Thursday, December 13, 2018

Dear Zit (yes, another one)

I really don't know how to tell this story so I'll just share with you the letter I wrote to the other half of my face:
Dear Zit,



I gave you a zillion chances.

I begged, cajoled, pleaded, beseeched, demanded, implored, prayed and whined about the release from your death grip on my face.

Did you respond?


You ignored me.

"Not ready!" you alluded, growing larger and larger until your bloated form hung off my chin like a blood-engorged tick. You even had a face.

It was not smiling.

I gave up on torturing you with sharp objects and heavy machinery and resigned myself to my fate.

I was exhausted.

You won.

This morning, I tiredly smeared foundation over your angrily pulsing form and headed off to work.

Now fast forward:

Five minutes before I have to give a talk IN a conference room with a LOT of people who KNOW me, and will happen to SEE me (specifically, my face), what happens?

There I am in the bathroom checking my teeth (there's nothing more distracting than a speaker with spinach clouding their pearly whites so I always check) when I notice you, yet again, dear Zit. (God, how could I NOT notice you?)

I lightly brush my finger over your shameful bump wishing you were not quite so visible and


You explode!

You explode and you start bleeding and there I am desperately dabbing at you going OMG not now not now!! And blood is running down my face and threatening to stain my sweater and OH MY GOD wtf IS this, it's like I just murdered a small mammal on my face! But I don't have time for you to clot!! And so I begin running down 5 flights of steps with a bloody napkin pressed into my chin, trying to act all "I'm totally normal!" while streaking around corners with my bloody rag waving like a victory flag of the deranged while pus and blood stream like drool down my chin.

So this is my question, dear Zit.

Were you trying to get me to pay less attention to how nervous I was about public speaking by confronting me with a disfiguring emergency?

If so, you won.

Ungratefully yours,

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Me and my second head

I grew up in NJ, land of full-service gas stations. (This will be relevant in a moment.) Only two states in the entire U.S. offer full-service by law: NJ and Oregon. Never having pumped my own gas before, I pulled into a station one sunny afternoon, rolled the window down and announced to the attendant that I wanted to fill my tank. This is important because note that I had to actually speak to someone. Face to face. In order to get gas, the most mundane of tasks.

I flung my arm out the window to offer my credit card.

Only he wasn't interested.

Instead he stared at me, his face a giant question mark, fingers absentmindedly raking over the tall white turban resting on his head. He gazed at me as if I were a creature from outer space. A long awkward moment passed before I turned to look behind me. Was it a language barrier? A UFO landing? A cat giving birth to a zebra? A UFO giving birth to a cat?

No one was behind me.

There wasn't a single living object that could have so captivated his attention.

He stood there still staring. I asked again, this time with less certainty due to the weirdness that was developing, "fill 'er up please?"

Finally he pointed.

At my face.

Grinning slowly, he asked, unabashed, "What's THAT??"

He had an accent but I understood him perfectly.

I slowly followed his fingertip to the end of my nose, where there stood a giant red zit. A pustule pulsating happily in its glory at the defeat of the rest of my face, it knew it had won. Like the bulbous second head of a encephalic siamese twin, it mindlessly competed for visual attention through the sheer enormity of its very presence. I didn't have a chance.

A pimple. He didn't understand what was on my face because it was so large and grotesque that it was like a physical deformity. With childlike innocence he simply could not help himself from blurting out the unspeakable. Questions must sometimes be asked.

I narrowed my eyes. Brazen candor shall be met with its equal.

"It's a ZIT." I flatly replied.

He stood, shocked. That an ordinary red bump could so hijack one's face that it could become the sole point of focus was inconceivable. He took one last gaping stare before ripping his eyes away to focus on the more earthly task at hand: filling my tank.

We spent the next several minutes in awkward silence as I cursed the SLOW pump before paying and driving off in disgrace.

And then I made a slight change in plans that involved a tub of benzoyl peroxide, a car battery, needlenose pliers, a set of golf clubs and some Advil.

A moment of silence, please, in remembrance of its untimely death. But it was either it or me, and I got the brain.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

LogicWoman tries again (where’s my cape?)

Me: I got your promotional email last night and tried to use the coupon but it didn't go through on my phone. Can you apply the coupon now?

Store: Oh, oops, sorry. It's too late. It doesn't work on a phone, you have to use a desktop computer.

Me: You can't retroactively apply the coupon?

Store: Nope, the order's already gone through.

Me: But it was for 35% off which would save a lot - is there any way to help? I just ordered it last night.

Store: Nope, the order has advanced to another department now.

Me: Fine. Can I return it then? I'll just re-buy it from my computer so the coupon will work.

Store: Hmm... let me see what we can do...

(Magically, they were suddenly able to apply the discount...)

Monday, November 12, 2018

If we chop it up, maybe it will fit...

Us (inside Home Goods sitting on the bench we just bought): "We're trying to figure out whether to return this since it won't fit in the car and we aren't sure how to get it home."

Clerk: "Well, the good news is, you could always return it to *any* Home Goods!"

Um... it's probably going to be THIS one, since we can't take it anywhere else!

My sweetie is now on injured reserve with an unspecified lower body injury after an incident involving the car seat but luckily the return was completed before either of us chopped it into little pieces and left it for kindling in the store foyer.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

On a more serious note

Some of the knots I've been in the past few weeks have calmed down a little enough for me to write about them.

Basically my mom needs this awful terrible surgery.

The surgery alone takes 6 hours.

Recovery is like 9 months to a year, although people can get back to some semblance of a routine in about 6 weeks (but it probably still involves dealing with the wound and drainage).

There's huge risks of infection (if the patient even survives).

 I can't write this without crying.

 It's so fucking hard to think that she has to go through this and the levels of pain she'll experience.

She may not get the surgery, because it's so risky.

But there are risks to not getting it.

I f she *does* get the surgery, the gamble--the whole reason why--is that it will be okay and the hope that (after a long period of recovery and pain) she will be fine.

But imagine having a date where you actually plan for your life as you know it to go away. For like 9 months. To schedule the kind of pain where you cannot breathe without agony. How does a physical being survive like that? Only so many coloring books and movies can get you through.

I've been in knots for weeks, ever since I learned about it.

On my birthday I cried driving into work thinking that this time next year on my birthday I may not have her.

This is just one portion talking but on an emotional level I don't feel like I could survive that level of loss.

Maybe you don't. Loss like that breaks you and you just reform in a different way.

It's just so much to think about.

I'm really trying to live in the "right now" where nothing terrible has happened yet. It's both a blessing and a curse to be human sometimes and have this ability to think ahead, imagine the future. 

It's been hard to write about because I haven't wanted to face it really.

When I have talked about it, like to my dad, I feel myself becoming disembodied, in order to talk about it, and from a far away place I notice my heart rate rising and this slight feeling of faintness at the edges, things start getting a little darker and from that distant place I wonder curiously if I will just collapse. It hasn't happened yet but even now writing about it, it could almost.

Monday, October 29, 2018


Me to Help Desk: "You've got to help me with these spam calls. I opened a ticket last week about it but today it's like they're nonstop. They're even calling me while I'm on the phone with you!"

Text from my sweetie: "I'm going to ruin the surprise by saying this but you need to answer your phone... the delivery people have been trying to reach you for an hour!"

Me, calling Help Desk back: "I need to cancel a ticket..."

Thursday, October 18, 2018