Everyone has their own opinions on the state of our world right now. In Oklahoma, our governor has decided to start “reopening the state” this week. There are varying opinions about this from “Oh, thank God,” to “WTF?? Is he crazy?” The key players in our state’s government cannot even agree on the right thing to do. Is it too early? Are tattoo parlors an essential part of our economy? Tattoo artists would say “yes – it is an essential part of THEIR economy.” This writer would say, loudly, “NO!”
However, I do not have any tattoos, I do not plan to have any tattoos, and I do not support myself by providing tattoos to those in the community who feel they need one. As an aside, I wonder how many “I survived Covid-19” messages will be permanently emblazoned in ink on lower backs? I wonder if, in 10 years, you will be able to date a person by the tattoos they had put in place in 2020.
A dear friend of mine lost her Dad last week to heart failure. She could not visit him in the hospital. The pain of losing her father is bad enough, but knowing he died alone with strangers (no matter how kind and loving those strangers were) creates a layer of pain upon pain that she will carry with her forever. She cannot honor him with a memorial the way she wants to, because gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. However, according to our Governor’s plan, she will soon be able to have her nails and hair done and get a massage. I am certain that will make everything better for her. I am trying hard to hide my opinion on this matter, but I am not doing very well.
Let me take another perspective.
Fact: At the age of 50 I decided I was grown up to have my hair done by a professional. I do so every 6 weeks, while enjoying the company of a great gal named Peggy.
Fact: I now have gray roots showing, but I am 100% positive that if they start to bother me too much, I can order a bottle of Miss Clairol No. 7 from Amazon and take care of them myself. I inherited the ability to make do from my mother.
Fact: While pretty nails would be nice, I can take this time to learn to do my own manicures, but I probably will not.
Fact: Aside from certain members of my family and friends, the person I miss most in the world is Angela, my massage therapist.
Fact: I do not make my living in the cosmetic industry.
This last fact is important to my perspective. Because, while my opinion is that opening the aesthetics industry is a bad idea given that it requires two people from different households to touch each other (touch-free massage is not a thing), I do not make my living providing these services. I work in a “essential business.” Aside from whatever hits my 401(k) has taken (both because of Covid and the oil crisis), my financial situation has not changed. My job is secure. I can work safely from my home, never seeing anyone but my beloved, whose job is also secure. My security makes my opinion seem rather arrogant, doesn’t it?
My opinion about the irresponsibility of this decision does not change the impact this will have on those who provide these services. There are real people that make up the industry. These people have to feed their families and pay their bills. Many did not receive the SBA paycheck protection funds for whatever reason (one of which is that some giant corporations took money they should not have and the funds ran out), and the concern over their personal safety is being overshadowed by the wolf at the door. I imagine they are still concerned about getting sick or bringing the virus home to their families. But being healthy does not seem like much of a comfort if one is also homeless.
I do not know what the answer is. I know I am grateful not to have to make that decision for anyone but myself. I do know that my opinion is simply that, MY opinion.
Here is another fact: Once these businesses are reopened, we are all free to partake of these services or not. We are all free to abstain until we feel safe. Also, we are all free to send our favorite aestheticians the normal tip we would have given, regardless of whether they reopen. There are many ways we can show up in this situation. We are all free to show up the way we feel most comfortable.
Plato said: Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance. I am 100% not sure what that means. But, I have a philosophy class in the summer semester, so I am hoping for enlightenment. What I believe it means is knowledge is certain, ignorance is uncertain, and opinion is both.
An anonymous meme-ist said it best: Opinions are like wrist watches. Every watch shows a different time, yet everyone thinks theirs is correct.