A few years ago, before I had my children, I was working in Boston at a large financial institution. I recall one day taking the train into the city and noticing a lady with a smudge of something on her face. And then, again, some guy walked by me on the street with dirt up near his hairline. And then at Starbucks later that day, with a co-worker/friend, as we stood in line with many other people I noticed had DIRTY FACES, I said (probably too loudly) to my friend, “What is up with all these people with dirt all over their faces?”
He looked at me and burst out laughing.
“Well, it IS ASH WEDNESDAY!”
And I was like “ooooooooooooh!”
And today, when I was walking around the mall, I was reminded of this.