For lefse folks, there are advantages to wearing masks in this pandemic. Two come to mind:
- We are introverts. We proudly display this bumper sticker: I’M A SOCIAL VEGAN—I AVOID MEET! So a mask is a godsend. It helps limit transmission of the virus, and it helps us hide. It covers our flat affect and scowls, which is good. Who wants to be seen as a sourpuss? So with a mask, we can frown away to our heart’s content. The drawback, of course, it that a mask hides our gorgeous smiles … but we are very stingy with smiles anyway. In Keep On Rolling! Life of the Lefse Trail and Learning to Get a Round, lefse maker Cordell Keith Haugen told me: “I think the only time I saw my grandmother Mari Haugen smile was when she offered lefse.”
- We can say something without actually saying something. Again, we are introverts, so feelings have to ricochet through a labyrinth of cultural no-nos before they escape to the frightful freedom of expression and vulnerability. But by wearing a lefse mask with KEEP ON ROLLING! front and center, we don’t have to utter a peep. People see a lefse mask and smile, which, heck, may even make us smile! And the mask can preach a succinct sermon at a time when we need resiliency and hope.