of ice and skin

i went to the dermatologist today. i havent been since i was in college and was going because, at 21, i still had the complexion of a 15 year old boy.

today i had to get an all-over cancer check, get a weird sun damage spot iced off my temple (by my tiny dr. wielding a blowtorch-like tank of liquid nitrogen), have a spider-veiny capillary cauterized off my cheekbone and get a prescription for a cream that will help with breakouts and reduce the darkness of my brown sun damaged age spots.

i am a veritable buffet of fun for the skin doctor.

as i struggled with breakouts and being pale all throughout high school and college, i used to get mad at my parents because there was no one of nothing else to blame. how could 2 fair-skinned, oily, and acne-prone people be so irresponsible as to have mated together and infused their kids with a double dose of bad skin!?! how could they?!

note: future layla and judah, you will probably ask the same question or try to blame your dad and me for the same things (barring miracles in medical science) , and all i have to say is that nothing could have kept me from mating with jesse. and if that didnt make you want to throw up and turn off your holo iPad 87 right now, well just be glad you at least got a chance at pigment from your father, which was more than i ever got from my parents, and zip it!

but not only did i have awful breakouts from age 14 on, and still get zits pretty much always unless i am pregnant or breastfeeding (i have done two rounds of accutane...TWO!?!?! who has heard of such a thing?), but i also am super pale. and not 17th century bourgeois milky-white pale that is classically hot, but more of a purple, "hey, your circulatory system is showing" kind of way.

i fought against this as a kid, refusing to wear sunscreen, laying out with baby oil and even tanning in college. i have had so many burns that blistered and peeled that i cant even count them. but no matter, my skin was very uncomfortable in any kind of browned state and would snap back to whiteness as the first hint of overcast skies or a lapse in my tanning regime. the best i can hope for is a darkening of my myriad freckles.

SO at 29 years old, i am a medical marvel. i picture this charming Innerspace-like tableau unfolding on my face:

the curtain rises. the setting: the zoomed in interior of my anatomy, several groups of organisms are hanging out in a typical office break room. aaaand ACTION!

zits: man, it feels like we have been on duty here forever.

blackheads: i hear you. you know what, it might be an urban myth, but i heard of a crew over in sector 14 (halle berry) who retired after only a few months of work. they just didnt need anyone from the acne department at all after that so they just let them go.

zits: wow, that sounds like a sweet gig, but it must be a rumor. no way could anyone have it that good. but, dang, it just doesnt seem right that we've been working here for almost 15 years now. almost all of the crews i've heard of in our department only see action for a few years max on their assignments.

blackheads: yeah, it sure seems like we should have been out of here a LONG time ago.

a new group of worker enters.

zits: hey there. what department are you fellas from?

new arrival #1: we're in aging. i'm fine lines and wrinkles, and my partner here is age spots and sun damage.

zits: nice to meet you. but hey, arent you super early? this big rig is only 29 years old, it seems like they dont call your division into service until about 35 or 40 years old.

wrinkles: yeah, that's the way it usually is, but headquarters said this was a special early deployment. something about extreme photons being used in a white zone causing them to need us.

age spots: and anyway, we could say the reverse about you guys, arent you working some extreme overtime?

blackheads: yeah we were just talking about that. oh look, here comes the boss, let's ask him. hey, jefe, whats up with this schedule?

