Monthly Archives: April 2020

Just how Tough are you?

I was reminded that I’m a tough old bird. Toughness is not easily achieved. Your hands callous when they’re used daily on hard physical labor. Picture the hands of a farmer, or a gymnast, or bricklayer. The skin gets tough to the point of nerve damage. The toughness protects the rest of the hand from damage–the muscles, the nerves that provide the ability to open and close the hand, the bones. It is constant or nearly constant friction that callouses up a hand.

The toughness when it comes to pain tolerance is gained the same way. I had congenital hip dysplasia. That’s when you have shallow or missing hip sockets. When I was about 2, I had a manipulation where the top of my femur was put into position in order to carve out a hip socket. I spent months in a cast and moved on to braces. Then for my elementary school years, I had to wear orthopedic shoes. Oh, LORD were they ugly. I didn’t get my first pair of tennis shoes (that’s what we called them) until I was 6th grade. I took ballet so that my feet and legs would get stronger. My hips didn’t work like the other kids’.  I could never sit cross-legged. It was most uncomfortable and I had a devil of a time trying to maintain an upright position. About the time I was 12, my hips started to hurt. By the time I was 39, it felt like ground glass…every step.

In 1989, I opened a dance studio and was dancing about 3-5 hours a day on this ground glass. But with the range of motion exercises, the lubrication of the joint allowed me to still use it. I swear, I would have been in a wheelchair if I hadn’t had the ballet. I had my hip replaced in 1993 and that operation reduced the range of motion for my hip. I was restricted to 90-degree bend in the hip, and the rotation was minimal. This kept me from teaching dance. So I closed my studio. I needed work, so I started in fast food. The pain I felt from changing weather now changed its locus to mid-thigh where the spike ended. But it no longer felt like broken glass!!!  YAY!

I have now had 3 operations on my hip. The pain will be with me forever, and I will always limp. It acts as a barometer, so if the sky is green, and the wind is from the south, and the back door buzzes on a G, no problem. But if in addition, my leg feels like someone has taken a ball-peen hammer to my thigh, head to the basement! I now have a high tolerance for pain. It means that I’ve developed a callous on my pain threshold. I have taught myself to ignore the pain. Just like I’ve taught myself to ignore the ringing in my ears. 7 years on a headset. I went from “Hi! Welcome to Wendy’s! What combo can I get for you today?” to “Hello, Ameritrade, This is Rebecca. What trades can I place for you today?” It took every ounce of self-control (and I don’t have a lot of it) not to add, “You want fries with your 50 shares of McDonald’s?”

We’ve covered pain and annoyances. But what does it take to become mentally tough? Friction. It’s when you try and fail, and learn something, then you try again, and again, and again, until you have things just like you want them. There are books about mental toughness. Business Icons, Coaches, Philosophers, Psychologists. They all have their 33 steps and 77 characteristics and whatever. It’s just the one thing: Don’t quit when you fail. Notice the word “When” because if you don’t fail, you don’t learn anything. You will fail. You’re supposed to. It’s a first draft; it’s an experiment; it’s something new you’ve never even dreamt about. Each time you try, you add more information to the picture you have in your head. The picture gets clearer with every act. But each time, there’s that friction. You have to push against something and you get tough in your brain. You change your perspective because you can see progress. You change your approach because now you see multiple paths. You seek out help in areas you wouldn’t have considered before because each try brings more information you have to gather and new skills you must master in order to succeed. The nice thing is this: because you’re tough, you continue to make progress and because you don’t back down, you don’t have to start from 0 every time.

When was the last time you had to be mentally tough? I think the most challenging was when I lived in a small town. I owned a dance/music/art studio so I taught from 3:30 pm to about 6:30 pm every day for dance and music lessons. I worked the 5-2 shift at Hardee’s 5 days a week. I was the church choir director and did that on Wednesdays from 7-9 and directed every Sunday. And I worked at a truck stop from 3:00 to close  Saturdays and Sundays. I had 5 kids at the time. Did I get what I wanted? Yes.

The most important thing you have to confront is how much Friction you want to take on. No toughness comes without friction, you have to determine how tough you want to be.

