Flashback Friday: Skintuition

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

One advantage to having a boyfriend, it turns out, is that they can see things you cannot. For instance, your back.

One night while I was in Seattle, Z was rubbing my back and discovered this bump that he thought I should have checked by a dermatologist. He didn’t technically discover it as I had already made an appointment to have it removed, and maybe I sounded a little defensive when I told him this because the next deformity he discovered on my back he kept to himself for several days. One night he couldn’t stand it any longer, abruptly stopped the back rub, and said, “What IS that?” He peeled up my shirt and discovered a price tag for $19.99 plastered between my shoulder blades. For days, he’d thought I’d had some deformity about which I might be self-conscious. My face was red, but despite being mortified that the evidence pointed to bad hygiene on my part, I laughed with him about it and felt a little warm that he cared enough not to verbally note my every flaw.

My dermatologist, on the other hand, has no problem pointing out the flaws. She’s a bit flakey on a good day; she’s my age or older but wears her hair in these high partial pony-tails cinched back with little girl barrettes. When I had the non-price tag flaw removed she was in rare form. I hadn’t seen her for two years at which time I’d had a little thing sliced off of the side of my nose, so it struck me as odd that she shuffled in flipping her half pony-tails, looked at my face and said, ‘Oh, it looks good!’ Only what she was examining was not the two-year-old healed place but instead a chickenpox scar I’ve had since 1974. She complimented her own handiwork and then suggested that I let their new cosmotologist micro-dermabrase my face to smooth out the remnants of what she thought was her scar. She went on to tell me how this amazing cosmotologist would fix all manner of problems and could even wax eyebrows.

When she saw I wasn’t signing up for a makeover, she went on to announce that she was trying to drum up business for the woman because nobody in my town seems interested in spending money to look better. I suspect it’s just that people here are accustomed to having their eyebrows done at a salon and not at a doctor’s office. Isn’t it a bit like going to the dentist and having her try to sell you lipstick? I suppose I’d appreciate it if my hair stylist noticed something on my head (a price tag perhaps) and suggested I go to the doctor to have it removed, but somehow when a doctor does it, it smacks of a snake oil selling. Do I NEED microdermabrasion for some medical reason? Are my eyebrows going to cause me long-term health problems if not cosmotologically altered? I think we all know the answers to these questions.

And now, on to a skin of a different color.

I’m a fairly intuitive person, so why does it surprise me that when I do some dumb thing that an inner voice has told me not to do, it doesn’t turn out well? More importantly, why don’t I just listen to myself? I’ve come to the conclusion that either I am slightly mentally handicapped or I have a dual personality: one of a benevolent, intuitive parent and the other of a petulant, rebellious child.

I’ll spare you the details, but bottom line, despite a niggling voice telling me I was about to make a mistake, I violated my pricey iSkin—a Shrek-green condom that protects my iPod from all manner of bumps and spills—in the interest of its fitting into a stereo dock more efficiently. It didn’t work, and furthermore, within 60 seconds of making the last snip, I discovered another way to attach the iPod to the stereo that won’t affect the skin at all.

Because I do not like to cry over spilled beverages, I opted to fix the situation by gluing the silicon sheath back together with nail glue. On any other day, nail glue could be used to reattach previously conjoined twins. I have frequently glued my fingers together when using it, so when the little niggling voice told me this experiment would also fail, I told it to hush because I know all about nail glue.

Maybe they taught this kind of helpful stuff in high school science classes on a day I was absent, but it turns out that quick-drying nail glue does not dry so quickly when applied to silicon. Instead, it makes a sticky mess and never dries. Despite both my intuition’s best attempt to save me from myself and despite my own resolution to be more frugal in 2007, there is now another Shrek-green iSkin on my Visa. I considered not buying a replacement, but the niggling voice said, “Your iPod needs to be protected from people like you.” This time I listened.

With Z and my intuition watching out for me, all I have to fear is, um, myself.

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