeping with you without an STD test AND a condom, so I certainly won't risk a Covid infection by breathing your invisible aerosolized droplets.
If you don’t want to wear a mask or if you choose to wear it incorrectly, that’s your business to be sure, but please do not take it personally when I walk away from you, even if we’re friends. If I’m spending my hard earned cash with you? Wear the mask and wear it right. Keep a social distance. Wash your hands and sanitize your spaces. You’re dealing with an entire public, not just a segment of it that believes as you do.
If you need to take the mask off, go take a break or put it on as soon as you see me drive in. Open doors so that the air can circulate. For goodness sakes, do it right so that I can help you stay in business during this tough time.
If you are hard of hearing? Wear a face shield and keep a pad of paper and pen around. I will happily write down what I want to say if you can't hear me.
Please don't try to hug me without asking me first and please don't be offended when I say no...I want to more than anything but right now I just won't.
If I’m wearing a mask you know how I feel , so if you want to talk to me please put yours on and if you won’t get at least 15 feet away from me or call me on the phone to chat.
Trust me. I want to talk to you, but please stop forcing me to be uncomfortable and angry with you. If you are uncomfortable with this, I can leave and will do so for your benefit.
Learn to speak with your eyes....they tell me and you VOLUMES about who WE are together. This is a new an unfamiliar world. How we shape it and love within it right now will determine so much about the next year or two.
Remember . This is a VIRUS. It's not personal.
I love you.
I honestly do not know who Doctored these old paintings, but I am eternally grateful:)