 

Water you up to?

Here’s an experiment. You know most of us don’t drink enough water. Well, I ran this experiment 3 years ago. I haven’t gotten any responses!

This is going to be very hard for me. I have to psyche myself up for this. I like Mountain dew with my pizza. I like coffee with my breakfast. I like tea with my dinner. Going cold turkey with just water? FOR A MONTH? I’m not sure I can do it. But now that I might have a bigger audience than I did 3 years ago, it might be a more successful experiment.

 

What stands between you and Happiness?

What a profound question.

People will put streams and fences and walls and people between themselves and happiness. Notice I say PUT.

Anne Frank spent 761 days in a tiny apartment with 7 others. They couldn’t leave the building and they had to be absolutely quiet during the day to avoid detection. And yet, she chose to be happy.

What is standing between me and happiness? Nothing. Happiness is not a conditional emotion. When I have this, then I will be happy. If something good happens, then I will be happy. If something bad doesn’t happen, then I will be happy. You cannot depend on things outside of your control to dictate your feelings.

Happiness is a choice.

It is ok to be sad, and mad, and depressed. But that shouldn’t be your default.

So what stands you and happiness? Only the conditions YOU put in between you and a state of happiness. So don’t put anything in there. Don’t build walls and mountains and only-ifs in there. Why make it so difficult?

A whole new world?

You have that song in your head now, don’t you! It screams adventure and excitement! Something new and amazing. What if, after this scare, you come out to a whole different, older world?

Think about it for a second.

When I first started working at Primerica, I was anxious to succeed. I knew that I would be able to help people by changing their perceptions of money and give them power over things that most people assume are beyond their control. They could choose their futures. All they needed were tools that would be simple enough to use and flexible enough to react to any circumstance. I saw the differences in my clients’ outlook on their futures. I saw the difference these tools made in my life. Enthusiastic? YES!

But…

The environment was completely different. There was the pounding football-rally-like music. There were high fives and all these people grinning like idiots. I was really uncomfortable. I would come home from training exhausted and drained. We had 2-day builder’s schools with an emotional element and an intellectual element…sales and products. The hardest part of the business was the team-building. You had to attract good team members because there were so many hopeless people that needed our help. These were people in pain. They were confined to a job that paid them just enough to keep them and not enough for them to realize their dreams. Their perceptions were grim: work until you die. You worked to live, and you had no life. There was no time for family, for travel, for education and experiences. There was not enough money to satisfy all the needs of the family: the weddings, the funerals, the vacations, the home of their dreams. We gave people those options that they couldn’t get anywhere else. They were surrounded by people that criticized them, who abused them, who sucked the joy right out of them. So when these people came to these meetings, they wanted joy and camaraderie. They wanted to think they could grab that brass ring. They needed hope. These meetings and builder’s schools provided that. After going to these things for years, I gradually became immune to “hug and high-five” cooties.

I hugged my kids and my husband and my parents. The first time I hugged my brothers was probably at my mom’s funeral in 1990, and I wasn’t in the company then. I wouldn’t hug friends. I didn’t have all that many. Then, when I started as a rep for the company,  I submitted to all the hugs and high-fives biweekly. It was really uncomfortable at first. There were a few of us that did the Spock high-five: it’s where you hold your hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting but DON’T TOUCH! You could do that across the room! Ahhh! Loophole! Before quarantine, I got to be OK with this touching after working with the company since 2001. 19 years it took me to get used to hugging and high-fiving. 19 years to be able to see and understand the pain of the people I worked with. 19 years caring and wanting to help people and grasping the emotional side of the tools I offered.

I am a Toastmaster and we shake hands multiple times during the meetings, and that didn’t feel weird. I am in Bible Study Fellowship and we hug each other and pray for each other, but that didn’t seem weird. I had arrived! And it was all due to this business I was in.

But now…

I still hug my husband and son. I don’t have access to my other kids or my grandkids. I don’t see my friends except in zoom meetings. Toastmasters has online meetings. Bible study and church are online.  I’ve become more comfortable in my isolation. I don’t have to have physical contact to “feel close” to those people anymore. Even Primerica is having virtual meetings.

