My Ripley’s

Believe it or not, I’m pretty easy to embarrass.   I’ll blush in response to compliments; to shows of concern; to questions that most might not consider awkward.  And also believe it or not, I’m shy.  Given my druthers, I’ll be the person at a party standing in the corner nursing one drink and watching the clock until I have been there long enough to sneak out without saying goodbye.  However, the work I do does not allow me to indulge myself in my easily embarrassed and anti-social tendencies.

It’s not easy – I still have to work hard to take comments lightly that I find wounding; to smile and make party talk when I feel like the ugly fat girl that’s only there because someone felt obligated to include me  (you know, like the parents that make their kids invite everyone in the class to their birthday party).  Alone in my house, I’m pretty okay with the way I look – thanks to Bikram Yoga, Weight Watchers and a slight level of maturity gained after many years.    But set one foot outside the door, and all bets are off.

Why right now?  Well, one result of my Sjogren’s is that I occasionally get flare-ups of one of two skin diseases that lurk in my body.  Luckily, neither is contagious – but they’re ugly.  And they are usually on my face.   Of course.  This started in 2001, and for several months, I had at least two open sores, about the size of a quarter each, right on my face, with smaller ones in other locations.  People stared, but no-one asked except a young girl on the subway.  Her mother was mortified, but I was pleased.  She asked politely, listened respectfully, then patted my arm and said, “I hope you’re all better soon”.  It was the best thing that had happened to me in quite a while.

I’m flaring up now.  It’s just starting, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to the dermatologist.  See, each time this happens, it has to be biopsied, so he can’t just call in a prescription.  And in the meantime, I’ll be blushing.  A lot.  And avoiding mirrors.  But believe it or not, as much as I feel like the girl in the photo…it’s okay.

Just don’t stare.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Suzanne Demcisak
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 14:40:46

    You’re beautiful no matter what. And if you are the ugly fat girl, then more of us should be ugly fat girls — you were always a remarkably attractive woman, both physically and mentally, when we were in college. If your current photographs are telling the truth, you’re every bit as attractive now as you were then. Judging by this blog, you’re still mentally attractive, as well. Not a bad combination.

    I hope the skin flareup clears up quickly.


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