- Books, Literature, and Writing
THE MASK OF SOCIETY
A WOMAN'S MASK.....by b. Malin
WE WEAR IT WELL....by b. Malin
THE MASK OF SOCIETY....WE LEARN TO WEAR IT WELL. WE FIND IT EARLY IN LIFE AT OUR MOTHER'S KNEE. BUT SINCE MY MOTHER WAS TAKEN FROM ME BY THE AGE OF THREE....NOT BY DEATH YOU SEE.... BUT BY CIRCUMSTANCES.... WHICH WOULD LATER BE EXPLAINED TO ME....BUT NEVER TO BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD.
I PUT ON MY FIRST "MASK" BY AGE FIVE, WHEN I FAKED "SKIPPING" IN KINDERGARDEN. I WAS LAUGHED AT, AFTER ALL, WHO DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SKIP? SILLY ME THAT'S WHO! BUT NOBODY KNEW, FOR MY MASK HELD MY SMILE IN PLACE.
THROUGH MY SCHOOL YEARS...I'D LEARN TO PLAY THE GAME...IN THE WORKING WORLD I DID THE SAME. WHEN MARRIAGE CAME ALONG...I WAS A PRO...IT BECAME LIKE BREATHING....SOMETHING I HAD TO DO.
WHEN I HAD MY FIRST CHILD AND WAS FIXING UP TO GREET MY VISITORS....AN OLDER WOMAN STOPPED AT MY HOSPITAL ROOM DOOR, ROLLED HER EYES AND SAID, "WHEN WILL YOU HAVE TIME TO BE A GOOD MOTHER WITH ALL THE PRIMPING YOU DO FOR YOURSELF"? I COULD FEEL MY EYES FILLING WITH TEARS...BUT THEN I REMEMBERED MY MASK...SLIPPED IN ON AND SAID. "THANKS FOR YOUR CONCERN...BUT I'LL BE OK." THEN I SMILED THAT SMILE THAT I'D PRACTICED SO WELL.
BY THE TIME I'D HAD MY LAST CHILD...I WAS A REAL PRO...THERE WASN'T ANYTHING THAT I DIDN'T KNOW. MY MASK WOULD ALWAYS SAVE THE DAY.
I'M HOPING SOMEDAY TO SET IT ASIDE...TO SPEAK MY MIND, AND NOT TO HIDE BEHIND THE MASK...THE MASK OF SOCIETY.
WHY? b. Malin
All of my life I have been told to DO THE RIGHT THING. That expression was like a "thorn" in my side. DO THE RIGHT THING...DO THE RIGHT THING. It haunted me daily.
Now as a grown woman with children of my own, still doing the right thing. But finding that my children question WHY? What would happen if I didn't always "do the right thing...why not do your "OWN THING" instead they say.
I am silent as I wonder why, for I do not have an answer...and am amazed that I never asked the question of myself...Motherhood is a learning Progress...and maybe it's good that as parents, we don't always have all the answers.