I sat outside a favorite ice cream place in Dartmouth on Saturday night and watched as a man in a little red Mini Cooper approached the service window. The man emerged from his car wearing a mask. That struck me as odd since most people are no longer required to do so. The young gal on the other side of the counter was maskless, as were my wife and me.

What was strange is that the man seemed to wrestle with whether he wanted to wear the mask or not. At times he removed the mask, only to put it back on again. Off and on. On and off. He didn't appear to know just what he should do. I sensed the man was uncertain of the situation and the rules of mask etiquette. There must be many more folks out there just like this guy, trying to figure out how not to offend others.

My rule is fairly simple: a state edict no longer requires me to wear a mask, so I don't. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you don't like that, it is your problem. Wear a mask if you choose. I still see entire family units walking the streets with masks. Even some folks riding alone in their cars are still wearing masks.

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The day will come when everyone feels safe enough to drop their masks. I hope so anyway. But for now, there are those who are just not ready to return to normal. Perhaps they never will.

Have you dropped your mask? If not, why not? What has to happen before you feel safe enough to discard the thing? When will you know it's okay?

I respect everyone's decision on the mask issue. I might do a double-take if you pass by me while wearing a mask but I suppose that's on me and not you. Do what you gotta do. I haven't worn a mask since May 28 and I don't intend to except for doctor appointments because it's required there.

I feel so liberated.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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