What if it takes me another 20 years to get used to the physical touch again? I actually had to suppress shivers at first when I hugged someone. I wouldn’t get into crowded places if I could avoid it. I preferred sitting in my room with a book, or watching TV, or writing on the computer. Most people’s personal space is about 1 foot. Mine is about a mile. I hated talking with people that felt they had to touch you to talk to you. Joe Biden would drive me absolutely insane. I had one friend who was rather round, and when he talked to you sometimes he spat, and he was always bumping you with his big belly. His personal space was about 3 inches. I dreaded talking to him at church.

I know that this seems a bit frivolous, and you might even be laughing now. I am not. I guess it doesn’t make sense to project my future behavior. Many others may be reluctant to get as physically close as we used to because we’ve trained ourselves in fear for this time. It’s just a niggling thing in the back of my mind that I don’t have to worry about right now as the quarantine doesn’t look like it will be lifted any time soon. However…I hope my brand new world will be less intimidating than the world I enjoy now–isolation, quiet, freedom to be myself in all my weirdness.

Support?

Remember the good times!

Support our Heros!

Stay Safe, Stay Home!

We’re working 24/7 and just donated $2,000,000.

Yes. We all support this. Of course, we’ll fly an American Flag and have some Eagles. Oh, and the eagles will be soaring majestically. Maybe it will be just a profile with a solitary tear for all those we’ve lost. Eagles won’t shed tears like humans by the way.

This all seems familiar, doesn’t it? The patriotic messages, the support that is shown for our people on the front lines, and all the celebrities telling everyone that we’re in this together are supposed to make us feel better. But…

Now I’m getting mad.

Remember the good times–when we spent hours on the couch drinking beer and watching sports? When we rubbed elbows with thousands of other crazed fans, we felt a part of something. Don’t you want to feel a part of something now? Of course, you do! Maybe I’m getting cynical in this–my 4 millionth crisis. Ok, it feels like 4 million. We’re discovering we don’t need professional sports to entertain us, or sold-out concerts, or other big-ticket items. We can’t have keg parties and barbecues and tailgating any more…too close to people. Awwwww. What do they actually mean? If there are no sports shows, there are no beer commercials. No car commercials. No ED commercials. OH!!! Maybe they miss us more than we miss them. It means that the networks and pay per views have to come up with more programming! How do you do that when you can’t get an audience to see the talk show? How can you film an ensemble show if they have to zoom in their performances? Do you go to reruns? Old shows that were canceled a few years back? You can’t even get a film crew in to do TV or movies. They want this quarantine to disappear so they can get all that revenue that we have learned to spend on other things.  Book sales and audiobooks and DVD sales have gone up. Puzzles are becoming popular again. So are board games. How badly do you want to go back to the more expensive types of entertainment?

Support our heroes! You know, the guys that cannot stay home because otherwise, they lose their jobs. We need those shelf stockers and cashiers and fast-food workers. They are essential to our sanity. Support our heroes in the medical industry! I’m all for that. But don’t say that and then go to a party because you’re bored. Don’t go to a protest with a crowd of people to demonstrate your opposition to the Nazi State. How do you think this virus spreads? You want to make our heroes work harder with fewer supplies and not enough PPEs because you miss your mobs? That is not supportive! How do you support them? Pay them hazard pay! Subsidize their health insurance. Fast-food workers are part-timers who don’t qualify for health benefits. They still have to show up. You think a mask and gloves are all that is needed to protect them from infection? You’re not treating these people as heroes, they’re indentured servants. They’re the serfs that are sent to slow down the cavalry. They’re the bullet sponges. Show them real support!

