Why is a mask desirable?

January 1st, 2015

A mask conceals the identity of a person, and can even be used to shift their persona entirely! There are, however, some practical purposes. A surgical mask can be worn to help protect the wearer or those around them from the spread of sickness, and a gas mask can help protect the wearer from poisonous gases. Masks have been fashioned to cover man’s face since antiquity, and while masks are generally unique, they always fulfill the same basic function.

The continued use of masks stems from religious and social practices. A religious practice would entail a leader wearing a mask to impersonate a god, or to make a god manifest – frequently they would speak in the first person. Masks are used socially in either theatrical or festive conditions. A mask can be used to incorporate the appearance of a specific character within a play, and can even be more accurately used to represent emotions such as: anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety, worry, sadness, and happiness.

Mask are designed with – but not limited to –anthropomorphic features, meaning they represent human characteristics; they can also resemble all sorts of theriomorphic (animal) characteristic, dragons, devils, or even personify the natural elements! In popular culture, days such as “Mardi gras” or “Halloween” have incorporated the use of wide-scale costume wearing. On these days it is commonplace to dress up as a fictional-character or real-life persona. Masks come in many different shapes and sizes, and are constructed of a far-ranging variety materials such as: woods, metals, furs, and cloths.

Second Hand Rose

June 17th, 2014

Second Hand RoseThere used to be a Barbara Streisand song called Second Hand Rose. It went something about a girl named Rose that always got second hand things no matter how hard she tried to avoid it. Second hand rose wore second hand clothes and lived on 2nd Avenue or something along those lines. Well my name wasn’t Rose and I actually loved a good 2nd hand bargain. These days it was like part of the going green eco system too. I had recently lost a lot of weight so I took all my clothes that were too big for me to a second hand consignment shop. They looked new and maybe there was someone out there that could use them.

They had great buys on their second hand wares and so I decided I needed some things that fit the new me, so I’d see what kind of clothes they had that I might want to give a new home to. While I was browsing I saw a section dedicated to used party gowns and even second hand wedding dresses. These party dresses had probably only been worn once, and more than likely the wedding gowns too. They were all so stunning and beautiful.

I made up my mind right then and there that if I ever got married I would shop second hand wedding dresses. As I looked them over I saw that they were priced way under the original prices too. I’ll save my pennies anywhere I can and this was the perfect place to do it.

I left the store with a new wardrobe in my size and no one would ever know the clothes were second hand their condition was in such good shape. For the price of a shirt or two, I went home with a closetful. I definitely would be back. Let’s hear it for second hand Rose!

“You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record, right round.” – Dead or Alive

June 17th, 2014

The one thing I always seemed to notice about our father was that every evening when he returned home, the first thing he would do would be to put down his briefcase, then he’d take off his tie and call us all in to give us a hug. It was how we knew he was home and we were always so glad to see him.

On this particular evening I went into his room and went in his closet and started playing with his rack of mens ties. It was this huge spinning toy to me. He had a bunch of ties that hung down from it and I’d grab the top of the rack and spin it. It’d go round and round and I’d never tire spinning it. My father said one day I’d have my own tie rack to which I quickly would tell him I was never going to wear a tie.

He laughed at took a tie off the rack and said now is as good a time as any and I’m going to teach you how to tie it. He then took the tie and said we’re going to pretend it’s a train track and he put it around my neck and showed me how the train went around then down through a tunnel and there we had a tied tie. That was fun for all of 5 minutes then I went back to spinning as he laughed. I miss him and am glad to have such a memory to remember about him with.

The Picture

June 17th, 2014

The PictureThere’s a picture hanging up in a building that’s been deserted for a long time that got left behind or forgotten. It was a simple picture actually, not by a professional. It was probably in the frame as a sample picture to show off the frame instead of having a blank background to stare at. When I was a kid we’d have our hideout in that building and go there to just sit and chill or plan our days and weeks. We knew we could get in big trouble if anyone ever found out, but we went anyone. Besides, we thought everyone in town knew that we did anyway and figured it was keeping us off the streets and out of their yards so they never said anything. What it was though was that picture.

