31 Mar
Cartoon: Quasimodo (medium) by Roberto Mangosi tagged portrait

"Quasimodo" by Roberto Mangosi - Click the image to check him out at Toonpool.

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.



15 Responses to “Jackiemodo”

  1. Ro March 31, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Two things…
    1. Shut up, gorgeous.
    2. The greatest lesson- find pleasure in making people uncomfortable. That’s what I’ve learned to do. It’s lovely.


    • Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      1) rude.
      2) I must admit that ever since I’ve started the blog, every awkward moment provides material at the very least. 🙂


  2. pegoleg March 31, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    The all-purpose response to impertinent questions is: “Why would you ask that?”


    • Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      I’ll give it a shot, but I certainly feel like the air will be even more pregnant with awkward.


  3. Renee Davies March 31, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    “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.” While I’m sorry that you have to deal with this annoyance at work, you’ve turned this thing around and made it a very funny story. Thanks for making me laugh this morning.:)


    • Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      lol thanks!


  4. egills March 31, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Get a badge made saying the next person to ask is going to get it… or yes the eye is contagious but only to people that mention it..
    Keep smiling it’s good for you 🙂


    • Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      mmm… I work in the healthcare industry. One mention of contagious, and I’ll be 8 hours short on my paycheck. But I’m really into these fun responses people are offering. I certainly might try a ridiculous story of contagious eye shrinkage.


  5. misswhiplash March 31, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    I tried to have a closer look at your profile picture but it did not work. You look beautiful to me and you do have a lovely smile. That is all I can see !
    Believe it or not we all have our imperfections, some are apparent and some are hidden but God made nobody perfect and all for a very good reason. He hoped that because we ALL have imperfections that we would not take any notice of somebody elses imperfect bits.
    Mine are my boobs.. they are the cause of my weight problem. Also they get in the way when I am eating as I always drop food down my front and it ends up on my boobs. I cannot bend down too far as I am top heavy and topple over.
    Have you tried wearing tinted specs. maybe then nobody would notice one eye smaller than the other.
    Keep on smiling lovely lady, when I smile my double chin disappears and so do some of the lines on my face.

    Together we shall smile all day’
    Love P


    • Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      Thanks, P 🙂 I’ve always kind of envied people who don’t like their large chests, because I’d be down for one any day. We all have something much more aggravating to ourselves than to others, right?

      I absolutely love “When I smile my double chin disappears and so do some of the lines on my face”

      Thank you so much for sharing.


  6. Robin March 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    You know, I’m glad you brought this up because I was going to ask what’s wrong with your eye :). Yes, as someone else mentioned, most of us have something. It hasn’t happened in years now, probably because I’m too old now, but I’m overweight. It was mortifying when strangers would ask when I was expecting the baby. And as a teenager and young adult, I had pretty bad acne. Young children would often point their little finger toward one of the large pimples and ask with revulsion, what’s THAT? One of the great things about getting older, and having a sense of humor, is that what use to be a big deal isn’t anymore. Don’t know how old you are so maybe you’re not there yet, but sense of humor you have. If someone asked me today when I’m expecting, I would say simply say something similar to, in a neutral tone: I’m not.[Ok, I admit I might enjoy watching their embarrassment]. About your eye, play it waaay down as if the question has zero emotional charge for you. So, question: “What’s wrong with your eye?” Answer: “Nothing, one’s larger than the other.” or add to that “It’s more noticeable when I’m tired”. Another option while I’m on a roll – Question: “What’s wrong with your eye?” Answer: “Well, besides one eye being larger than the other, do you see anything else going on with it?” Believe me, I’ve had a lifetime of experience with stuff like this, and using this tone, removing the ‘big deal’ from the situation, completely diffuses the situation for everyone. And as you get older, I’ll bet you no longer have any emotional charge from those kinds of questions.


    • Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      oh that is pretty mortifying. I think there’s a social rule out there now that no matter what, even if you see the baby being delivered, do you ask someone how the pregnancy is coming. haha 🙂 I like your straightforward responses – I should definitely try to answer without any hesitation. If it stops being a big deal to me, then those sorts of questions won’t affect me. Win, win. 🙂 Thank you so much for the advice!


  7. Sammy Turnbull March 31, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Argh! People at work always ask me if I’m tired or if I’m feeling okay, and I always come away thinking I’m some sickly-exhausted looking monster!
    I’m totally going to start blaming it on the lighting!


  8. Renee Mason April 1, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Reply that since you’re legally blind you have no idea what might be wrong wth your eye; perhaps they could enlighten you?


    • Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm #



Say Something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: