Friday, November 16, 2012

Freckles, Sharpies, and Cameras

I have always been a freckly kind of gal. And, I have loved my freckles from day one...and I have a lot of them to love. My kids, on the other hand, hate their freckles. If Jan Brady's trick had worked, I'm sure they would be scrubbing their face daily with lemon juice to get rid of them.

But when you have as many freckles as I do, you have to keep an eye on them. Years ago I had one removed...and it turned out to be fine...although the appointment was anything but fine. The dermatologist I went to was Russian, and pretty much man handled me like it was still the cold war. Here I was, in the examining room, in my skivvys and she marches in "You take johnny off now!" Ah, okay, settle down. We don't even know each other and I have to stand in front of you in my underwear. What do you say we at least shake first? Then she puts this headlamp/magnifyer on her forehead and grabs a sharpie. "Stand." So much for bedside manner. And why the sharpie?

She put the magnifier over her eye, took a strong hold of my head in her not at all dainty hands, and came right up in my grill. She would use her magnifier to take a closer look at a few freckles here and there and occasionally would make a tsk'ing sound. She proceeded to invade my personal space and DRAW CIRCLES around my freckles WITH A SHARPIE for about 15 minutes. All of a sudden she takes out a camera and starts taking pictures of me...wearing my underwear and connect the dots. Seriously, seriously degrading moment. I left there wondering if she was going to be yucking it up with her friends that night over drinks as she showed them my pictures. "Look what I did today to girl...drew on her and then she let me take pictures! What a fool!"

"Vell..." she says "you have lots of freckles. One needs to come out!" So, I made an appointment and a few weeks later went under some local anestetic and had it cut out. They stuck the freckle, skin, and what appeared to be a freckle root system into a jar and asked if I wanted it after they tested it. WHAT?! What in the world would I do with that?? I guess the bigger question was did anyone ever say "Yes, I will take that with me, thanks!"

Fast forward about 15 years and here I was back in a different dermatologist office because my primary care doctor felt a few of my freckles needed to be checked out. At least I was prepared for the Sharpie Experience this time. So, there I am...in my johnnie and skivvys...and black socks waiting for the doctor. Seriously, why did I choose to wear black socks today? So embarrassing.

In walks my doctor, Snow White, but with Cinderella hair. The woman's skin was flawless and practically see through. It was a little unnerving. She grabbed her ruler, magnifying light, and got to work. Note that she did not draw on me with anything. Instead, she said sweet things like "Your body just likes to make unusual shaped freckles." Then she had me flip over. I was feeling relaxed and knew in about 10 minutes I'd be waltzing out of there.

That was until she said, "So, you have 2 freckles on your back that I don't like the look of....those are going to need to come out." Okay, no problem, I will just make appointment on my way out. But then she said "And let me just get two shots and we'll get them right out now..." WHAT?!?! Did she say NOW? No, I was not prepared for that. She stopped and said "You seem a little tense...is everything ok?" Ahhh...no....I thought you were just going to draw on me and take pictures. When did the idea of you giving me novacaine and cutting out freckles become an option?! I need to mentally prepare for this stuff! She went on to explain that she would numb me up and then SCRAPE out my freckles. I would then have two "little" open wounds that would heal themselves in two weeks. Awesome. And what a treat for Timmy to have to put medicine and bandaids on them every morning. Way to put some romance back into the morning routine.

So, she numbed me up and scraped out my freckles that I didn't even get to say goodbye to. Well, let's be honest, I didn't even know they were there on my back but I would have liked to say a fond farewell anyways. The nurse had me sign something and when she handed me the pen I noticed there was dried blood on her hand. I almost passed out. I think we've already discussed how I feel about blood....

And that was it. Snowrella said she would call in a few weeks if anything came back "funny" and to be sure to make an appointment for next year. Oh, yeah, like I'm dying to come back and have you SCRAPE out more freckles and leave with open wounds. Sign. Me. Up. (Side note, of course I will go back because I'm not at all interested in skin cancer, but I'll be sweating like a piece of lunch meat the whole time.)



