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Apparently I speak Braille now.

8 Mar

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I can’t decide if acne is better experienced as a teen , when pretty much everyone is struggling with it – or as a forty-something, when you have very few shits left to give.

I’ve never really had bad skin – up until the last two weeks of my life. Because I assume it is temporary – likely the result of stepping off the steroids I’ve been on since September – I approach it mainly with curiosity, rather than frustration. It’s somewhat intriguing to wake up each day wondering, “Where might I have a new pimple today?”

I’m reminded of a friend I had in my early twenties, who was quite pretty. When we caught up a decade later, after her first pregnancy, I asked how it had been. “The pregnancy was fine, but my face was NOT. I had terrible acne,” she said, clearly still not over it. “I mean, I’m used to getting the best table or whatever when I go out to eat – and for three months I honestly knew what it was to feel ugly.”

At the time I laughed, thinking, “Finally! She knows what life is like for the rest of us!”

Now, though, I can muster a bit more sympathy. While I haven’t experienced the horror of receiving a downgraded table (probably because I never experienced the thrill of an upgrade!), I can relate to looking in the mirror and seeing – if not a stranger – then a somewhat bizarro version of myself.

It’s a good reminder: beauty is only skin deep, and looks can be deceiving. I’m healthier (knock wood!) with a bumpy face, than I was before with a smooth one. The fact that I’m stepping down from the steroids means things are working and I’ll soon (fingers crossed!) be on a single medication.

Who knew I’d be giving thanks for zits? Oh, Crohn’s, you silly bastard!

A Lesson in Confidence

28 Feb

Dog with glasses

The other day while showering, I tried to remember what Alan looked like in glasses. He wore them when we started dating, but then got Lasik our second year together. Although he spent most of his adult life in contacts or glasses, I couldn’t picture him with anything on his face.

“Alan!” I shouted when I got out of the shower. “Do you still have your glasses?”

“No – I threw them out. They were falling apart… Why?”

“I was just trying to picture you in them and I couldn’t. Isn’t it funny – I can’t remember what you looked like in glasses?”

“They looked GOOD on me,” he said, simply.

BOOM. And I’m pretty sure that summarizes 90% of the difference between men and women.

A Hero Walks Among You. (Hint: It’s me.)

4 Feb

Today, while you were wasting your afternoon tweeting or trying to pretend you were engaged on a conference call, I was off saving a life. Let me set the scene for you…

I was at Pret-A-Manger, catching up with my friend Lynne over a cup of soup, when we were suddenly distracted by a little bird flying around inside the restaurant. To take advantage of the warmer temperatures, someone had propped the door open, and apparently a little sparrow had found its way into the building.

What probably stemmed from a place of curiosity (what IS that place?) or greed (holy shit – look at all that BREAD!) had obviously morphed into sheer panic. The bird kept zooming toward the windows, trying desperately to get out – only to crash into the glass and fall, stunned, to the floor.

As soon as we realized what was happening, I tried to help it. Apparently, however, it didn’t WANT help, because it zoomed away as I approached it. It took another shot at leaving – by way of the corner windows, right above a couple eating lunch. It tumbled to the ground.

I don’t know if the woman half of the couple had seen Hitchcock’s “Birds” one too many times, or if she was worried about getting crapped on, but she slid out of her chair with a haste I previously associated only with grease fires. Her date remained seated, cautiously pulling all their food across the table until it was safely protected by his arms.

Without asking, I took my entry and slid over her seat, finding the little bird sitting dazed on the floor under the table. Before it could get its bearings, I scooped it up, gently closing my hands around it. It began nipping at my hand as I carried it outside. I don’t speak “bird” but I’m pretty sure it was saying, “THANK YOU for getting me away from that crazy broad.”

Within seconds, I had it tucked in a flower planter outside, where it could calm down and catch its little birdie breath before flying away. As I rejoined Lynne, she quipped, “Hmm… I hadn’t realized Pret was expanding their menu.”

Had Alan been there, he would’ve agreed – he always says he’ll eat anything he can catch. I guess if that idea took off, they might want to change their name. Prêt-Attraper DOES have a certain ring to it.

So in summary: Unless you saved an animal this afternoon, you need to try a little harder.

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Hmmm… perhaps I’ve just stumbled upon a new career path? Clearly there’s a need.

It’s not a logic class, dude.

30 Nov

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I finished Thanksgiving weekend with a yoga nidra workshop. Here’s the conversation Alan and I had when I told him I was going:

“Yoga nidra? What kind of yoga is that?”

“Yogic sleep,” I told him.

“So you just go there and take a nap?”

“Kind of. Except you’re really not supposed to fall asleep. If you do it right, you get super-relaxed but don’t actually fall asleep. But some people do.”


“They even snore sometimes.”


“It allegedly provides the same benefits as eight hours of sleep.”

“Hmmm – wait. How is that even possible?”

“I don’t know.”

“I mean, isn’t the PRIMARY benefit of sleep, rest? So how would 90 minutes of yoga nidra provide you with eight hours of rest? It’s mathematically impossible.”

“It’s not a math class. And besides, I said ‘allegedly.'”

“I’m not buying it.”

“Who cares? It’s very relaxing.”

“Why do they offer it in the evening?”

“So you can relax more.”

“But then how do you go to sleep when you get home?”

“You’re just so relaxed, it’s easy to fall asleep.”

“But you’ve just allegedly gotten the equivalent of EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP, right? Therefore it stands to reason that it should be hard to fall asleep.”


“What do you mean, nope? This makes NO SENSE.”





Live from DC… it’s EQUALITY!

26 Jun

copyright pithypants 2015

I was home on my couch, nestled in for the night, when I heard a rumor that the White House was rainbow-colored. So I had no choice but to change out of my pajamas (and into my only marginally more appropriate workout clothes) and walk the eight blocks down to the White House to witness history.

I may have shown up alone with only my iPhone for company (and documentation), but the crowd was INCLUSIVE. People were welcoming, joyful and celebratory, handing off cameras so strangers could help each other get better angles than traditional selfies would afford.

I saw women jumping, men hugging, and more than a few people squealing. I took my share of photos (and helped others with theirs), then stood quietly under a tree, taking it all in. There may have been a few tears as I marveled that for once we got it right.

In a week that has contained much pain, it was a balm to see LOVE come out on top.