Stay Safe, Stay Home! Ah, the message of all our favorite TV stars. Yes, please! Watch our shows and buy our products because we all love you. We can all sing the Entertainment Tonight 6-note theme. Aren’t we wonderful? PSAs by these people seem self-serving. They may not be able to work now, but I don’t think for 1 second that they will feel an economic impact. They’re just repeating what the doctors and scientists say we should do, but because they’re celebrities, they have more authority. How far have we come when things aren’t true unless LL Cool J says it. Give me Dr. Fauci. Isn’t it funny that we’re not seeing this message from our representatives in government? They want us to go out and spend money, so we need to lift the quarantine ASAP regardless of whether it’s safe. Get ready for the 2nd wave. Do stay home to be safe, but you don’t have to order big bucks’ worth of stuff online to replace the money spent before this crisis hit. We don’t HAVE to go back to spending money like that again.

Picture 5 blue bears sitting on the couch. The little girl bear (she has a bow on her ear) looks scared and is grabbing a pillow. One little boy bear is wearing glasses and is on his tummy in front of the TV. The other little boy bear is staring at the screen. Momma and Daddy bears are looking stressed and also staring at the screen. At the end of the commercial, they hug. AWWWWWW. We all know they’re the Charmin Bears. The message: We’re working 24/7. Oh really? Then where’s the toilet paper? They donated $2 million to a cause. How nice. Where’s the toilet paper? OHHHHH! None of the bears is leaving to go to the potty. They’re BEARS. They go in the WOODS! Is that what they’re implying we should do? It certainly didn’t look as if They were working 24/7. Good to know. I don’t want bears making my toilet paper.

It seems to me that the entertainment industry is sending the wrong messages. They don’t understand what their constituents want or need. They don’t need to be reminded of the sports they cannot watch or participate in. They don’t need to be told to support their local heroes with shallow words of encouragement, people are already supporting much more than that–making masks, pats on the back, responsible behavior. People really want to get out and be with people again, but there are many more that are staying home, and not because some celebrity says to. I, unfortunately, believe that a great many corporations are thinking that these conditions are short term and are not willing to adjust the products they focus on, the use of their workforce, and their distribution methods and are pretending that things will get back to normal. Normal has changed. It will not revert to what it was in October.

My fellow Americans (wow, maybe I should run for president!) we are smart and resilient. We don’t have to depend on someone else to solve our problems. We don’t have to pay any attention to celebrities telling us what we already know. We don’t have to rely on the government to “fix” this, for as we know, they will mess it up worse in the mistaken belief that they know what’s best for us. Any thinking person would have chosen to self-quarantine as long as this deadly virus was out there. Let’s not be stupid. If you see someone doing something ludicrous, call them out on it. (With a bullhorn…behind a locked door…with a loaded shotgun.)

I guess I’m getting cynical in my old age. Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m watching too much TV.

Lessons Learned

What can we learn from this crisis? Now, I want you to think really hard about this!

We’re all fairly intelligent human beings. We have the ability to sift through information to uncover facts. Or do we? Let’s look at these crises:

911 What did we learn? Attacking the economy physically doesn’t weaken the US, it brings us together! We learned that access to a cockpit should be restricted–to keep the bad guys from taking over the plane. Right? Um, nope. We learned that Nobody can be trusted because granny might have explosive material in her shoes. We learned that everyone from the Middle East is a terrorist. We learned that the best response to a bad situation is to fix blame and yell at each other.

Hurricanes What essential things did we learn? The barrier islands are necessary to mitigate the effects of a hurricane. That building and developing businesses on land below sea level in an area plagued by hurricanes is not a good idea. Nope. We learned that FEMA is useless and should be defunded. That as long as you have money and means, hurricanes are not devastating and if you don’t have money and means, it’s your own fault.

CoViD-19 We learned that we are resilient and resourceful people who can show remarkable innovation. We learned that we need procedures and protocols in place to deal with infectious diseases at a moment’s notice. We learned that the factual information will come from a central source. NO? We learned that when attacked, we have to stock up on toilet paper and ammunition. We learned that our total economic salvation is dependent on a $1200 check that not everyone deserves, and if we’re getting $1200, rich people are getting $1.7 million. We’ve learned creative uses for toilet brushes and hair dryers. (EW!)

See? Dumb! Panicky! and Dangerous! Our first instinct is not to solve the problem but to find someone to blame and get revenge. Our first instinct is to think that someone we trust with our best interests at heart is most likely going to lie to us. We learned that the infringement of our rights to freedom to pursue happiness means that it is our RIGHT to go and infect everyone around us and be infected because it’s ok to thin the herd.

