Thursday, June 23, 2011
One time, when I was seventeen, I was at Jo-Ann’s fabric store with my mom. The cashier thought I was fourteen. One time, when I was at the Creamery getting kids’ meals with Jordan and Courtlin, some guy in line thought I was a freshman. I was twenty-four. People tell me that I’ll really appreciate that kind of thing when I’m forty. Now I’m twenty-five, but I still throw people off because I’ve been lucky enough to sport acne that usually only fifteen-year-olds get to have. Pity I don’t still have braces, or I’d have EVERYBODY fooled.
Now I am seguing into an unrelated experience. I went to the dermatologist recently (SEGUE) and as I was lying down on the examining table and getting light shined onto my extremely youthful face, the doctor asked me, “Where do you work?” and then “What do you do there?” I responded, “Oh, I just do secretarial work.” He was prodding my forehead with something metal and when I said that he patted my cheek and eyebrow with the palm of his hand and said, “You poor thing. Probably every time someone asks you that question you say ‘just a secretary.’” He then went on to talk about a lot of the “just” jobs he’d had and how you could turn it into something noble through your attitude and work ethic and he made several comments about my self-worth and potential and the important work I’m doing and about having dreams and— I could not think of a thing to say. I wanted to sound gracious and hopeful but instead I responded with, “Mm hm” and “Yeah.” Throughout the whole spiel he kept patting my cheek and poking at my face. The nurse who was in the room with us didn’t say a thing. I wanted to ask her if he did this all the time. I bet he does: writes prescriptions for zits and throws a little therapy in there too.