SOMEBODY CLOSE to me has been on pins and needles recently for a few reasons, most prominent of which is the stress of going through medical exams and tests, evolving into worries about not measuring up to the test requirements, and preoccupations about imaginary imperfections and flaws, cosmetic or otherwise, in this person’s otherwise ideal-looking appearance.
I want to tell him that he looks better than half the people in his generation, he’s fit, and has 90% uncharted rest of his life ahead of him, but this person just wouldn’t understand, from the vantage point of needing to see everything mapped out before him, having all the options available, and looking his Sunday best at all times, albeit with nowhere (yet) to go.
In short, not having seen the ugly side of life, he is at a loss with what he sees as his many imperfections.
Swallowing hard and begging your kind indulgence, I’m going to tell Person Close To Me (PCTM) a few warts and scabs about myself. He’s seen some of them, but I will remind him about such, in order that he realize that he hasn’t got such a bad deal, and that there are worse things than being 17 :
Deviated septum – this is actually a kind way of saying I had the pleasure of having the bridge of my nose bent 10 degrees by a wayward elbow in halfcourt basketball, circa 1984. The nosebender had this distressing habit of swinging his elbows around everytime he collared the rebound, and my face happened to be in the way. I had to have cotton swabs in my nostrils for 48 hours and breathed through my mouth the whole time, and eventually it straightened out, but I never poked my nose (literally) into a loose ball situation again.
Rolled ankle – bulbuous with angry veins wrapped around it today, I landed on my left ankle hard and cruelly (tapilok) one wet afternoon many years ago while playing the same game above, and was immobilized for a week. The swelling subsided, but the veins remained where they were, and I would never be a foot model again. These are the wages by the way, of recklessly playing on slippery, sunbaked and sometimes muddy concrete that a teenager’s love for basketball never complained about.
Bicycle accident – I lost one front tooth and chipped another while using my face as landing gear, flying out of a bike that thought it was a plane two years ago, ironic because I thought the last vestige of my lost youth would be my winning smile, instead it was one of the first to surrender to the ravages of time. To top it all, I fractured a pinkie finger without even knowing it as I was so worried about the tooth I thought I could still recover, and because I failed to properly do the exercises taught by the physiotherapist, it remains bent out of shape to this day.
Miscellaneous – My thunder thighs go to sleep 15 minutes after I sit down. My gimpy knees start screaming when I don’t jog on the softer grass. I break out in a rash when the thermometer goes below 14 degrees Celsius. And whether it’s because of blocked sinuses, fatty tissue or some other obstruction, my sleep apnea-snoring concerts are world class, and esposa hermosa needs to either sleep ahead or wear factory earmuffs to stay sane at night.
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There you go. You wanted imperfections? Everybody has them my dear, and it’s what makes each of us unique. If we were all Bradley Coopers and Megan Foxes (who blew $60,000 on cosmetic surgery and still hated the way she looked afterward, ayeeeee!), the world would certainly be a less interesting (but more sigh-inducing) place. We lose weight, gain it back, get buff, go to flab. In short, we’re never happy and never sad about the way we look, constantly justify and torture ourselves with our self-image. It’s our lifelong preoccupation, and the day we stop making ourselves look better, in our eyes, is the day we start to die.
To be perfectly honest, PCTM, the way you look now is as good as it gets. My unsolicited advice is savor it , because as much as you’re eye candy material now, it’s all downhill from here 🙂
Thanks for reading !
- the asymmetric loveliness of peklat bungi & other imperfections (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)