“It was a fairly slow Friday afternoon. I was just beginning to dive into my lengthy ‘to-do’ list, when the painful sensation in my chest reminded me that I needed to pump. I don’t ever have to add that on my ‘to-do’ list, as my body never fails to remind me. 

“So like millions of working moms, I attached the Medela pump and continued checking off my tasks alone at my desk in my office and maskless. Being an owner of a small business, this routine has become quite normal. 

“Suddenly, one of my employees runs into my office and informs me that two officers from the Columbus Police Department have entered the store and are writing my husband a citation. As any concerned wife, especially one who has never had to add ‘police’ to her ‘worry-list’ (clearly I have a thing for lists), I was shocked and scared and so I jumped up as quickly as possible to see why my husband was being ticketed. 

“I rounded the corner, with only two out of my six buttons buttoned, when I made eye contact with the policemen, issuing a citation to my husband. ‘You’ll be getting one too,’ the officer said. ‘No mask!’

“I was pumping. Alone. In my office. My employee ran in to tell me that they were here writing tickets. I had to turn off the machine, detach the pump from my breast, snap my bra in place, and run to the front of the store while buttoning my shirt. 

“I could either have either put on a shirt or put on a mask.

“It was sad I even had to choose.

“My husband, my employee and myself all got ticketed today for violating the mask mandate. 

“Being ticketed for not wearing a mask while alone and in my office…I added that one to my ‘bull-sh*t list.’”

Corie Walters
The Bride and Groom
Columbus, Mississippi