It’s been a good week. I ran my first five-miler. My kindergartner ditched his training wheels. My second-grader rose to the challenge of being the big brother — helping our little guy learn the ropes of bus and school.
But all of this has been overshadowed by zits. That’s right, zits. Plural. And not just any zits. No, I’ve managed to land matching side-by-side bright red pimples just below the right side of my mouth. They are obnoxious, unavoidable, practically pulsating.
What is up with this? Does my face not know I am 35 years old? Does it not remember that I’ve already done my time? Did I not already suffer enough during junior high?
And, really, on my chin? Why couldn’t I get them on my forehead where some creative hair styling could make them disappear? Or along my jawline, where strategic finger placement could serve as a shield? But no. They’re right out there for everyone to see — the only possible disguise being a facemask, which, I decided, would look even freakier than what I’ve already got going on.
I’m fixated. I sit cross-legged on the bathroom counter, poking and staring at them in the mirror several times a day.
No one looks in my eyes anymore. They may be thanking me for my purchase or wishing me a good morning, but they’re staring at my chin and thinking, "Holy crimony. Those are some big-*** pimples."
I wish they’d just say it. It would be less awkward.
I’ve considered broaching the subject myself. "I have gargantuan zits!" I want to say to the checker at the grocery store, the teller at the bank, the fellow volunteers at my children’s school. "It’s OK to talk about the zits!"
Even my family is obsessed. "Just let me at them," says my husband, passing me on the stairs last night. "C’mon. It’ll be over in a second."
"You," I say with a glare, "are not touching my face."
Last night when I leaned in for a bedtime kiss, my 5-year-old’s hands intercepted my chin. "Oooh…. Bumpy!" he said. My 8-year-old was more direct. Studying me over his Golden Grahams this morning he said, "Will those ever go away?"
"Doesn’t look like it," I answered.
I’ve tried to make this easier on everyone and cover them, but I can’t. Concealer just runs down the sides of their formidable slopes, and powder bunches around the bottom leaving a large red peak shining out the top. They end up looking like a diorama of twin volcanoes.
I called my sister this morning and left a message. "Angela. What can I do about two giant zits? Call me."
She returned my call with her own message. "How would I remember? I’m 29."
I’m just going to have to wait this thing out. And seeing as it’s impossible to hide in my room, I’ve decided to embrace my blemishes. Maybe I’ll even make T-shirts — "Pimply and Proud!" — and become the official poster child (poster adult?) for post-adolescent acne. Get it out in the open.
If you see me, don’t be afraid. Talk about my zits. Offer your advice. Tell me they’re bound to go away someday. I’ll make us both feel better.
Jennifer Koski is a freelance writer in Rochester. Her column appears Wednesdays. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.