I'm amazed that I've been able to write anything at all here lately with the way my hands have been busy. I've spent the better part of the last two weeks scratching. Lovely, no?
It started the Thursday before last, on our way home from seeing Eclipse. My ear was driving me nuts and I kept rubbing it absent-mindedly. Then I noticed a few little itchy spot on my arms. Uh-oh. The next morning I woke up on fire, with a rash on my arms and a good part of my face. My right eye and cheek were so swollen I could actually see my cheek when I looked down. Poison Ivy. Annoying, yes, but not a huge deal. I get rashes, though usually from stress, often enough that I know the deal. Get your steroid prescription, chug some Benedryl, and try not to scratch the heck out of yourself until it kicks in.
I must not have followed the rule about not scratching, because I woke up Monday morning to a bloody eyeball. Seems I rubbed hard enough to break some blood vessels. A trip to the eye doctor assured me that I wasn't going to go blind. Overdramatic? Perhaps, but as calm as I can be about the medical misfortunes of others, I tend to freak out when it's me (to put it mildly). Within 5 minutes of finding the bloody spot on my eye, I was convinced that pressure was building in my eyeball, rupture was imminent and that a glass eye was in my future. I would like it noted that even in my frantic state, I was able to see the bright side of things: I realized that with a 50% off discount, LASIK would finally be in my price range!
When the eye doctor proclaimed my eye unsightly (pun totally intended), but safe, I breathed a sigh of relief. And then he gave me the worst news an eye doctor can (after you're going to go blind, of course): no contacts until the bloody eyeball clears itself up. Duh-duh-dummmm, followed by sad trombone.
And so I am going on Day 9 of The Glasses. For some people, glasses are no big deal. Mike wears his everyday. He hates his contacts and only wears them for swimming, hockey and pictures. I think he looks sexy in his glasses. I see other people in glasses and think they look cool.
Something happens when I'm forced to wear mine, though, and what it says about the precariousness of my self-esteem and the emphasis I place on vanity scares me. I put on those glasses, and instantly I feel transformed into an ugly, awkward mess. I am 13 again, with owl-eye lenses, a bad haircut, and giant, crooked teeth covered in metal.
The simple act of wearing my glasses over contacts was all it took for me to quickly slide into Schlumpy Mom. You know that mom. I was defeated before I even got dressed. Hanky Pankys? What's the point. No, it was the underwear you save for those times. I call them my Big Uglies, and that's what I automatically went for. Cute tanks, skirts, strappy sandals? Puh-leeze, those are for cute girls. No, it was the sweat shorts or yoga pants, the ratty t-shirts. I'm pretty sure I wore a Pork Blogger t-shirt (which I am most decidedly not -nothing against pork!) out in public one day. Blow dry and straighten my hair? Too much effort, when no one will see past my glasses anyways. No, air-dry to the point of frizziness, then pull back into a non-descript ponytail. Sex drive? Totally gone. Who'd want to mess around with this?
There's the logical part of me that knows this is ridiculous. I'm no different with my glasses on than without. You still see me, just with an added accessory. You might not even notice. We all have that other part, though, the part that isn't logical. The part that tells you you're ugly, or fat, or a slob, or a terrible cook, or clumsy – whatever that thing is you find so easy to berate yourself over. The part of us that no matter how tiny, can be very, very loud. The logical part of me recognizes this other part, and is more than a little frightened at how easily it can surface and erase everything I know for sure.
I'm just about over this case of poison ivy now. My eye is still a bit like something out of Twilight, but it's getting better every day. In the next few days I should be back to my contact-wearing self. I made the effort to straighten my hair yesterday and put on a skirt. I'm coming back around. I just hope that next time (and there's always a next time) I don't lose myself so easily.
Do you have that part of yourself, too? Is there something about yourself, or your surroundings, that if it isn't just right, everything else falls apart? If I can talk about my Big Uglies, maybe you can share, too!