Archive for April 2010

April 30th, 2010

Hanging In There

April 2010. I will forever remember it as the month when my youthful exubernance waved goodbye. The month it all went downhill. The month I turned 30.

I kid. Thursday, April 22nd came and went with scarcely a hint that there was any unusual significance there. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve had two solid years of simultaneous home-ownership, financial woes, and hair loss now? Whatever the reason, I long ago understood, and became ok with, the fact that I am a grown-up. Therefore: I might as well be 30.

There was but one occurrence that made me ponder this new stage in my life. This is most certainly going to plunge us into the realm of “too much information” but we are going there because I am now an old man and you will listen to me talk about my body in all its disgusting detail! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

(Deep breath) here we go: you know those flappy, semi-wartish-type things that predominantly 50-plus folks get, mostly on their eyelids? The Monday after my birthday, I discovered that I’d grown one of those…in an extremely private place. Specifically, in a relatively-easily-accessible and forward-facing sector of an extremely private place, that would be virtually impossible for me not to glance at every single time I went to the bathroom.

My initial reaction, upon determining what was going on, was surprise. I had no idea those sprang up down there as you started to age, but then again, how widely-available would knowledge of such an intrinsically gross nature be? Then there was a brief period of acknowledgment that, wow, turning 30 really did mean that I was getting old. Then it was time to determine what to do about it. Haven’t we all wanted, at one time or another, to hone in on an elderly person’s eyelids and just de-tab them, with a pair of nail clippers, once and for all? Taking into account where this particular tab was, how long would you assume that I weighed that option? If your guess was over 1.5 seconds you are not, and have never been, male. In contrast, I chose a solution that was uber-male: I chose to believe that my disfigurement was temporary and that it would quickly go away on its own.

Four days later everything looked exactly the same and I had had it. I had to bring in a third-party and, being married, the third party to call on was obvious. Bringing in someone who you are presumably monogamous with to examine strange growths on the body part in question is a delicate matter. You must trust that person to trust you. And you must trust that the person trusts your trust in them. And you must have a powerful flashlight. LEDs are the way to go.

Here, devoid of any color commentary, is the conversation Steph and I had when I broke down and had her take a look:

Me: (Ahem) Ok…so…check this out! I promise that nothing out of the ordinary has been going on! I just turned 30 and bam! I am old enough to have a disgusting flappy-mole here!

Steph: Um…that is a weird color for one of those to be. I do not think that is what that is.

Me: Sure it is! Sometimes they are weird colors.

Steph : Hold on. (Coming back with the flashlight.) Your weird colored-mole is hiding some legs from you. Yep, that’s a tick. Hold on. (Coming back with tweezers.) There, it’s gone.

So yeah, it was a tick. I’ve had ticks before, just never ones that looked as much like a common-skin-growth as him and never there, so he caught me off-guard. And to his credit, he was causing no pain or irritation, and he couldn’t have picked a better time to climb aboard. Of course, he came off really easy, so I’m not sure if he was even properly attached…. Honestly, I’m kind of confused about what to think about it all.

Anyway, in conclusion:

1.) If you spend a lot of time outdoors, just assume anything on your body that you can’t identify is a tick.

2.) I am thankful that “burning them off with a lighter” is no longer the preferred method of tick-extraction.

3.) One of the less-frequently-mentioned upsides to being married: free awkward anatomical examinations.

And finally:

Maybe sometimes our troubles really aren’t just that we’re getting old.

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