The guys would think I was crazy but I wanted to take that picture home for my room in the worst way. It was something about that picture. After all it was just a picture of someone’s backyard with a clothesline and some clothes hanging on it. The thing about the attention that got me were these 2 large trees with a hammock tied to each. In the hammock was a book and that was basically the whole picture in a nutshell. Like I said it was probably just a filler picture for the frame.

I wanted it for the hammock though. I’d stare at it and picture myself climbing up into it and resting my days and nights away. Now I was older and still never had ever lain in a hammock though. I think that’ll be next on my bucket list.

“What’s that hat called? It’s not quite a hat, momma, but it’s not quite not a hat either?”

June 17th, 2014

It was like any other Sunday at the house as everyone got out their best to dress to attend services. I remember this day in particular because I had gotten in trouble. It was all because of that feathered hat. To this day I know what it is, but I call it a hat even though it’s a “fascinator”. Well if the word for that came from the word ‘fascinating’, then yes, I could understand it.

Momma’s hat, I mean fascinator, was sitting on the coffee table. It was a red beanie shaped hard material with red feathers attached all around it with these big shiny square shaped stones on it. To momma it was a hat, to me it was a spaceship waiting to take me far away to another world. Hopefully a world I could visit before we headed out and maybe even better that no one would notice I was gone and I could play in this new world instead of sit in a sea of men and their ladies who would all be wearing the fascinating fascinators.

So, there I was running through the house, flying the hat like a big old spaceship going up and down the halls and while she was stepping out of the bathroom I ran smack dab into momma. She looked at me, then at her fascinator hat and calmly told me it was not a toy and to hand it over. If only for a split second I thought I saw a smile on her face then she told me that I would have to clean the kitchen tonight all by myself after Sunday dinner for playing with it.

I still like spaceships, just not a fan of fascinators.

Is It The Paper Or The Gift?

June 17th, 2014

Is It The Paper Or The GiftMy granddaughter came over for my 73rd birthday party and was giggling from the minute she came in and I have her a huge bear hug. She started singing the happy birthday song which was impressive at 4 years old and my daughter had to keep telling her not to sing it yet, that we had to wait for the cake.

Well we all sat at my table and my daughter started putting trays and plates of food down all over my dining room table and presents too. I’m glad there wasn’t an age limit on getting gifts, which was my favorite part. All I’d ever asked for in my life is that even if it’s an empty box, just give me something I can tear wrapping paper off of, even if it’s wrapped in newspaper. That was the best part. No one ever gave me an empty box and the thoughtful gifts that were given me were always wrapped so I could tear away at them.

It was time for cake and for my granddaughter to put on her show. She stood in front of my chair with her pretty yellow dress on and started to sing the happy birthday song to me all by herself. I don’t know how she could sing and smile so big at the same time. After she was done she put a present in my hand. I thanked her and tore off the paper and it was a dark maroon bow tie with blue stripes going across it. She knew I loved bowties, after all, she got me one for every holiday, every year. Pretty soon I’d need a room just for the ones her and my daughter gave me as my daughter had been giving me bowties most my life as well. Let’s hear it for tradition!

No Beginning and No End

June 17th, 2014

It seemed anytime I’d go to the mall I’d browse engagement rings and wedding bands at the jewelry store. Now, I am a single male in his 40’s with no girlfriend to speak of, so why was it I was always drawn to look at these types of rings. These are rings for couples, or couples to become one symbolized by the wedding band. To me a wedding band for man shouldn’t be flashy; it should be a plain band of precious metal such as gold or platinum. In its plainness is where the specialty came in mens wedding bands. They brought to mind what a wedding ring truly is, a circle, and a bond, a love with no beginning or no end. That’s what made a wedding band so special. The no beginning or no end, it was just there.