I do not believe that the fatalities will make that much of a difference in the general health of our society.  I also think that as long as you have to work in close quarters, your chances of infection are significantly higher than those people sitting on their couches watching NETFLIX. Thinning the herd is basically leaving the strong and healthy and eliminating the old, sick, or weak. This disease doesn’t seem to work like that. It is just as deadly on healthy young people.

I also believe that we have been surprised at how much money we spend on convenience such as eating out, and social activities like pub crawling, movies, concerts, rallies, races… I know that normally we spend upwards of $1000/month on things we do not do now. The $600 my husband withdrew from his paycheck nearly 2 months ago has dwindled down to $400. And last December, that same $600 would have been gone after 2 weeks!

We have had over 200 years to develop our culture’s responses to a crisis. Things we’ve grown to expect–

  1. Those in charge will “protect” us by giving us incomplete or false information.
  2. There will be no central repository of clear, factual information.
  3. The communication will be skewed and sensationalized based on whatever bias is going to attract the most advertising.
  4. Our government will spend most of its time trying to fix blame because it’s politics, and the main focus in politics is not to serve the people the political body represents but to ensure no loss of power.
  5. We can expect large corporations to take advantage of shortages by seeing to the bottom line, not by responding to a crisis to reduce the effects on the health and well-being of their customers.
  6. We would be surprised if confidence men and women DIDN’T take advantage of the panic and separate people from their money.
  7. We would be shocked to find we DIDN’T need extra security on our internet communications due to photo/meeting bombing.

And, true to form, we will learn the wrong lessons and make the wrong adjustments and jump to the wrong conclusions.

Because people are dumb, panicky, and dangerous animals.

What each of us should do is this:

  • Come up with a list of things you like about how we’re now living, and things you don’t like.
  • Think about how you could integrate the things you like into your new world after quarantine. (Pants would probably still be required for any activity outside the house, but other than that…) Do you prefer working at home? Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you like the money you save by self-entertaining?
  • Think about how you could improve the things you don’t like in your current circumstances so that you would not have to deal with them post quarantine. If you hate masks but you want to keep yourself isolated from airborne diseases, could you find a fashion alternative like a niqab? The banks might make you remove it when you went into their lobbies…
  • Talk about this with the people in your household. WRITE IT DOWN and look at it daily. Now is the time to start establishing these patterns of behavior so when the quarantine is lifted, it would seem like second nature.
  • Remember that our old habits led us into this situation where COVID-19 could take hold and spread so quickly. We need new habits.

After the walls come down, we need to act on our plans and not just fall back into the same behavior patterns that got us into this mess. We need to learn the right lessons! Whom do you want to idolize now? Which people really are essential in our lives? Do we need all that we want? Have our priorities shifted? What kinds of activities do you now consider essential? Have you now been exposed to something that makes life more awesome? I would not be averse now to join a Toastmasters online club several thousand miles away rather than limiting myself to the clubs in my immediate area. I know how to do mass meetings and can now get all of our family together. I will hug the stuffing out of them when I meet them personally, and up until lately, I didn’t like hugging much.

Let us learn the RIGHT lessons, and then apply them!

Discovery…well get on with it!

I adore Star Trek. I love the fact that all the aliens have forward-facing eyes, a nose, and a mouth where you’d expect, and 2 ears on the sides of their heads. They walk upright, have 2 arms and legs and have 5 fingers on each hand. The difference is the weird goop they have on their faces. I’m currently watching Discovery, and I do like Saru. And the Klingons have decided to grow hair again after the war is over. In a few months, L’Rell goes from bald to shoulder length hair? Sure… and the older male Klingons suddenly have 3 years beard growth. Oh, and Spock with a beard. But it’s ok, it’s not a goatee, so he’s not evil.

