Avoiding Crisis

vanity

with 6 comments

I’m not feeling a whole lot better today, maybe just a teeny weeny bit better . Thanks for asking. It’s so nice to know you care.

I’m cranky and tired and my throat still hurts. And I had an awful headache for most of the day – you know the kind that feels like someone took your head and smashed it against a brick wall a few times on each side. Aside from that, everything is just peachy.

And writing that, the word “peachy,” just reminded me about how, one summer, when I was away at Ithaca College studying video production one of the girls in the program nicknamed me Peaches. All because when I was in the dinning hall I was wearing a shirt from the movie “A League of Their Own” and a few boys that were at a basketball camp called me Peaches (it was the name of the team and therefore written in big script letters across my back) to get my attention. I was Peaches for the rest of the summer. I didn’t like that nickname back them, now I just think it was kind of funny and cute. I wish I had more nicknames.

Okay, so that was a weird digression. Back to how I’m feeling, aside from nostalgic, obviously.

So I feel, well, for lack of a better word, BLAH. And now, on top of my own crabbiness, I have two snotty kids. Though my daughter has developed this very Lauren Bacall-esque sound to her voice which just cracks me up every time she talks, so at least that’s a positive. But it means that she’s either got a touch of laryngitis or she’s smoking a pack a day behind my back. I’ll go for the former, because, after all, she is only 4.

And…drum roll please…topping it all off I just found out that a friend’s daughter is home sick today with the chicken pox, which she got from another friend, both of whom my daughter and I were with yesterday afternoon. Our very own chicken pox party (and it was a fancy schmancy tea party too at a fancy schmancy hotel in the great big city) and we didn’t even plan it. I’m just here waiting for those little red itchy bumps to start showing up all over her body and then my son’s. Somebody please, for the love of god, send me calamine lotion! Or, at least, your prayers that we’ll only be hit with very mild cases.

Getting back to me for just a moment…

I just got back from the doctor’s office. And no, the doctor’s visit had nothing to do with anything that I have just written about. This was a visit to the dermatologist. Which, I feel I should tell you, is a very big deal. See, I’m not one to go to a doctor unless I absolutely must.

The eczema, the scars on my knees and the mole on my chin have all been there for quite a while. It wasn’t until I came down with a minor case of adult acne that I was motivated enough to see a doctor. Because you see, when your vanity is under attack you don’t walk, you run, to the doctor’s office.

I’m not a very vain person. I hardly ever wear make up and almost never do anything with my hair aside from put it up in a messy bun. But there is something about getting older that makes you care more about your appearance. You look at yourself differently in the mirror. You start to realize that it’s not so bad to maybe get a little help every now and then from someone who may know a little something. So off I went to the dermatologist to see what she could do for me.

I’m not a big fan of the dermatologist. When I was in college, I went to what was supposed to be this wonderful dermatologist on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He was supposed to make my skin perfect. He was supposed to have all the answers. I had a slight case of acne. I went in, sat down, he took one look at my face and told me that he couldn’t do anything and that what I really needed was a psychiatrist. ‘Cause obviously everything wrong with me has to directly link back to my mental health. (That should have taught me to never mark the boxes next to the words “depression” and “anxiety” on the patient history form.) Right then and there I decided not to like that doctor, or his opinion. I walked out of his office and refused to buy the $200 worth of creams that he was peddling. Obviously, I didn’t have a follow up.

Go see a psychiatrist?! What did he know? Okay so he was absolutely right. But still, I didn’t need a freakin’ dermatologist to tell me to go see a psychiatrist. I needed a dermatologist to fix my skin and make me beautiful. I didn’t need a dermatologist to tell me that I need to stop picking at my face. I knew darn well that I was a pimply face picking freak that could spend hours in front of a mirror finding every single black head and clogged pour and squeeze it until something came out.

Once a face picker always a face picker. It’s kinda like an addiction. So of course, what did the dermatologist tell me? Lucky for her she didn’t suggest a psychiatrist. But she did just kind of look at me in this motherly and somewhat disapproving way and nod when I took my hand away from my cheek and said, “yes I know, I have to stop touching my face.” I promised I’d try.

I came home from the doctor’s office with a list of things to pick up at the pharmacy – creams, gels, new shampoo, soap – as well as 4 appointments for chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion and 1 appointment for a facial. I’ve never had a facial in my life. I don’t do facials, facials are for my mother and rich people.

I haven’t gone to the pharmacy yet. Going to the pharmacy requires inner strength and acceptance of defeat in the face of vanity.

I came home from the doctor’s office and stared at myself in the mirror and gosh darn it, as if it was the last time I’d ever be able to do it, I picked my face until it was red and blotchy and gross. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I guess I’ll go to the pharmacy tomorrow.

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Written by nicolemarie

April 27, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Posted in life, personal

6 Responses

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  1. Oh man. . .sorry you aren’t feeling well.

    I’ve had my share of appointments with the dermatologist – by far my favorite kind of doctor. Maybe you will learn to love them.

    The facial sounds really nice. I’d really like to get a facial but so far haven’t find the time or the extra cash. Let us know how you like it.

    Dawn

    April 28, 2007 at 8:30 am

  2. This is not a fun week for you! Little ones coming down with chicken pox (itch, scratch!) you feeling crummy and unearthing earlier trials with the medicos. Enjoy laving your face with the ointments and unguents, for heaven’s sake spoil yourself and take advantage of any treatment that helps you feel better. What you really don’t need is to be so stressed that you come down with shingles (opprtunistic cousin to chickenpox) Sending healing wishes your way! 🙂

    suburbanlife

    April 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm

  3. I’ve had one facial and it was good and bad. I thought the whole process was great until she expressed my pores.

    I kept thinking, “If I’m not supposed to be popping my zit, squeezing blackheads, and picking at bumps (like I never do – liar!), then how come she gets permission?” And, it wasn’t fun. But, then she massaged my face and all was forgiven.

    nutcase101

    April 29, 2007 at 4:04 pm

  4. Wow, small world! I’m a student at Ithaca College. Most people have never heard of it. I just tell them it’s in the same city as Cornell. Then they say, “Oooh, okay.” haha

    Good luck with the impending chicken pox dooms. I actually was exposed to chicken pox numerous times as a child and never actually got it. Eventually I just got the vaccine.

    Zan

    May 3, 2007 at 9:40 pm

  5. Zan, I know Ithaca very well. I almost went there for undergrad. I had applied to the Park school of Communications and even received a scholarship but in the end I decided to take a different route. Actually, my uncle graduated from the Music school many moons ago. I also dated a guy whose father was a prof at Cornell and I spent a lot of time in Ithaca – I really liked the town. How is Ithaca these days?

    About the chicken pox…looks like my kids are okay for now. They were both exposed but doesn’t look like either is going to get it. I’m happy about that.

    nicolemarie

    May 4, 2007 at 10:25 am

  6. Ithaca is Gorges and cold as always. 😉 (Well, except for the summer…when it’s blazing hot without the air conditioning.) I have a friend who is graduating from Park this month; small world. 🙂

    Zan

    May 10, 2007 at 4:09 pm


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