Despite what anyone might have thought about this holiday season being somewhat different than the last, it seems like we are in yet another holding pattern with the pandemic. This means that once again, everyone must engage in a personal risk calculation and weigh their best options before deciding to see family members inside, outside, or masked up inside the vestibule outside the Starbucks at the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn. Regardless of what decision you make, I’d love to offer a suggestion for extra safety: Perhaps you can sit inside your family gathering this year while wearing a Grinch mask.
Perhaps I have an unhealthy obsession with the Grinch, a biped who I think is just misunderstood, but I’d like to clarify that I’m not the only one. According to a New York Times trend piece about the rise of the “sexy Grinch,” it seems other people out there share this particular sickness, and were brave enough to share their stories with the Times. Though the piece concerns the “sexy Grinch” archetype, which was born from a photoset that birthed the meme I love the most dearly (this one, featuring a Grinch looking back at it as a stand-in for weed), the Grinch’s general spirit is confident in a way that is admirable. He’s a grumpy green thing with a desire to be left alone. Who among us does not want this for themselves?
The Grinch mask is a perfect solution to a second holiday season spent in the grips of the pandemic because wearing a Grinch mask inside while your cousins open presents is festive and safe. Yeah, someone’s going to pull you aside to see if you’re feeling okay, like, emotionally, and whatever answer you might want to provide will be muffled by the rubber muzzle of the Grinch’s face atop your own. That answer, for the record, is private, but should be evident by the fact that you’re wearing a Grinch mask inside. But! Maybe the mask will be the start of a happy family tradition, some years after the pandemic has eased a little, and we are all learning to live with Mr. Covid in whatever form he might achieve in the future. You’re protecting yourself by protecting others, and also, doing a tiny festive bit. It’s what the Grinch himself would absolutely hate— a perfect encapsulation of this holiday season, and many more to come.