I spent the afternoon yesterday going through old books and papers from two boxes in our closet.
They were unearthed when I had to move things out of the way for the roofing guy to access the attic to make sure there were no leaks from my damaged shingles.
The papers were from the 1990s, deeply personal and moving in the light of my husband's death this year. When I resurfaced, it felt like I had taken a trip back in time, and it was hard on my still-healing heart to have to return to the present.
It also made me later than I intended and it was time to take my mother's medications to her. I stopped at the grocery store first for a couple of items she needed, then made my visit to her.
After I left her home, I wanted to stop briefly at the Dollar Store to look for a few things. Then I decided to go to WalMart to get a card which I will need in the upcoming week. And, to be honest, to try to get my head out of the difficult space it was in before going home to an empty house.
I browsed the books and cards at WalMart for forty minutes, then went to the shampoo and soap section to make some selections.
It was when I picked up a bottle of pump soap to smell it that I realized I had forgotten to wear a mask. And although I usually have an extra in my jacket pocket, I had somehow taken it out and not replaced it, some time in the last week.
I was mortified. I am a firm believer in masks and any other health measures needed these days. I'm a rule-follower and expect others to be as well.
Fortunately I was wearing a cotton scarf and I pulled that over my nose and mouth, made a beeline for the self-checkout and left the store.
I don't know if I wore my mask at the Dollar Store stop or not.
I know I wore it at the grocery store and at my mother's, because I remember adjusting it a few times. (The roofing guy didn't mask up when he came to my house, and at first I forgot as well, so I'm trying to be extra careful around my mother, just in case.)
I can't believe how occupied my mind was, to be completely unaware that I wasn't wearing a mask for at least forty minutes straight, and to be unable to recall if I was wearing one at the previous stop.
No one looked at me strangely. No one said anything. Luckily I was in a section of WalMart where there wasn't much traffic for the most part. But I do recall that when I stopped at the card section a young couple looked toward me and then left the area quickly.
I wish I could go back and assure them I wasn't being a jerk, I was only missing the use of my brain at the time. And trying to distract myself so I wouldn't cry. Again.
Have you ever forgotten to wear your mask since they became required? If so, did anyone say anything to you? This has made me more sympathetic to anyone I might see in future who is not masked up. Maybe they'll just be having a brain glitch too.
Too late advice