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THE MASK OF SOCIETY

Updated on October 21, 2010

A WOMAN'S MASK.....by b. Malin

Photo by   Stephan
Photo by Stephan

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.

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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.


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    • b. Malin profile image
      Author

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Hi Martie,

      Wonderful Message in your Words. As Women, we wear so many "Hats", Mother, Lover, Wife and Friend. Society is what it is, and so we do tend to Protect our selves...Children are Beautiful, but they too can be hurtful, sometimes more so as Adults, and so the "Mask" can also hide that sorrow as well. Than You dear Friend for all your thoughts.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      b. Malin, this is an extremely heart-touching hub, because you are touching the truth also in me. For so many years I had to wear a mask. Fake it till you make it, was my motto. Eventually I was strong enough to put the mask away. Yet, sometimes, I still have to use it. Just in order to achieve a goal.

      I remember during an interview I was asked a question I can't remember, but my answer was: "I am a rebel and a maverick, but in order to achieve success I do what people expect from me."

      Even as parents we are still growing as individuals. Also our children shape and plane us into who/what we eventually become. I prefer not to stagnate, but to grow all the time. Maybe one day I will be almost perfect :)

      Thank you, b.Malin, for this wonderful, thought-provoking hub :)

    • b. Malin profile image
      Author

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Hi Lovedoctor,

      Great Advice, and usually I do this. I know I'm not a phony...But we do tend to act different with different people. But I find the older I get, the less Bull, I'll put up with...Especially when it comes to Family...My Sons, anything goes, never want to lose them, and so certain lines are NOT crossed. But certain Family members are another story...and Holidays bring out the worst in some of them.

      I really Enjoyed reading your Comments, and will stop by your Hub page.

    • b. Malin profile image
      Author

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Hi Mar,

      Thank You. I've grown so much, just in the last few years...and a lot has been left behind...But Occasionally that Mask will still surface...But I'm working on it! Thanks for the Votes and your Sweet ways, Gotta Luv ya!

    • b. Malin profile image
      Author

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      If I haven't already, I will stop by and read the Hub you mentioned Mary.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      A very interesting hub. thought provoking too.

      I believe that you can protect yourself from others without having to be fake or phony. It seems that many people are scared of not being liked or accepted by others if they show their true selves. Why is is that so many people wear one mask with someone and yet a different one with another person? "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. I live by this principle. Since I am not a fake or phony, I don't believe in changing my persona just to fit in. Of course, when you are being your true self, not everyone will like or accept you because you are different and for some people different is not unique, but weird. I can relate to your why. As an adult, I am still living my life doing the right thing and still being called a goodie two shoes by others. I've often wondered just like you.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      b. Malin,

      Still waters run deep... inner beauty shines through our masks at all times.

      I feel your mask has taken its rightful place and how very lovely it is to "see" you, b.

      Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I forgot to mention before, but I wrote a Hub about being an Introvert with a quiz to see if you are or not. I invite you to read that when you have some time.

    • b. Malin profile image
      Author

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for reading and Commenting on one of my Earlier Hub Writes.

      I am a Loner, Yes, we have Close good friends, but I'm happy doing things on my own, don't need to be surrounded constantly with people. But there isn't anything I wouldn't do for a Friend who needs help.

      Thanks so much for your Vote as well.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Very thought provoking Hub. I think we all hide behind masks. I've always been an introvert, so I hid behind the mask not wanting others to know just how shy I really was.

      I voted this Hub UP.

    • b. Malin profile image
      Author

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments. I think as writers, we are always growing and exploring. Thank you for becoming a follower too.

    • L a d y f a c e profile image

      L a d y f a c e 7 years ago from Canada

      You truly are a thought-provoking writer. I love reading your hubs. That last line: "maybe it's good that as parents, we don't always have all the answers.".. profound. I'm actually sitting here feeling something because of it.

      Bravo indeed. Vote up for you.

    • b. Malin profile image
      Author

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      I am truly humbled by what you tell me. Yes, I am always searching for answers...I am very "self taught" and learning all the time.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ..you are a deep thinker and in turn you make your readers think deeply which always makes for a rewarding experience ....keep asking questions ....... the answers, as you know, may not always be there, but debate, communication and honesty to respect each other is a very prevalent thread that I read in all of your writing ......

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