Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Terror in Troop 282

I still can’t believe how much of this experience is about hair. From diagnosis on, every stage has something to do with stinking hair! First you mourn the coming loss. Then, you shop for temporary hair, which turns out to redefine the word temporary for you. (It’s a lot longer than you think it’s going to be in the beginning.) Then you finish treatment, and begin the long wait of regrowth. The experience of losing your hair teaches you so much more than you ever wanted to know about your own value and definition of beauty. It’s a lesson I could have lived without, but I am better for the experience. Turns out that no matter how secure we fancy ourselves to be, the truth is something different entirely.

Somewhere in the middle of this experience, you become so much more comfortable with your loss of hair than other people are. This is a great place to arrive. It makes for all kinds of opportunities of laughter. In the beginning, I was so self-conscious about it. I was terrified that people could tell. I thought everyone was looking. It was completely obsessive! Now, look if you want. It’s making you a lot more uncomfortable than me. Of course, I say that with one possible exception. During the time that I was far too sick to do anything but make it to work and then spend my weekends in bed to recover, I had an unexpected encounter with a girl scout. I dare say she will remember it for the rest of her life…

It was a Saturday afternoon and as normal on Saturdays at the time, I was in bed. We had family in town for the weekend staying with either Michelle or Mom. I can’t remember who exactly. I mention this because none of the following events would have transpired if no one was in town. If we hadn’t had family in town, I would have never thought to answer the door because I don’t answer the door. If you come to my house without calling to ASK first, you won’t find anyone home. I might be home, but you will not find me there. As a single mom, that’s just being safety minded. The truth is that safety is just a by-product of training people to not drop in. I promise not to drop in on you, please do the same for me. (Yes Mom, I mean you, too.)

So, I’m in bed sound asleep on this Saturday afternoon around 4:00. All of a sudden, I hear a rather loud knock on the front door. Well, half expecting someone to walk in, I jumped out of bed to see who it was. Since I didn’t hear a key in the lock but saw someone standing there, I whipped open the door in a confused and groggy state. I was literally waking up during this whole thing. Much to my surprise, and hers, there stood a poor little girl scout. She was probably nine-ish if I were venturing a guess. Before she or I realized what was going on, she asked, “Would you like to buy some cookies?”

As the horror from what she was looking at washed across her face, I realized that in my haste to get to the door that I had grabbed neither a wig nor a hat. I had also taken a shower before the nap, but failed to remove my eye make-up from the day before. In my defense, I expected this to be family! So, here I stood in all my kiwi-like glory half asleep with huge black circles of yesterday’s make-up around my eyes terrifying some poor girl scout. Needless to say, she had the presence of mind to wish me well as she turned and ran away.

Add to that the fact that I had not opened my front door in months. (Neither had anyone else…) So, there were cob webs everywhere. It looked like the Adams family lived there, and Uncle Fester just answered the door! I wish I could have heard her tell it. She may never sell another cookie. But, who sells things door to door anymore? I bet she’ll think twice about it next time.



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