Saturday, February 26, 2005

You Are Gorgeous!

While sitting with three little girls this week in a reading group, I found myself in one of my usual awkward situations. It was a normal afternoon…we were reviewing main idea and summary and the kids were enjoying a book about Native Americans. We had just read a paragraph about medicine men and how they helped their tribes.
“What do you think the main idea of this paragraph was?” I asked, absentmindedly scratching my face.
“Indians!” “Clouds!” “War!” came three instantly wrong answers. I sighed and pointed at the paragraph.
“Use the text,” I reminded them and returned to my waiting position. I scratched my face again and looked at one of the girls.
“Lovers?” she said dreamily. Lovers? I thought to myself. Where had that come from? Is she completely clueless? How does a kid get from Native Americans to lovers? And where has she heard…nevermind. I realized I was staring.
“Well, no…” I started to say when I noticed she was also staring, but very intently, and at my face.
“Your face is bleeding,” she informed me bluntly. Two more little girls instantly leaned in to inspect my face.
“Ew! Is that a pimple?” one of them asked.
“No, my brother has pimples and they’re white. Hers is red. And bloody,” another diagnosed, the apparent 4th grade expert on acne. She continued to stare, analyzing my complexion like a Clinique customer service representative. She squinted and leaned closer as I tried to dab at the offending blemish that had halted all progress in my reading group. They wrinkled up their noses as my finger came away with smeared blood.
“Girls, discuss this paragraph and when I return, I want you to tell me the main idea,” I tried to sound firm as I scrambled to my desk for a tissue. I turned away from the class and peered into a compact mirror. In the mirror, I saw all three girls leaning across the aisle to the next set of kids and I clearly heard the words, “…on her FACE!”
“A-HEM!” I loudly cleared my throat and sent them diving back into the Native Americans puzzler. I dabbed at my face. I had unintentionally scratched at the remainder of a (very small, but apparently still volcanically active) zit. This situation only occurs when there is no bathroom available or when there are many people around me. I find that it usually happens at a wedding, in church, or around family that I haven’t seen in a while. Removing the Kleenex, I snuck another peek into my compact only to see a small dot of blood reappear and grow before my eyes. I sighed. It was one of those endless bleeders. Anytime I wiped at it, a small streak of blood would appear and stripe my face. This was ridiculous. I had to get back to my job. I headed back to my table with my powder and tissue in hand. Six eyes followed my every move to the table.
“So what did you decide about this paragraph?” I asked them, attempting to remain serious with a tissue pressed to my cheek. I could see four other kids behind my group peering curiously over the tops of their books, squinting at my face. I threw them the Eyebrow and went back to my task at hand.
“So, what’s wrong with your face?” Clinique asked me, trying to pull my hand away from my face.
“The paragraph!” I hissed through gritted teeth. I was losing my entire lesson to a bout of teenage acne which I personally feel that I should be finished with by the age of 28.
“Sick people!” guessed Clueless, twirling her hair around her finger and trying to get hold of my compact.
“Indian doctors!” another called triumphantly, her stubby finger at last pointing at the paragraph in question. Thank goodness, a reason to get back to business, I thought. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a curly headed little pistol headed my way with an object gripped in her hands. The kids are not allowed to talk to me when I’m with a group, but if they find that they can’t wait, they may write me a note. I chose to ignore the approaching distraction.
“That’s right!” I gushed to my little Einstein. I was desperately trying to get things going again, when the Invader handed me a square black object with a sticky note pressed to the middle of it. I read, “I thote you mite need this for your fase.” I peeled away the sticky to see her magnetic teeny bopper locker mirror. I looked hesitantly into it to see my face with the loathsome small blood dot emerging again and little bits of tissue clinging to my skin. YOU ARE GORGEOUS! was written across the mirror in neon letters. Perfect, I thought.
It had turned into one of those Laugh or Get Mad situations, so I gave up on the reading group, thanked my good speller for the use of her handy mirror, and ended reading class for the day. Sometimes I think I’d really like to work in an office with adults, but would adults really be as concerned for my personal well being? How many people can say that 4 people they work with individually aided them in an erupting zit scenario? I’m just not sure that my every need would be properly met in an adult environment!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here laughing myself silly. I've had that happen more times than I care to count because I am just a big zit head. Usually none of my students (high schoolers) would mention it because that would be entirely uncool. I did have one class of ninth grade girls that took an unhealthy interest in my appearnce. They gave me all kinds of pimple advice and were always begging me to let them give me a makeover. One day I let them put some eye shadow on me and then I promptly started itching and my eyelids swelled to about three times their size. I was convinced they had intentionally tried to do it, until they used the same make-up on themselves. They felt so bad. I can laugh about it now, but it was not funny at the time.

Carrie, queenoframblesandzits