Masks

This morning as I was shopping for my mom I started thinking about all of the different masks we wear when around different people. I don't even recall what triggered the thought, but I think it was when the box boy (for the lack of a better term) passed me in an aisle and said a quiet hello instead of being his chatty self at the check stand.

Are we all like that? Acting one way around one person and different for another? I feel like a have a different mask for every person I know. I act quiet and patient for some people, even when I don't feel like being so. With my mom, I am very cautious about what I say. We are close but after a terrible argument several years ago, she threw some things in my face that I had confided in her many years prior, when I was just a kid. It was a rough time and even though we are fine now, I will never let her get close to my tender underbelly  for fear of being ripped open again. Around my brothers I resort to my insecure childhood and try to mask that with humor.

While blogging, I'm pretty open but still don't tell my entire life. Friends get another mask and so do my husband and daughter. I guess around my husband and daughter I can be the most true self that I am, but still hold back. Being a parent, you're generally not going to let them in on any major financial or personal strife you're going through. My husband tends to freak out over little things (worry) so I just keep my trap shut if I know something is going to upset him. Sometimes my closet gets so full of masks I trip over them while looking for clothes in the morning.

Then there are people that don't seem to have a filter and act the same around everybody, saying anything and everything without thinking (again, my husband). So maybe that's what masks really are, filters to protect either the wearer of the mask or the ones that deal with the masked ones.

Comments

ethelmaepotter! said…
Oh my, your life is my life...or are we just sharing the same masks?

This is absolutely brilliant, and I agree with every aspect of it.
When all my masks are off, I am so boring, so shy, so sluggish.

I have a little confession to make about my blogger mask - it would be a little more transparent if Fred didn't read my blog!
kden said…
Thanks Ethel, coming from such a great writer as you, I appreciate your comments.
bill said…
Good blog, lady. I think to some extent we're all that way with our masks. We wear them to protect ourselves, or we're expected to act a certain way or as EMP says someone is looking over our shoulder or reading what we say' putting a note of caution on whatever mask we're wearing. It is my nature to be open but you made me realize I not only have many hats, I have many masks, too.
Claire King said…
You are right kden. I know I have a professional mask, a mask with my friends and a thick mask around my mom and brother for fear I will be a grape of topic on their grapevine. But I think in general, we have a "core" being. Nice blog post.
Peruby said…
Oh, too intense for me this early in the morning. I have not given this subject any thought for a long time. I will be wondering through the day, though - 'what mask am I wearing, now?'
fernvalley01 said…
I am an open book for the most part , that said I protect myself , too. And others, thare are times I laugh and say"if the world could hear what I am thinking We would be in real trouble "
.
Grumpy said…
Very insightful post. We all have masks, but that doesn't mean we're hiding all the time; as you said, sometimes we wear them for self preservation.

I'm going to be thinking about this one for awhile.
kden said…
Grumpy, I didn't realize I said we're hiding. But you're right, self preservation is more like it.

Funny Fern, I think the same way.
D. Duplessis said…
Fantastic blog. It's something I'm sure we all do as a survival mechanism. I can't imagine living my life sanely without a few masks to haul out and wear. Your blog brought to mind some lyrics from, The Stranger, and old Billy Joel song:

Well we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out and
Show ourselves
When everyone has gone
Some are satin some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They're the faces of the stranger
But we love to try them on

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