DNA: i know this is extremely irregular, but this is what's in my blueprints for this job. normally HQ never schedules your two divisions at the same time. in fact, it's customary to have neither of your crews on duty for a few years; acne, you would retire and then the "prime of life glow" brigade would set up shop for a few years until we slowly phased them out and brought in aging. but the glow has gone AWOL and never showed up for duty. instead, they seem to have added extra shifts to you guys' schedules that have you overlapped here until further notice. i've never heard of such, but all i can do is follow orders.

wrinkles: well, we'd better make the best of it while we all have to work together.

blackheads: yeah, and maybe it wont be so bad. hey age spots, maybe you and i can do a duet and show up in the same place a few times, just to mix it up. it will be like run DMC and aerosmith: the world has never seen the likes of us together before, we can go wild!

age spots: yeah! that sounds great. i will be my brownest and most mr. burns-like and you just be your disgusting self. we will pioneer a brand new era of complexion. a dermatological mash-up of the best of both of our worlds.

wrinkles: hey what about me? i dont want to be all by myself.

zits: dont worry, baby. i've got big plans to hook up with you all over this face. we'll write an epic love story that defies all the odds of us being together.

two new arrivals walk in

busted capillaries: hey dont leave us out!

random whisker-like hairs (WTF?!): we've got tons to offer this trainwreck! the more the merrier!

DNA: party on, my minions, party on.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand SCENE!

too bad this screenplay is too short on the oscar qualifications for length, or else i would be mad famous.

ridiculous as it is, that is what i picture in my [possibly over-active] imagination whenever i look in the mirror and see wrinkles, age spots and zits at the same time. certainly someone at HQ must have made an error!

my skin used to be the thing i was the most violently insecure about. even as a 22 or 23 year old adult i couldnt put on makeup in front of people and could hardly even say the word "zit" for fear of attracting attention to my flaws (and i wouldnt even let jesse see me at the beginning of our relationship if i was having a bad skin day). i am SO glad to have grown past that insecurity and to be at a place where i can talk and laugh about the teenager and old lady who are trying to bust out of my face simultaneously (along with a few unexpected bonus friends that i never saw coming...really, people, why arent we talking about these weird lady things?!?!), and to have realized that no one is looking at me with even a fraction of the scrutiny that i am looking at myself with.

like the DNA bossman says...party on.


  1. Ditto to all the above. I still belong to the acne, wrinkle, pasty-white vampire like skin, teenage skin. It's ridiculous. I, too, had to go back to the dermatologist because it was just ridiculous. Hello?? I'm almost 32!!! I shouldn't need zit creamAND wrinkle cream. Sucks.

  2. Awesome! I actually think someone should make this movie. It would make a really entertaining short!

    I never had much acne, but I've been fending off gray hair and a super-thick face-wide mat of whiskers since the age of 10. Thank you Sector 27 DNA.

  3. I just pee'd my pants. Hilarious genius I say.

  4. ohhh mmmm geeee. you've written some pretty funny shit before, but this takes the cake.

  5. girl. you are beautiful despite those so called minions (which i don't see in any of your pictures!). kick em where it hurts.

  6. Yeah, I have the same awesome skin tone, breakouts that make me want to cry, a deep "worry line" between the brows, and a hormone condition that leaves me prone to facial hair (and also makes me infertile- thanks genetics). And now that I've spent a small fortune making test tube babies, I need to save up to get the derm to fix my face, get a quote on spider veins, and schedule the all-holy laser hair removal for (let's face it) my entire body. Let me know how the cream works.

  7. good news. the acne is going nowhere. i never had problems with it as a teenager. it now has a permanent residence on my face. awesomesause. also, word is hormones go wacko in the earlyish 30s. for sure, i experienced insane acne for about 1 1/2 or 2 years and ended up with curly hair. seriously, before this my hair wouldn't hold curl to save its life. now, it's curly times a go-go. our bodies are weird. the end.

  8. A lot of skin issues, like acne, is linked to food. Cut out 100% dairy and gluten for 2 weeks and I bet you'll see a huge difference.

    P.S. The 2 weeks is like a science experiment. If you do see an improvement, you'll have to cut them out (or limit them) forever.

  9. Oh my goodness. I'm crying with laughter.. and shaking from it also. Deep breath. That was a hilarious play you wrote there and I feel like my face understands it a little bit... sigh. Anyways love your blog. You are hilarious! And I love Layla's new pillow you made. Pretty awesome!