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pantyhose are not your friends

I had a client event the last two days, which required me to dress "business casual"...aka I had to wear business clothes. A few years ago I was wearing dresses, suits, and heels every day. For the last two years, I have been primarily wearing casual clothes...like jeans and khakis....and loving every minute of it. When I work on client events, I pull out all my work clothes and it's like having a completely new wardrobe.

The bad part of the story is that I also have to wear pantyhose in the winter. Some people can get away having naked legs but once the summer heads south, my legs become see through and glow in the dark...which is not a good look.

First, it took me about 10 minutes of rummaging through my sock drawer to find a pair of pantyhose that didn't have a run in them. And I came up with 3 pairs. Perfect! I threw them all in my bag and took off for my 2 day event. Day one, I threw the control tops on and gave it a go. About halfway through the day, my sausage casing hose were cutting off my circulation. There is always that moment of anticipation and fear when you go to take off your pantyhose.....you can't wait to get them off but you feel your body that has been stuffed inside your hose might pop out like fake snakes from a can once you take them off.

Let's fast forward to day two. It all started so good. Control tops on....check! Cute dress I haven't worn in 2 years on and still fits great....check! I went down to our war room to get ready to start the event, sat at my computer, crossed my legs and (insert sound of screeching tires) that is when I saw the big hole in my nylons. DARN IT! I tried to pull them up a bit to hide it and that just caused 5 mini runs to scream down my leg. AAAHHH! I had 20 minutes before the event started. I immediately formed beads of sweat on my upper lip...but then I remember I had packed an extra pair of nylons.

I ran up to my room, giddy with my ingenuity to pack that extra pair. I ripped the shredded ones off and started to pull on my spare pair. But I could only get them 3/4 of the way up. What?! So, I worked on pulling them up from the heels little by little....until they finally made it to my lower hips. I quickly looked at my watch and decided these were going to have to do.

As I ran back down to the event, I could feel my hose slowly making their way back down. First they rolled down my muffin top...then they began the slow shimmy down my hips. Which caused me to sink down and walk a little lower...and slower. Seriously, as though that would work.

So, here I am trying to casual walk as though I am shrinking so that my pantyhose don't suddenly drop to my knees at a client event with 175 people. Once we got started, I sat down and tried to inconspicuously pull them back up...and I thought it had worked. Until I got up again and they shot back down, literally holding me hostage. "Take one more step and we are going to fall to your ankles..."  I shrunk down like I was doing some sort of curtsy and ran to the bathroom. Once safe in the stall, I pulled them back up from my heels to my armpits. There! And once again, they began their descent the minute I began walking. Curtsy shrink walk...curtsy shrink walk....

I didn't make it more than an hour. I had to run back up to my hotel room, pull the shredded pair out of the trash, hike them up to my armpits and pray the runs wouldn't make it down past the hem of my skirt. I was shocked when I actually made it through the day. It didn't even bother me when I sat down at the end of the event and the entire leg shredded down past my knee. I had made it through the day!! By the time I got home they were shredded from mid thigh to heel. Such a good look.

Maybe I should invent some run proof pantyhose...that hold you in...but are comfortable. Or maybe we should just outlaw pantyhose altogether.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rollerblading Spiders

Everyone is afraid of something. There is at least one thing that will throw any of us into a tailspin in a nanosecond at just the sight, and sometimes just the thought, of it. For my friend Ann, that would be mice. If you even mention mice her whole body tenses up.

In August, we went on our annual Adult Camping Weekend and I happened to come across a baby critter under the car. And by baby I mean, just born within the last hour and the mother is missing. Ann's husband immediately said "Don't come over here, Ann....it's a mouse!" As you can imagine,that did not go over well. She freaked and ran inside the camper yelling "Get rid of it!" Adam started to move in like he was going to squash it with his shoe and I yelled "Don't touch it! It's just a baby!" Adam's face looked like he had just gotten into trouble for answering "yes" to "Do these pants make my ass look big?" While he stood there trying to figure out what to do, I was taking pictures of my new little pet.

I decided it was not a mouse. I have a boy and I am well versed in construction vehicles, types of snakes (poisonous vs. not), and all types of critters. At first, I was convinced it was a shrew...but it didn't have any glasses so then I decided it was a vole. I assured Ann it wasn't a mouse and ran to show her the picture of it, confirming my critter classification. She ran from me and my camera.

