Bounding into my room this morning at still-too-early-o’thirty (official Kid Standard Time), Jelly Bean threw herself across my slumbering back and did a perfect imitation of wee Princess Anna in Frozen, proclaiming, “The sky’s awake! So I am awake! So we have to play!”
My crabbiness was overcome by her cuteness and I cracked a smile. But when I say “cracked” I literally mean cracked. As in something by my lip snapped. And it hurt! I stopped smiling as quickly as a Sharpei at a Botox party. I ran to the mirror and was greeted by my old nemesis – my Bermuda Zit, so named because it sits in that unholy triangle of my lip, chin and cheek. Believe you me, if Amelia Earhart had crashed her plane into my Bermuda Triangle we would have found her before she got her socks wet because any little thing that touches that area of my face immediately prompts a skin eruption that make signal flares look like cocktail poppers.
Several times a year this zombie zit returns to almost the exact same spot to feast on my flesh. And it’s not just any zit, like those dainty commercial kind that can be banished by a blemish cream and concealer. It’s always one of those cystic kind that go deep and painful and last for weeks and make everyone unconsciously wince when they notice it.
But as much as I hate having the acne abomination, I hate dealing with it more. Popping zits is just not my thing. I know that for some people it’s a veritable zitgasm but it only took one time of squirting the mirror while screaming in horror to make me never want to do that again. Plus, I swear popping zits has never made them go away faster and it leaves scars on my wussy skin. So now my general tactic is to do nothing to it and hope that it will nicely go away.
It never does.
But this morning it was more evil than its usual protocol. I had gone to bed Sunday night with a fairly sizable blemish but woken up this morning with a bloody, crusty mess. The reprobate pimple had gone and popped itself. I panicked. I mean yeah, it’s not like my prom today or anything but I still have to see people and if anyone makes me laugh the #$(*@ thing will bust itself open again. And nobody likes to talk to the girl with pus leaking down her face. What was I going to do?!? Which is how I found myself going through the Five Stages of Grief… for my zit.
1. Denial and Isolation. Fine. I’ll just have to go full Joaquin Phoenix and hermit-up in here. Crap, I have to go pick up my kids. But hey it’s not that big, right? People probably won’t notice it. Especially not if I really play up my eye makeup and distract them by making really animated winky faces! Here, I’ll just try and cover it up a bit. Start with some zit cream (more of a karmic gesture at this point), then layer some concealer on. Yep, just a dab. Or ten. Then I’ll take the shine off with some powder. Um, I can still see it. I’ll just add some foundation, some green tint to mask the red scabby part and maybe a little bronzer on top and highlighter on the bottom to contour it and…
2. Anger. Holy heck in a Hermes handbag my zit is SO BIG I CAN CONTOUR IT? It’s not a zit anymore, it’s a seven layer cream cake! With fondant! I am a thirty-freaking-five-year-old woman! If I’m going to break out like a teenager then the universe at least owes me the metabolism of a teenager! WHERE ARE MY JELLY BEANSSSSSS?
3. Bargaining. This happened because I ate all the jelly beans last week didn’t it? Okay, so what if I swear off sugar for the next month – will that make you go away? No? How about I up the ante and promise to go full Paleo for the month – everyone says Paleo/Primal cures their acne right? Could I trade you a wrinkle or two? I’d gladly take a cute little crow’s foot in lieu of never having this cranial carbuncle again! Why has no one invented a laser for this? Would a band-aid look worse or better? Still no? What do you waaaaaant from me?
4. Depression. Dagnabbit, all the ragey screaming made it crack open again. It huuuuurts. Okay, okay, so yelling is out. As is yawning, duck-lipping and smiling. Which is really not that big of a deal because I don’t much feel like smiling or snapping selfies with my sleepy cat anyhow. This sucks. It’s pretty much on the one spot on my face that I can’t hide with my hair (unless I want to make a mock-beard out of pigtails which can be kinda fun…). Ugh I feel so hideous. I’d best just stay inside today watching an America’s Next Top Model marathon because Hulu just uploaded all the seasons from the early aughts and it entertains me to see early 21st century fashion. (So! Many! Whiskered! Low-low-rise! Flared! Jeans!) Plus even wannabe models get zits sometimes and then the camera zooms in on them while the makeup artists cluck their tongues and debate whether they should airbrush their actual skin or retouch their digital skin to make it look like wannabe models never get zits. I’ll fold the seventy loads of laundry I have leftover from camping and pretend I’m being productive. And who cares about sunshine or kids or friends or… crap, we’re having friends over for dinner.
[Optional stage: Irritation. As in nothing is more irritating than when people point out my zit for me. Do I know I have a zit? Are you asking me if I never look in a mirror? Or if I don’t have nerve endings? Or are you simply using me as an eye exam? Because I definitely know I have a zit. Kthanx.)
5. Acceptance. Gird up your loins girl (whatever that means) because you and your face are going to have to be out and about in public today. Go wash off all that ridiculous makeup that only ended up highlight what I was trying to hide. (Charlotte’s only makeup tip: Don’t put concealer over a scab, it just looks like lasagna crust – and not even the good kind.) Besides, in the grand scheme of acne, I really can’t complain. I almost never break out and when I do it’s usually just one zit, albeit one ginormous pus-sucking abomination of a zit. And I feel like as gross as they are, people understand pimples because we all get them. They’re gross but they’re pretty universal so it’s not like people are going to freak out because my face exploded. At least I don’t have a butt zit. Or an inner-ear zit. Or, heaven help us all, a nostril zit.
Or a back zit!
What’s the worst zit you’ve ever had? Are you a pimple popper? Anyone have a great method for getting rid of those really deep owie zits? Anyone just want to commiserate with me?