- Mission Impossible: Don’t Touch your Face
Mission Impossible: Don’t Touch your Face
By Didi Gorman
** This piece was written during the COVID-19 lockdown **
Ever since the health authorities instructed us not to touch our faces, I’ve become terribly aware of how many times I’ve been breaching the new directive.
A few rogue hairs, for example, have been waiting precisely for the occasion of the pandemic to tickle my chin. I tried ridding myself of the transgressors by rubbing my chin on my shoulder, but it only meant that all the bacteria that had accumulated on my shoulder was now on my chin.
Then my glasses slid in slow-mo down my nose. I resisted the urge to correct them. I resisted and resisted and resisted, until they were just about hanging above my lips.
You’d think I’d give in and run my finger along my nose-bridge to push them back up, right? Well! Little did you know that I’ve developed a sophisticated method of re-positioning my glasses by aiming the very tip of my index finger towards the very tip of the frame, propelling my glasses upwards ever so gently. No finger-to-nose contact. I’ve been cultivating this newly-discovered talent on numerous occasions by now and, I’m pretty sure such flawless precision says something about my fine motor skills.
Another violation occurred the other day while in the grocery store, when a loose eyelash had suddenly journeyed into the corner of my left eye.
I will not itch until I get home. I will not itch until I get home. I will not itch until–
Ooooh! This is unbearable!
I confess to having hastily prodded the offender out of my eye with my pinky, but the stress of being caught blatantly touching my face, in public, in broad daylight, had taken a toll on my nerve and the sweat was building up on my forehead, threatening to trickle down my temple at any second. What do I do? What do I do? I can’t possibly wipe it; not after the previous infraction. Think! Quick!
Although utterly forbidden nowadays, I somehow managed to stealthily wipe it on a sleeve. (The perceptive reader would notice I haven’t said MY sleeve… Never mind; don’t ask.)
I’ve also found a creative solution for the lip balm dilemma. Nobody wants to be caught in the middle of the grocery store, smearing their lips, these days. So, what do we do about those crusty lips?
I say LIPSTICK! Lipstick for all!
I apply lipstick BEFORE I head to the store and, while I’m at it, put on some blush and mascara. A touch of eyeshadow doesn’t hurt either, and maybe a few squirts of perfume – yes, all that to go to the grocery store and get some milk. If you see me doing the groceries, looking like I’m ready for a photoshoot, blame it on COVID.
But even my posh lipstick was not able to save me from the ultimate peril – the ultra-friendly colleague.
I spotted her from afar, walking down the street straight in my direction, whereupon I did the natural thing these days – I pretended not to have seen her. I gazed intently at the dandelions by the curb, then studied the fire hydrant from up close. But to no avail. The ultra-friendly colleague was standing right in front of me, unmasked, smiling broadly, and, alas, barely four feet away.
“Hiiiii!” She howled a cheerful greeting at me. I could swear I could feel several droplets landing on my right cheek. Eew. I winced but managed to keep my cool. After we parted ways, I decided that the most sensible and hygienic thing to do, until I could safely disinfect the contaminated skin, was to grimace sideways, in what you might call ‘a lemon-face’, in order to create the largest possible distance between the infestation on my cheek and my mouth and nose.
But when I recalculated the trajectory of those droplets (using the simple formula of multiplying the speed of an average droplet by its mass and dividing the product by its angle, minus the factor of the breeze to the power of its velocity), the result, to my great horror, yielded an approximate distance of 1.48 inches to the north-west.
Oh no! Oh, no, no, no, no!!! That’s my lower lip! My poor lower lip at the epicenter of the infection!
Consequently, and in order to err on the side of caution, I pouted, Trump-style, all the way home.
“What are you sulking about?” asked my husband when I got home.
“I hink ehr ih a drohlet on wy lower lih,” I responded.
Yeah, so that was that.
And I only now realize I’ve been inadvertently resting my chin on my fist, much like The Thinker statue, this whole time. I just hope I won’t get a fine for this transgression or get arrested. I will panic so much that I will most certainly bite my nails!