Best Behavior: Mask Up or Get Out


Should people be sharing pictures of what they’re cooking on Facebook now? That’s my simple question. Everybody seems to be stirring up something every night. I’m not much of a cooker, and I feel left out of all this back-and-forth. Just tell me what you think. — Jerry, East Nashville

Right through here, let’s cut a little slack for the lonely chefs and the wannabe food stylists. They’re sharing images of the plates they’re putting down on their tables so we’ll all see what they’re up to. At least their pictures serve as a record of what they’re doing, without all that much else to do except to stay home and fatten up. Trust me, there’s probably a lot going on that’s not showing up on your screen.

Cooking has become hobby for much of the world. At least the people cooking are at home (a good place to be, right now). When the time seems right, maybe they’ll invite us all over.

At least they’re not taking photos of their food in a restaurant. Let’s hope that, when we get to sit down at a restaurant again, the cameras will be turned off. But probably not. We may have to relearn what we already know — what to wear on casual Fridays, what to wear to a wedding or to a funeral. As we survive, standards may have changed.

Men in stretched-out t-shirts and women in their pajama tops are showing up for Zoom meetings. Let’s hope that gets back to normal. They’d be wise to remember that other people are watching.

But for the time being, you know, none of us has to be watching Facebook. We could all be learning how to boil water.

In a Neck Hold

My boyfriend and I live together. I wear a face mask whenever I leave our condo, but he refuses to wear one, even when we’re headed to someplace like the grocery store. He says he “chooses not to” wear one because they’re too tight and make it hard for him to breathe. (I’ve never seen him wearing a tie. He always says that’s because they choke him.) When he sees people without masks sometimes in the checkout line, he points them out. I think he should wear one for his own safety and because it’s important to me. But I almost think he’s doing it to prove his point. This is scary to me. — Anonymous, Melrose

A tie is too tight. A shroud will probably be a little snug, too. Your boyfriend has his right to make a choice. Nobody else’s rules apply to him, or to you, unless they keep you comfortable and safe.

This man’s behavior is verging on — or beyond — the obnoxious. You have the right not to leave the condo in his company. There’s no reason to engage in risky behavior just to keep him happy.

His resistance is threatening to become a relationship breaker. You can lay it on the table: Either he masks up, or he’s out the door — or you are. If your safety is important to you, you’ll have to make a decision, and he’ll have to make his own.