Vanity is a fickle friend.
Earlier this week, I discovered a disturbing fact: My nose is crooked.
I’ve known for quite some time that I have a deviated septum and that there is a funny flat spot on the tip of my nose that sometimes I rub when I’m nervous. However, I never examined it close enough to truly see that it is crooked. It slants, quite perceptibly (to me, now that I’ve stared at it in the mirror) to the left. There is even a nice little bump on the bridge, which recalls Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing and Owen Wilson in…everything.
I texted two, and only two, people about this distressing situation. Their responses were quite disappointing.
“Your nose is fine.”
And, “I never noticed, so it can’t be that bad.”
Disappointing because I was already thinking that this was an optimal blog post topic, and their dismissive responses gave me absolutely no material to work with.
But have no fear. Karma provided that for me.
Now, I’m not claiming to have been obsessing over this nose thing. But once I noticed it, I couldn’t help but continue to notice it. I didn’t go to the mirror specifically to stare, but when I happened to look into one, my nose was the consumer of my attention. Perhaps the Universe felt that I was getting too narcissistic, because then it sent me this winter’s Most Embarrassing Customer.
A lovely woman came into my work to make an exchange. She made a wonderful impression on all of the staff members who were there; we chatted and browsed and picked out just the right thing to trade in for the broken item she brought back. She went on to make a very large purchase for one of her kids, and we got to hear all about her life with four children– one teenager and ten-year-old triplets! It was a great time, discussing the presents all of the kids would be receiving, how there is never a dull moment in her house, idle chit chat that could be construed as really obnoxious except she was so pleasant and accomodating that it made us want to be cheery and bright, too.
Then, just as I had finished ringing up her purchase, internally doing a Happy Dance at how close we were coming to our daily sales goal, she leaned across the counter and said in a voice just above a whisper,
“Have you ever considered becoming an egg donor? Because you’d make an excellent candidate.”
Hallmark recordable cards singing at the store next door.
The silence. It hurts me.
I stammered out a “Thank you;” in fact, I think I said it multiple times because she proceeded to tell me that she was being serious, that she works for a company that coordinates egg donations, that I should really look into it because I could make a ton of money, and that her website gives all of the details.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That’s all I’ve got. I turned so red that I looked like an Oompa Loompa who went swimming in beet juice.
Maybe you won’t understand why compliments are so embarrassing, but they are. They require a response that I usually can’t spit out because I’m only loquacious when it is completely unnecessary. Everyone wants to see how you react, so then the attention is on you. And this was not “Hey, you’re pretty” or “Hey, your shoes are great,” which I can handle even though I’d rather they just didn’t happen in public.
This was “Hey, it looks to me that the very make up of your DNA is desirable to couples who are suffering from infertility, and I will pay you thousands of dollars to harvest your reproductive organs so that there potentially could be several mini-Jillians gracing this planet with their snotty, somewhat crooked noses.”
Hold out hand. Receive slap from Universe.
I have been sufficiently chastised. Truly I tell you, I do not care that my nose is crooked. I will never look at my nose again (except to replace the nose ring that I have to take out for work) if it means never having an interaction like that ever again. I will never again mention the mole on the tip of my nose that a photographer once thought was a booger. I won’t even talk about the occasional gigantic pimple that shows up on the bridge of my nose when I am most stressed. Those things shall never cross my mind again, just please, please, please never call me out at work like that again!
But you can’t ask me to give up my shoes…