In the end, Adam and I gently moved it to the woods so it could rest up and wait for its Mommy. Unfortunately, a hungry bird found it first.

But back to our fears. I am not afraid of mice, shrews, or voles. But I am deathly afraid of spiders. Ever find a spider in the corner of the shower? I have had it happen to me twice and I froze. In both cases, I immediately jumped out of the shower and ran screaming as though my hair was on fire. Ever find a spider crawling up your leg or arm? I have had that happen on more than one occasion and I usually run screaming while smacking all my extremeties...in case there are others on me. I'm going to be honest. If there was a spider in between me and my child who needed to be saved, I might hesitate...for a second. Just a second. Physically I wouldn't be able to do anything different. I'm just being honest.

A few weeks ago I had an encounter that almost cost me my life. There I was minding my business....driving in my car....and a fast mover came streaking across my windshield and then HOPPED on my steering wheel. I'm not kidding. He was totally staring me down and I knew he was contemplating jumping on me. I FREAKED out! I started smacking at the steering wheel but because he had his roller blades on, he was too quick for me to squash. And then he disappeared. That was almost worse than knowing where he was. Meanwhile, I had forgotten I was driving. I looked up just in time to see myself veering off the road toward some trees. Luckily, I was able to veer back onto the road but it was close. My heart felt like it was about to jump out of my chest and my hands were shaking like I needed detox.

I drove home intermittently looking for the spider and watching the road. When I got home I ran into the house and yelled to my family "DO I HAVE A SPIDER ON ME??!!" They just shook their heads at me. I'll be honest, they have seen this act before. Tim came over and checked me over while I did my "spider dance" which consists of me jumping around like I have to pee. "You're all clear" he said when he was done.For days, I felt like I had a spider crawling on me and I would just suddenly jump up from wherever I was and yell "Is there a spider on me?!" to no one in particular. Tim had to detail my car too...no way I was getting in there with that thing ready to pounce. Tim said he found it but I know he was lying to me.

What's that one thing that makes you run screaming from the room like your hair is on fire?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fall is Like a Bad Break Up

A lot of times when we get together with friends we end up playing The Question Game. Well, okay, we don't end up playing it. I basically make everyone play it. What can I say....I'm a curious gal. I love that no matter how long you have known someone, you can still learn something new about them every day. And believe me, you can really uncover some interesting things about people when you play this game.

So, how does it work? Well, basically one person throws a question out to the group and everyone has to answer it. It's so simple...and yet, when I bring it up, everyone moans "Nooo....no more questions!" But seriously, it's fun.

Recently we were with some friends and I made everyone answer the question "Which season is your favorite?" Interestingly, Fall was the prevelant answer. Not so much for me. My favorite time is the Summer: the sun, the warmth, the beach, lots of camping, longer days, the list goes on and on. My next favorite is Spring, mainly because it is the pre-cursor to summer. The days are getting warmer, the birds are chirping, the leaves are starting to turn green...it literally puts a spring in your step.

The other day when I was walking to work I recalled this conversation at the same time I was thinking "I really don't like Fall." The biting wind was making my eyes tear up and for the third day in a row, I was surprised it was so cold. I had a hard time remembering if I said I disliked Winter or Fall more when we played our game. I think I said Winter because it's so cold. I am not a fan of the cold. At all. Here's the thing about winter, though. You know it's going to be cold. You are ready for it. It's not surprising when it's freezing or snowing. It's all part of the deal with Winter.

Fall confuses me. One day can be 80 and the next 40 degrees. You go from needing shorts to needing a winter coat and mittens. You relish those warm days that linger but when the cold ones smack you in the face, you are just unprepared. Fall is like a bad break up. You are all happy and warm in th summer and things are going so great. Then along comes a 35 degree day and hits you like a ton of bricks. You just don't expect it, especially since things were going so well.

I arrived at work three days last week looking like I had just been broken up with. My nose was red, I was wiping my tears, and my body language was saying "I need a hug."

I would like to change my answer. I like Fall the least. It's too unpredictable. How about we just ease into it and every two weeks we just decrease the temperature by a few degrees? If only Mother Nature could ease us into the cold bath water. Then I might make Fall my 3rd favorite season.  What's your favorite season?