Before I enter my local FedEx, I put on my nondescript, surgical-grade hospital mask.
I’ve gotten so used to doing this, I hardly even think about it.
Inside the store, there is a short line and, while I wait, I take in my surroundings.
The blue countertops.
The blue walls.
The copy machines.
I also notice that the guy behind the counter is a pretty good-looking dude.
(Y’know, from the eyes up and the shoulders down.)
Dave the FedEx Guy weighs my oversized envelope.
I tell him where specifically my artwork is going overseas and how much it’s valued at.
He tells me how much the shipping will cost. “By the way,” he says, “I like your pants.”
I can tell from the way that his eyes are crinkling up at the corners that he is smiling.
Is he flirting with me? I think.
“We need to sandwich the artwork between some chipboard,” Dave says. “You don’t want your artwork bent or punctured, do you?” He winks and walks away to get whatever it is that he says I need.
At the back of the store, Dave has a brief exchange with two of his coworkers. When he gestures in my direction, both of his coworkers look at me.
Now I’m sure of it.
Dave The FedEx Guy is totally talking about me.
Now I am actually nervous thinking that maybe this Dave guy might ask me out.
I had no idea how to date prior to March of 2020, and I definitely have no idea how to date during a pandemic.
Luckily, I don’t have to think about this for very long.
After packing up my art very professionally, Dave sets my envelope off to the side. “You’re all set,” he says. “Have a nice day!”
As I walk toward the door, I see one of Dave’s coworkers standing behind the tall, blue counter, motioning for me to come toward her.
Oooooh, I think. Dave probably asked her to get my phone number.
I’m smiling behind my mask ‘cuz I know what’s coming.
Erica’s name-tag is on crooked. “So this is kinda awkward…,” she says.
I’m hardly listening to her because, mentally, I’m scanning the contents my purse.
I know where my business cards are.
I can give her one of those to give to him.
“Your mask is on inside out,” she says, pointing at my face. “And with the lipstick stains, it looks like you have a used maxi-pad on your face.”
Y’all… having a compete stranger tell you that you have what appears to be a USED sanitary napkin on your face is much worse than having toilet paper stuck on the bottom of your shoe.
Much worse than having something stuck between your teeth.
Much worse than having visible panty lines.
“I thought you might want to know,” Erica says.
In my car, I clobber myself with self-criticism.
(Here I am thinking some young, hot dude might be interested in me when — in reality — I’m just a silly old lady who put her mask on wrong.)
Back at home, before removing my mask, I snapped this picture.
For your enjoyment.
And now that particular piece of PPE can be found in my garage. . .
. . . in a bag
. . . at the bottom of my garbage can.
Oh, and I can never go back to that FedEx again.
At least not in those pants.
What masked mayhem have you witnessed? And what embarrassing stuff have YOU done since this pandemic started?