Etiquette

September 10, 2020

It amazes me that with all the directions posted at stores on how to properly wear a mask there are still some that just do not get it.  I have mentioned that my sister has been making masks for all her friends and friends of friends.  When she sent our first set, she also sent a video of herself showing the proper way to put on, wear, and take off a mask.  While this was both thoughtful and helpful, it prompted the attached picture response from me.

When my brothers and me were in grade school my older sister became appalled by our table manners.  It came to the point where she had mom make us wait to eat until we had received a course on etiquette led by my sister.  I believe this started with the proper silverware to use with each course (What?  Three forks??).  Next was a lesson on how to pass food.  It seems food is always passed to the right, is accepted by the right hand, shifted to the left hand, and then passed to the next person.  You can imagine the response she got from us.  Each move was greatly exaggerated and accompanied by repeating her instructions aloud.  I am not sure she hit us, but I am sure she wanted to!

There are a variety of ways I have seen masks being worn.  One is the Hanger.  This is when you droop the mask over one ear and let it dangle uselessly to the side of your face.  I generally see this when people speak at meetings.  It is a way to say, “I am conforming to the law, just not in a way that does any good.”  Another form is what I call the Letter of the Law.  Yes, a mask is worn, and it is over your ears, but it is no where near your mouth or nose.  Sometimes this is around your neck, and at times it even climbs all the way up to your chin.  This is a passive aggressive way of say, “I will conform to your stupid law, but not without a show of my defiance.”  Finally, you have the “Noser.”  This is when you put the mask over your mouth, but leave your nose uncovered.  After all, what droplets could come out of your nose?

THOUGHTS:  After I sent the picture to my sister, she Informed me that I was not the only one who had this reaction.  Both her grandson and her husband reacted in the same way, by placing the mask over their eyes.  Maybe this is just a guy thing, or maybe this is just a way to tease my sister about etiquette.  Doing something for someone else appears to be hard in our “me” culture.  We practice table etiquette to reduce the transfer of germs from one person to the next.  Why are we unable to learn mask etiquette?  Follow the science.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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