I’m pretty sure I have shingles. My father-in-law had shingles. Then he died. Not necessarily a cause and effect situation. Especially since it was 3 years later. But still.
You seem skeptical. I understand. I mean, we all know I have a history of hypochondriacal tendencies that are often exacerbated by Google and television commercials. Like the time I became convinced that I had mesothelioma merely because I dreamed that I had it, and logically deduced that I could never dream a disease that I hadn’t even heard of. So, in my estimation, I was a psychic with lung disease, probably contracted from working in the coal mines. Wondering why my psychic powers waited until after I was dying to kick in. And then I realized that a mesothelioma commercial plays on Robin & Friends on HLN every morning while I’m getting dressed. So, I wasn’t psychic and, oh yeah, I never worked in a coal mine. So, it was quite possible that I had not contracted mesothelioma and I could stop cuing my hacking cough every time my husband walked into the room so he would feel sorry for me. Or walk out of the room in disgust. (He being the disgusted one – not I.)
This time, I am well aware that shingles have been highly commercialized. They are scaring the you-know-what out of me. And when you have an inefficient colon, that’s a pretty big deal.
What makes me mad is that I thought I was safe.
You know, when you’re in your twenties, you hear about all of these adults who get chicken pox who never had it when they were kids, and it’s so much worse when you’re an adult?
And I thought, “Whew. Dodged that bullet. Missed a whole week of school and got to stay up late to watch The Wizard of Oz when my mom found a pock behind my ear. And she had totally forbidden me to stay up to watch it because I had school the next day. And that was WAY before DVR’s. No adult chicken pox for me, nosirree. I am immune.” Never mind that I was scarred for life by the Wicked Witch of the West and her untimely death by water, quite possibly the reason I refused to enter the lake for an entire season of swimming lessons the following summer.
But now, the Shingles Soothsayers are telling me, “Haha! You stupid fool! You had chicken pox when you were a kid. So now this deadly virus is just hiding out in your body waiting until your First Very Important Interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. And then Herpes Zoster, AKA Shingles, will swoop in and give you ‘small sores that begin to dry and form crusts’. But, don’t worry, the crusts ‘fall off in 2 to 3 weeks.’ And, ‘Scarring is rare.’
And it’s only possible, but not certain, that it will cause genital warts.”
And I just want to know how successfully triumphing over chicken pox when I am 8 throws me down the rocky path to contracting a venereal disease when I’m 60.
This is what I get for wishing a pox on myself just so I could watch two witches get exterminated by a girl with a dog in a basket.
I’ve decided how to tell when you are living a life of luxury. Shoes. Not just the fact that you own some designer shoes. Anyone can save up their Starbucks money and buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks. It’s when you can go the shoe store and see a pair of shoes that you know would go perfectly with an outfit in your closet, and you actually go ahead and buy them.
Well, everyone does that, you think. In fact, isn’t that the point of actually going to the shoe store in the first place? But look at that last sentence in the first paragraph carefully, and you will realize your mistake. “An” is the key word. Yes, a pair of shoes that will only go with one outfit. That is true luxury.
I went to the shoe store yesterday, and found the absolute perfect pair of red shoes. I’ve never bought a pair of red shoes in my life. Because, let’s face it. How many outfits will they actually go with? There are 10 million shades of red, so you probably won’t wear them with a red skirt or blouse. So you have to be a little more daring, and try to slide them in as the third color in a combo, like black and white, or gray. Or you can be a patriotic red, white, and blue. Attractive.
So it was foolish of me to even try them on. But they beckoned as I traveled down every aisle. I’ve been crushing on red shoes ever since I watched The Wizard of Oz movie the weekend I unknowingly had the chicken pox. (Long story.)
I reasoned that, once I slipped them on, they would look awful and I would be able to abandon them with a clear conscience. But that turned out to not be the case. I could tell that heads were turning admiringly as I strutted toward the long mirror in my tank top, khaki shorts, and three inch red pumps. I was certain that those shoes could transform me into the sexiest forty-two year old at next weekend’s soccer game. Or a hooker.
But I could only think of one outfit that I owned that might even be a possible match for these lovely shoes. And it was not the one I had on. (Come on, people, I’m not a complete dufus in the fashion department.) I tried desperately to think of others. But nothing came to mind. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pull off the high heels with bobby socks look that Dorothy rocked. And I am not at the point in my life where I can spend eighty dollars on a pair of shoes that can’t multitask.*
So I tearfully packed the shoes back up and forced myself back down the more utilitarian aisles of beige, black and brown shoes. But I left with nothing. It was too depressing.
*Some of you might feel obliged to recommend the ultimate multitasking shoes – Crocs. Yes, I am aware that you can buy them in every color of the rainbow and that they are oh, so practical for any occasion. At the risk of starting a blogging controversy, I would like to ask you to please refrain from suggesting Crocs. I do fine on my own looking like a clown, and do not need any other fashion accessories to exaggerate this image.