Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fever Dreams and Other Things

(That is not a flesh-eating plant trying to devour my husband THAT IS ME)

This morning I did something I have never done before. I dropped my daughters off at school without first showering and combing my hair. (I should add that I'm required to sign my daughters in, which means entering the building and interacting with at least 300 well-groomed adults).

It's not that I'm a prissy-face, it's just that I don't want anyone to see what I actually look like.

Trust me, it startles people. They pretend it doesn't; they're not fooling anyone. "It's ok," said one guy in college. "Your skin just isn't used to not having makeup on it. It's just. . . freaking out. Once it gets used to it, it'll be fine."

You see?

Even the husband, who pretends to think I am lovely at all moments, once saw me fresh out of the shower and gingerly asked, "Um, so what is the process here? Why do you look so different now than when you go to bed?"

(Don't worry about my ego. It's enormous. Nothing can take this baby down. Seriously, my ego is like a balloon at Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Sky-scraper sized and full of hot air, propped up by lesser people dressed like elven slaves.)

I will forever remember the terrible movie Elizabethtown for one reason only: the scene where Kirsten Dunst stays up all night talking on the phone and come dawn, her fair skin doesn't show a thing. Here's a sorry truth for you: fair skin shows EVERYTHING. My fair skin betrays me if I have a drink. It betrays me if I consume dairy. The few times I smoked a cigarette, it was written all over my face. And you bet your bippy that if a fair maiden stays up into the wee hours of the night, her skin screams her distress. We get all blotchy around the nose and the eyes. Often the lips. We do not go to prom and after-prom and finish the night milk-skinned. We got to prom and get left there because our date mistook us for the Swamp Thing during a flare up of psoriasis. I don't blame the husband for delicately asking "what is the process?" because if you went to bed with Anne of Green Gables, albeit on a bloaty day, and woke up next to Feed Me Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors, you'd be wondering what the hell, too.

I went to school drop-off without a shower because I overslept. I overslept because of a dream. I am going to sum up the dream now. Please, I promise to do it fast.

In the dream, Indy was a shape-shifter. She had been stolen away from me and, when I found her, had shifted-shape into a little Asian girl. Now no one was going to believe that freckles and the cutest little thing in black pigtails actually belonged together. I was growing quite panicked in the dream, not unlike people who wake up next to me, until dream-me remembered: I had seen every episode in six and a half seasons of Supernatural.

I knew how to handle this.


This is what I keep coming back to. I've been feeling unequipped. I've been telling myself I don't know what to do. When I calm down and listen, I remember: it isn't true.

I have seen six and a half seasons of Supernatural. Obviously there is a wisdom in me that surpasses all understanding.

And anyway, I know how to handle this.


  1. Oh my gosh I am cracking up! I'm a fare faced woman also but unlike you I go to school drop off and pick up with out worrying if the children run in fright from my sheet creased skin. As soon as you started discribing your dream I went right to supernatural and well I'm a fringe geek too so I was thinking about wheres her memory chip? lol. You are beautiful and funny and wonderful!!

  2. Fair-skinned are we. I am not a redhead, but boy, my skin is almost translucent. At least if I were a freckled redhead, people might understand. Nope. My Dad used to tease me that without eyeliner and mascara, my eyes looked like "two piss holes in the snow." {sigh} Thank you, Swedish ancestry.

  3. Problems with fair skin???

    I have no idea what you're talking about...


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