I’m so tired of people asking me if I’m tired or sick.
It usually happens at work. I don’t know what the deal is there, but I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the terrible lighting. It must accentuate my under eye bags and pale, lusterless complexion.
I don’t really even know how to respond when asked. Mostly because the inquirer is so stricken with grief and concern over my appearance that I am almost convinced there’s something truly sickly about me.
Is it possible to have facial features that indicate sickliness? Because if so, I’m pretty sure I’ve got them. At least people give me the benefit of the doubt and ask if I’m feeling all right instead of just assuming I’m ugly.
That’s pretty nice of them.
The second most frequently asked question (but far more loathed) is “What’s wrong with your eye?”
Unfortunately, I have one eye that is significantly smaller than the other. It’s most noticeable when I smile and unfortunately, I smile a lot. And if I’m looking particularly tired one day (more than my normal, sickly self), it might actually cause someone to notice. Except since they don’t notice that it’s a feature I was born with, they get highly concerned over whether I’ve contracted some sort of conjunctivitis.
I was once interrupted in the middle of singing during rehearsal because someone was concerned about my eye.
After running to the restroom to make sure everything was in order (while the entire cast waited for me, worried), I saw my very own, normal, sickly-looking, squinty-eyed self in the mirror. I always take these moments for a semi-weekly affirmation. “I am not a monster. I am not a monster. I am not a monster.”
The worst part is when I actually go check to see if I’m okay. Because then I have to come back with a report to a gaggle of concerned friends/colleagues/whoever reported my mutation. When I come back and report that everything is fine, they think I’m trying to pass it off as if it’s no big deal. They actually think something is wrong and I’m trying to not deal with it. When in reality, I’m trying to not have an entire room of people informed that one of my eyes is smaller than the other. I’m trying to not have to announce that “I just look this way.”
But I always have to, and it’s always awkward for them.
As you may imagine, I don’t do so well in the “help people not feel awkward” realm. I’m one of those folks who just vomit whatever comes to my mind until the air is so pregnant with angst and hesitation that one of us makes an excuse to leave.
I’m pretty worried about today. I was out late last night. In the middle of my long, irresponsible evening, I thought to myself “Oh man. Tomorrow someone’s going to notice my eye.”
I’ve got an enormous coffee in front of me and a substantial amount of makeup on. Today, we’re having a department meeting.
I give it 10 minutes before someone asks me the famous question. ♣