I knew if I ever found a wife I’d hope she’d choose a plain band as well to symbolize our love having no beginning or end to it. I’d probably be so happy to be getting married that I’d let her get any ring she wanted, be it plain or not. I just know that mine would be. I’d hope to win my wife to be over with her engagement ring though. That could have all the sparkles this world has to offer. I would just hope that she would understand what it is about a plain wedding band and why it is so special. I’d like to think she will, the woman I choose to be my wife someday would know and feel the same.

Eyes Can Speak Volumes

June 17th, 2014

evening partyWhy it was that my brother and I seemed to attend every special evening party was above and beyond me. Actually, I take that back. I knew why, we did it for our mother. She was always talking about us finding a woman to make our own. She wanted us married, we wanted to party and take time to see what was really out in the real world. We loved her though and attended every party wearing our best behavior, even though it really was a mask.

Speaking of masks, tonight’s party was to be a bore. It was a masquerade ball for one charity or another. I didn’t even know. I just knew she had laid out a tuxedo and a choice of masquerade masks on my bed to change into.

We arrived at the ball on time and when the dancing started, I noticed a girl with a black feathered Venetian mask covering her face except her eyes. So light blue they were as if cubes of ice. The rest of her looked as remarkable as well too. Her dress had black feathers on it that matched her mask and she was coming my way.

She took my hand and led me to the floor and I followed. It was if I had known her and we danced in perfect sync. The whole time I couldn’t take my eyes off hers, it was as if I could read her story just with a glance. It’s true I thought to myself, eyes can speak volumes and hers spoke to mine. I could tell that this was just the beginning.

There’s No Place Like Home

June 17th, 2014

It was for her 18th birthday and I wanted her to remember it as it was only a week before she left for the military and might not be home for her next one. She had signed up for the Navy without even a word to me or her mother. We had been saving since she was born for her college education, only to see how independent she was and how she was going to do it all on her own with the help of the GI Bill she’d be getting for joining. When she did mention it, she said that she’d rather see us spend the money we saved on paying off the rest of our mortgage so we’d always have a home for her to come to. She was always looking out for us.

In most families it’s the parents who looked out for their children, but in ours, it seemed we read the manual wrong as it was our child who looked out for her parents instead. Her mother had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was only 5 and had a few good years before the degenerative disease started to take its toll. I was always working to pay the medical bills and my daughter would take care of my wife when she was done with her schooling. She was determined to do this on her own and now that I was retired, I’d be at home with my wife.

She’d always been fascinated with birthstones, so I picked her out a ruby ring since hers was for July and told her it was from both me and her mother and anytime she needed to feel close to rub the stone in the ring lightly because thanks to her, there’s no place like home.

The Perfect Present

June 17th, 2014

birth flowersDid you ever know that each month has birth flowers that represent them? Well a birth flower, not flowers. December is one that I never really liked because it was represented by the Narcissus flower and I never liked the story of that. To me it stood for vanity and narcissism which is all in all its basic definition.

So when I learned the story when I was younger I asked my mother that if she could pick any other flower to represent my birth month what she would choose. She thought about it for a while and asked me if I was sure, and I told her why I wanted a new one. She smiled and kissed my forehead and told me that she’d pick lavender.

I asked her why she had picked lavender and she said because I know you love it silly and also because when you wear shades of purple or violet, your eyes look the color of lavender flowers.   I grinned at her and was happy with what she had chosen for me and from that day on, I’ve considered my birth flower to be lavender.

Fast forward 30 years and we were sitting at a café sipping on some coffee talking about all sorts of things. We didn’t live close to each other since I got married and moved away, so we meet up once a year to catch up and reminisce. She said I have something for you. She reached behind her bag and handed me a lavender flower arrangement. She said she’d never forgotten and wanted to think of this as an early birthday present. I told her the memory alone was the perfect present.