Monday, April 04, 2011

Thank you, acne and friends

I think that I am 97.33% satisfied with my imperfect body. I used to hate almost every body part (thanks to friends, foes and strangers who have so helpfully pointed out my flaws to me) but now I believe I am almost completely at peace with what I have. Adulthood does strange things to people.

I accept my skinny, crooked feet and oversized bony fingers. I accept my high waist and absent derrière. I accept my flat nose that rejects most types of eyewear. I accept my bigger-than-normal gums that betray me and make me look more primate-like than ladylike when I'm at my happiest. I accept my massive, cellulite-laden thighs because they remind me of good times with dessert (and Martina seems to love them). I accept my womanly chest (I'll never hear the end of that phrase) that I almost always try to hide (but fail) because it's always bigger than my stomach and makes me look proportional even after a buffet meal. I accept my brown skin because many pale people on the other side of the world are paying good money just to be darker.

(If you are still thinking about the second to the last sentence of that previous paragraph, then you're definitely straight. And also, STOP IT.)

The one thing that is still quite hard for me to accept is my propensity for acne. Every morning, after I snicker at the status of my hair, I see my facial scars. There's probably some technology out there today that can make them less obvious, but I'm pretty sure it won't come cheap. I'm not (yet?) that vain. To this day, I catch myself looking longingly at faces with poreless, scar-free, smooth cheeks and wish I had brought myself to a derma at the peak of my pimple outbreaks in med school.

But then again, if I didn't have acne and the scars that followed, I wouldn't be blogging today.

I don't remember where I had that fateful conversation with Awi, a friend from med school days. I'm pretty sure it was the year 2000 and I was sick and tired of the lack of tact, respect and subtlety in society. In other words, I was sick of people telling me I had less-than-perfect skin. I told Awi about my dream retorts to fight all my verbal oppressors. In a flash of genius (or maybe he just wanted me to shut up), Awi told me to just write everything down and submit it to a magazine.

So I wrote my first humor essay. It was about acne and how I wanted to reply to every rude person who has ever told me I could've been pretty if it weren't for my scars. I showed Awi my essay ... and he laughed. He laughed hard. 

That was when I realized that Awi was certifiably crazy. Oh and that I could make people laugh by just writing what was normally in my head. Most importantly, I realized that making people laugh with me felt absolutely wonderful. It felt like I had done a bit of good in the world.

Although I earn my living as a writer of serious medical things, I don't think I will ever be comfortable calling myself a writer. My grammar leaves much to be desired, my vocabulary is elementary, my spelling skills give me nightmares and punctuation often gives me pain (although I have an ongoing romantic relationship with parentheses). In spite of all these technical flaws, I know that for as long as there is something funny in my head, I will write about it and hope someone out there laughs with me (or stifles a laugh for fear of being caught at work reading senseless blogs) (you know who you are).

So to all my friends who have liked my stories, thank you. And thank you for telling me about it. 

And if you want to start a fund for my future laser skin resurfacing, I wouldn't mind it a whole lot either.


awi said...

LOL! Ayluvet!!

Thanks for the cameo, Eng! :-)

And yes, I DO claim credit for all the glory you derive from blogging, HAHA :-P

Keep on writing, O wise and bustful one (hehe). The world would be a far less happy place without its regular dose of acne stories :-)

(I have an ongoing affair with emoticons, as you can see.)

orange said...

HAHAHAHA! Glad you liked it, Awi. I hope to write like you someday. :)

Anonymous said...

... and i hope to write like you someday, O. it just seems to flow from your head to the screen...

(this space is where my first funny thoughts are supposed to be but i edited them out as they may be construed as "bastus")

this is why my i just blog -- i stop at one. -- LHD

Lesley Ardelle said...

Is there somewhere we can read this first humor essay on acne? :D

orange said...

Hmm. It's a bit too angry for my current taste. :) I'll repost here after I've edited it. Or not.

Blessie Adlaon said...

Dear Orange,

I had been tasked by one of my clients to write funny reviews, and I am reading your blog (and my brother's) for inspiration.

I can't modestly say that it works in making my reviews funnier, but at least I can smile now :-)



orange said...

Am very flattered, Blessie. Thanks for reading!