I Am Anonymous: Another Upside to Masks


woman wearing maskMy ears were pulsating, my forehead was glistening, and I was feeling faint. I was wearing a mask for the first time in public. I was extremely self-conscious as if I was in highschool again. I thought I was slowly suffocating. I couldn’t hear the cashier when she said the total and I kept holding my breath so my glasses would stop fogging.

The second I pushed my cart of groceries out the sliding doors I ripped the mask off and gasped for air. I sat in my parked car for a while to catch my breath and calm down. I could tell I was panicking. I wasn’t scared of catching the virus, but I was scared of wearing that mask every time I needed to go into public.

Besides the feeling of suffocating I was also just so embarrassed about wearing the face covering. I felt like everyone was staring at me and judging me. Finally, a fellow Rochester Mom, Mamisoa, told me that she felt empowered wearing a mask because she could “act a fool” and nobody would know who she was. She could just randomly start dancing in public and remain anonymous. That really changed my perspective!

Fast forward 2-3 months and it is almost normal. Now I grab a fabric face mask from the coat hook before I head out. I still smile at strangers as I approach and then realize it looks like I am just staring them down with crinkled eyes. While waiting in lines, people like to compliment each other on the different styles of masks and fabric patterns. Instead of being self-conscious, I feel smart and protected. 

One day, while leaving the post office I walked up to my black Ford Escape, opened the door, sat down, put my foot on the brake, and pushed the start button. Nothing happened. So I put my foot on the brake and pushed on the start button again. “What is going on?” I murmured in frustration. The dashboard flashed a message: “Key fob is not in vehicle.” I started to dig through my purse and verified with my very eyes that the key fob was indeed present. Then I looked to my right and noticed that the stuff sitting on the passenger seat was not mine. I quickly looked around the car more and realized… I WAS NOT IN MY CAR!

The amount of time it took me to realize this was so embarrassing, on top of the fact that I was sitting in someone else’s car! I quickly stumbled out and saw an older gentleman walking towards HIS car. I laughed awkwardly and apologized several times. I think I blacked out because I don’t know what he said in response. I just hurried to MY black Ford Escape which was just one parking spot over. 

I hopped into my car and it started right away. How embarrassing!!! But then I realized that I still had my mask on. I am anonymous. I think that is the only thing that got me through that embarrassing/hilarious situation. I drove home in silence. When I told my husband he just shook his head at me. So instead of randomly dancing in the grocery aisle while masked, I guess I just sit in random cars.

Life may feel like it has been flipped upside down but I am still trying to find something to laugh about. At least I didn’t get sprayed in the face by a bidet…again.

[Read Sprayed in the Face by a Bidet here]

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Erica was raised in Stillwater, MN and never thought she would leave the Twin Cities area. However, this extroverted librarian was on the hunt for a new challenge. At the end of 2018, she convinced her high school sweetheart, their two-year old son Milo, and their three cats to move to Rochester. She has been having a wonderful time exploring the area and later sharing her treasured finds with loved ones. In her spare time, Erica is constantly binging audiobooks and podcasts, wrangling her toddler, working on sassy embroidery and trying out new recipes (but dreads the clean-up). She has decided her new life’s goal is to convince friends and family, one by one, to move to the charming city of Rochester. Follow Erica on Instagram @ericarossmn


  1. Omg I giggled thx for sharing. My sisters. And I entered someone else spy once… And the person was sitting on the v ouch his bsck facing us
    Once we realized this we slowly backed out of the flat and went a few floors up

    Also with the mask, why do I always put a gum and lip gloss and take a gum?
    Keep Smiling

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