I love the technology. It’s so cool that you can go faster than light and stop on a dime and even though NOBODY wears a seat belt, they don’t fly through the windshields at the front of the ship. I find it amusing that they have the map on the flat screen and there are the two federation ships and the 30 bad guys in a circle around them. A circle… really? And they say, “We’re surrounded!” Didn’t they start thinking in 3 dimensions before Kirk? Fighter pilots in WWI and WWII were thinking in 3 dimensions! And with all the times they get attacked and it rolls the ship around, and they all fall out of their chairs, each time they redo the Enterprise, they have no airbags or seatbelts.

And before Kirk got the Enterprise, the Discovery had spore drive. Voyager could have been home that afternoon if they had TOLD anyone about it. They had a time travel vortex that made wormholes. They actually went backward in technology from Discovery to Enterprise.

But there are things they need to address. First of all, why start every new scene upside down and rotate the camera? It’s a cool effect once. After that, it’s just annoying.

Then there’s the dialog. OMG. They only have 90 seconds before the proton torpedo embedded in the hull of the ship goes off. They spend it trying to convince each other that one should stay and using their last 30 seconds for a moving tribute to their long association and how honored they’d be…oh for crying in the mud! Prop up the door for long enough she can slide under it before the blast goes off. But no.

“We’re out of time!” You have to bravely sacrifice yourself and you put people in danger because you spend 5 minutes saying goodbye to your brother and apologizing for every single slight and insult. And with NO time left, he has to accept her apology and tell her how she really benefitted him and he’s so proud of her and… For Crying out Loud! Just get to it.

I guess that the last episodes of the season have to have these long moving speeches to tie up loose ends and hint at the next season. It’s especially amusing because with the battle raging around them, and sparks flying and explosions, They never have to raise their voices.  Just once, during one of those scenes, I’d like for the engineer to say, “What the hell are you saying! Quit whispering! It’s red alert and klaxons are going off, and explosions and screaming, and you have to tell me for 2 min before everything blows up how honored you were to work with me instead of aiming the ship at a landing zone or shooting back. Are you out of your mind?” *BOOM*

 

 

 

Stupid things that make me crazy

I watched some Longmire…When Walt, the Sherriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, has a speech to give, he always stands the same way–weight on left foot, right foot forward and head tilted. If there’s a plot point, they close in on his face.

The background music for this show is an E5. That’s a power chord consisting of E and B. It’s not even a complete chord. There may be a little descant which is a variation on this chord, but over and over? The guitarist plays it in the lowest range of his guitar as a 3 note chord, and then plucks those same 3 strings one at a time. This is accompanied by low toms on the drumset in a typical country/western rhythm.

I also watch NCIS and Criminal Minds, and though there’s music that accompanies the action, I can’t tell you what it is. No clue what key it’s in or the instrumentation. Whenever they want to make a point, Rossi is face forward, Penelope is from a lower angle if she’s worried, and from an upper angle if she’s profound. Morgan is always slightly profiled as is Reid. Gibson is face forward. Emily is face forward. JJ is slightly profiled.

Leverage? Nate Ford is face-forward and head slightly down when he’s menacing and sober, profile and head up when he’s drunk. Parker is face forward, but none of the rest ever look directly into the camera. When they’re in the planning stages of the con, it’s a flute with rock and roll drum beat. When they’re sneaking around, it’s a bass guitar solo in 10ths.

With all these action shows, they never, ever, EVER, play the same chord all the way through the show, over and over on the same instrument.

They should buy the guitarist for Longmire a capo so at least he’d get a couple of new notes.

Penny for your thoughts…

“A penny for your thoughts…” You won’t find that around much now. When I was growing up, everyone said this.  Someone would go quiet and get that 1000-yard stare going, and his bud would say, “Penny for your thoughts…” Nowadays, everyone is vomiting their thoughts every waking moment, and with pictures!

Back in 1575 when the phrase was coined (so to speak), a penny was about 1/2 a day’s wages if you were on the bottom of the scale and 1/13 of a day’s wages if you were high up on the scale such as a constable in the army. Lawyers were making 225 pennies/day! But everyone else was in the 2-6 penny range or about 4 pennies/day. So a penny for someone’s thoughts would be 1/4 of their daily pay!

