05.29.20: From the so-called desk of…

…Helen.

On the Catwalk

As part of my new life and my new routine, Thursday afternoons have become the highlight of my week. It’s the one day of the week that I actually get to leave the house. Not just walk around the backyard or down the driveway to the mailbox, but actually leave the premises. Who would have ever imagined that driving to the market, and then waiting in the car while my son grocery shopped, would feel like an adventure.

For starters, it means I have to get dressed. I would personally be quite comfortable just throwing a coat over my PJs and calling it a day, but my son immediately put the kibosh on that idea. I tried to meet him halfway by wearing a blouse over my pajama bottoms, but that didn’t fly either. Even as I tried to convince him that I was wearing my “daytime” pajamas, it was clear that anything resembling night clothes was off limits, and the requirement to wear “real” pants was nonnegotiable. He can be so bossy!

Once we arrive at the market, I always make sure to find a parking spot with a good vantage point. If I must stay in the car, at least I can enjoy a bit of people watching. But it didn’t take long to become interested in what everyone else was wearing. And except for a handful of people still in their office attire, I couldn’t help but notice that the new couture is mostly T-shirts, sweatpants, baggy shorts, baseball caps, and lots of flip-flops. It seems that extreme comfort is now in vogue.

Of course wearing a mask was the one thing that every person had in common. When we first started our Thursday ritual, most everyone wore either one of the throwaway hospital masks or a bandana, but by the third week there was a noticeable uptick in interesting masks. At first it was just the addition of color, but before long, patterns appeared. Plaids, stripes, polka dots, camo, tie-dye, there was something for every mood and personality.

And then it exploded! And like it or not, the second you went on your computer, and no matter what site you were on, pop-up ads for masks were right there as your new annoying and constant companion. Six weeks later, they are still there, and still annoying.

It was clear that masks were about to become the new accessory, and like any proper accessory, just one won’t do. So we are all going to need a mask just for walking around the neighborhood, one for cycling, for dog walking, for marketing, for picking up take-out, and of course for drive-by birthday celebrations. And praise be, the fashion designers are already preparing for summer; I’ve already came across a bikini with a matching mask.

Luckily for all of us, when we are in the market for a new mask, we can search for preppy masks, sexy masks, boho-chic, punk, goth masks, or even Gucci or Pucci masks. There are masks made of cotton, wool, denim, silk, velvet, and for the discerning bride, there’s lace. If it gets cold, there are quilted masks, if you’re feeling fancy, there are embroidered masks, and for really special occasions, there are sequined and bejeweled masks. And for the child in all of us, you can even find plush animal masks that look like bears, cats, and dogs.

But there is also no end to our ingenuity. I’ve come upon do-it-yourself masks made from recycled cans and plastic bottles, from underwear (hopefully new), and believe it or not from cabbage leaves. Although I fully expect Whole Foods to produce their own masks substituting kale for cabbage.

But I think there is a change coming down the road — as I’m starting to see more and more face shields — designers are already jumping on that band wagon. But the best one of all, and the only one I would even consider buying is the Devo’s Energy Dome Face Shield. It may be a bit expensive, but I know it would be worth it.

My ponderings for the week…

  • I’m wondering when my Hello Kitty face mask will arrive. I’m definitely ready for a change of pace from my green Gumby mask.
  • I’m wondering how many shoppers, like me, only get dressed for their weekly marketing? I considered asking, but don’t want to get out of the car.
  • I’m wondering if there’s a plush squirrel mask out there.

My husband is investigating for me, but I think the only reason he agreed to do that is because he really wants one for himself.