The average gross wages are about $195.75/day, so now the saying would be “$48 for your thoughts.” Do you know anyone whose thoughts you’d be willing to pay nearly $50 to hear? Heck, you might go so far to say “I’ll pay you $48 to stop telling me how sick your cat is, or what you had for breakfast, or how your bm looked this morning!”

Someone using the penny phrase might give the impression that the thoughts of his friend aren’t worth much. In fact, they’d rather want to know why their friend is daydreaming again, and don’t intend to pay up. But if you’re truly curious about the thoughts of your friend, if you offered them $50, wouldn’t they be inclined to think a lot more?

“Hey, Joe!  Watch this!  All I have to do is sit and look puzzled and Ray will pay me $50 to tell him what I’m thinking!”

“What? Is he crazy?”

“Watch!”

“1/2 a C-note for your thoughts Bill.”

“Did you know that the only flightless bird that swims is the penguin? Pay up.”

“Thanks, Bill!  Here ya go!”

“You’re welcome, Ray. I’ve got another thought coming and will have it ready tomorrow at this time.”

“That’s fantastic, Bill! I’ll be here with my money!”

Joe faints.

Yeah. Never write your blog in the middle of the night after a 20 oz cola and 2 pieces of pizza.

Why Not?

https://northglenn-thorntonsentinel.com/stories/north-0319-lte-burkas,296399?

Tired of wearing/finding masks? Here’s a solution!!! The burka is a head-to-toe covering with mesh for visibility. The Niqab is a head-to-toe covering with just the eyes visible. What if they weren’t just for women anymore? What if everyone wore them? 

  1. You wouldn’t be able to tell men from women. Trans, gay, bi, it wouldn’t matter! But only if everyone wore black. Well that might be depressing. Men wouldn’t have to worry about starched shirts and ties anymore. Women would save a ton on hair products and make-up (except for the eyes). Think of the money we’d save on SHOES! You wouldn’t have to have a pair that matched each color of the rainbow, and NO MORE STILLETTOS! No more underwire bras! No more girdles and tummy tuckers and butt enhancers. Heck! The reason for going to the gym would be getting healthy, not worrying about a beach body!
  2. You could still self-isolate because you’d be lost in yards and yards of fabric. So you could be apart together!
  3. If you cough or sneeze it wouldn’t go past your face! You’d have to wash the head piece daily, but how bad would that be? But colds and flu instances might go down along with other viruses that are transmitted by touch or by coughing or sneezing. It might save a ton in medical expenses. It might also reduce the effects of allergies as everything you breathe in would be filtered through the fabric.
  4. Fashion designers could have a field day! Imagine a niqab or burka with a fake shirt and tie? What about one that uses the material as a canvas and gives the impression that the person wearing it is 60 pounds lighter? How about Jackson Pollock burkas? Tie died! Batik! Sequins! Studs!
  5. People could no longer be targeted for their religion!
  6. The Bob Newharts of the world could compete with the Brad Pitts. Amy Madigans can compete with Catherine Zeta Jones’. There’s a certain confidence and bravery that comes with anonymity. We see that on all the social media sites. You can be anything! Physical beauty would no longer be a criteria for selection. Pleasant voice, witty banter, wisdom and insight would make a comeback! There’d be no more body shaming! NO MORE BIKINIS! No size 0 clothes. We can be less than perfect specimens and still be considered people of promise and possibility. Nothing wrong with that!

Could we live under the restrictions we now have if we didn’t feel that it would be just temporary? All communication must be virtual? Change from a commuter base to a home base? No big groups? Social Isolation mandatory? Well, there’d be less mob-think. We can’t feed on the emotions of those around us. That condition has two sides: no lynch mobs but at the same time no group support. Can you imagine playing a sport in an empty stadium? Playing without that 6th man can sometimes make the difference between pushing yourself to new limits and sticking to the status quo. Would we be able to rise to new heights? Maybe…but I think the progress would be slowed. We are social animals after all. With the burkas and naqabs the style, the fashion, the trend, we can be with each other. Without, we’re hiding in our computer rooms or binge watching NETFLIX and all of the seasons of Dr. Who. Something to consider.