Heater, Mother of Lance

Oxy Moron

So it happened today, the adult-onset pimple.

It’s on my right temple, directly next to my right eye. And all day long I’m going to look at people’s noses in hopes that they will in turn look at my nose, a nose with no pimples, instead of into my eyes. If they look into my eyes they’re going to see the pimple sitting right there and they’ll have no choice but to sound warning sirens in distress because, seriously, this pimple is threatening to annex Canada.

The most disturbing thing about this pimple is that it just came out of nowhere. I haven’t changed moisturizers or cleansers; I’m not on my period; I don’t even have a mid-term in the morning. And really, what defense is there against a pimple that has no reason to be there in the first place? It’s like trying to understand a criminal who has no motive, someone who just likes to kill or maim because he can. This pimple is pimpling just because it can.

Tonight I will see my mother for the first time in a week, and when she first greets me she’s going to remark, Heather, you’ve got a pimple! as if the damn thing just up and landed on my face the moment she walked in the door. I’ve never understood this, why mothers have to POINT OUT the existence of a pimple. It’s like telling someone who is ugly that they are ugly, as if the ugly person doesn’t already know it, as if they aren’t painfully, excruciatingly aware already of their own bitter ugliness. You’d just never do that, and so I think pimpled people deserve the same mercy, because chances are, if you’re not in a coma, you know you have a pimple.

And I know I’m not supposed to touch it, that touching it is the last thing I should do to it, but all I can think about is touching it. And somehow the urge to touch it is overriding the fact that that I know that touching it ensures at least a 14-day pimple life, from first touch to final craggy scar. Because you can’t ever get it all in that first touch, no. It takes anywhere from 4 to 2004 touches, each touch more fevered than the last, each one believing that it will be the last touch, but really, in real life, it’s not even halfway through to the last touch. And seven days into touching when you finally reach that last touch, the one that hits the pulsing, healing lava flow of blood, you’re left with a gaping, boogered canyon on your forehead that won’t erode or even accept a basic Maybelline concealer for at least another seven days, the fucking nerve.

And I guess this is what I really hate about the adult-onset pimple, it’s that it’s a lone warrior, a renegade, the Dirty Harry of facial blemishes. If it were acne or part of a juvenile brigade of pimples, everything would sort of blend in and people wouldn’t have the urge to make subtle brushing movements with their hands at their temples, letting me know silently and politely that I’ve got something, perhaps a crumb, maybe even mustard right there next to my eye. And what am I going to say to these people but I’VE GOT A FUCKING PIMPLE, ASSHOLE.

  • little miss s

    2003/01/10 at 8:18 am

    Okay…so we’ve already got the biggest pimple of a President in American history, threatening to annex us. Now, the lesser known Dooce pimple too.

    Is it a whitehead? We need a little more snow up here.

  • QuesoDiablo

    2003/01/10 at 8:27 am

    Well feel lucky because I beleve the worst form of th adult onset pimple is the monstrous ass-pimple. Totally hidden and no one can know its there but you can never stop wondering why it decided to show up on you ass in the first place, not like the face which although no one likes to get them on there’s there is that un spoken agreement that thats where there’re supposed to be.

  • Lin

    2003/01/10 at 8:28 am

    Ach, the dreaded adult pimple. When will I have to stop buying acne medication..when I’m fifty?

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/01/10 at 8:30 am

    bite me dooce. one little pimple. i weep.

    i have been fighting an extended guerilla war with little red suicide bombers since i was 18. i had clear skin in high school. my skin had to revolt in adulthood.

    how’s that for a genetic royal screw.

    so pardon my lack of sympathy when you find one rogue complexion terrorist on your noggin.

    i’ve waged a war with everthing short of kerosine.

    my face is like isreal. sure, i have some days or weeks free from attack. but when i least expect it, bang! three of the little red bastards explode themselves right on my forehead. or the razor that scrapes upon my neck sends the hair folicles into an uprising and they attack with the little mosters for a week until the skin heals.

    i would kill to have completely clear skin for a month solid. sadly, it rarely happens.

    but i gotta admit, its strangely gratifying to pop those little fuckers.

  • Danika

    2003/01/10 at 8:33 am

    What about getting a pimple on your leg right where your pants rub when you walk because your jeans are just a little too tight due to gaining just a little too much weight. Not enough for new pants but enough for the pimple to fucking hurt whenever you walked or moved while sitting.

    Not that it recently happened to me… 🙂

  • aubs

    2003/01/10 at 8:34 am

    They need to teach you that in 6th grade health class when they’re discussing adolescence and all the ‘changes’ in your body. Some teacher needs to take a stand and say “get ready, people, these pustules are going to be your nemesi for the rest of your life.” I wish I had stock in Clearasil.

  • dooce

    2003/01/10 at 8:34 am

    Jimbo: you might want to try birth control. it works wonders on acne.

  • A Diff Erika

    2003/01/10 at 8:34 am

    How bout you normally have a pimple free ass.Then after months of not getting any you finally get a man and you get a big red monster on your ass. Sexy right?

  • Funtime Ben

    2003/01/10 at 8:38 am

    I feel your pain. I’m currently battling an underground pimple, which no one else can see, but which I am compelled, as if by the laws of nature, to squeeze. By squeezing it, I realize I will make it a very visible ghastly red bump, but I have to squeeze it, for squeezing will bring me solace.


  • annie

    2003/01/10 at 8:40 am

    can you try a new, funky hair style?

  • QuesoDiablo

    2003/01/10 at 8:41 am

    Or a large colorly embroiderd eye patch ?

  • the media

    2003/01/10 at 8:47 am

    so much drama over a fucking pimple. you’ve got too much time on your hands. drink or something. yeah, kill it with alcohol.

  • Anna

    2003/01/10 at 8:48 am

    I finally admitted defeat in my battle against adult onset pimples and went to a dermatologist. Those nasty fuckers were no match for my cream wielding skin doctor. Also: A friend of mine enjoys getting pimples, and says she could sit around all day popping them. She’s really not joking.

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/01/10 at 8:51 am

    that’s a good idea dooce! but do i actually wear the condom as prescribed or actually pull it over my head?

  • jen

    2003/01/10 at 8:59 am

    jimbo – i think dooce means the birth control pill. it does do a face good. i have a few daisy packs to donate if you want.

  • Queso

    2003/01/10 at 9:02 am

    perhaps jimbo was quietly trying to point out his gender? perhaps..and Jimbo i would say pulling it on over your head when you sleep at night might work perhaps the spermicides with kill the pimples

  • A Diff Erika

    2003/01/10 at 9:02 am

    Acutane is magical. Cleared my adult acne forever.

  • buckosmack

    2003/01/10 at 9:05 am

    oh honey, lance the little bitch and let’s be on with it. as for mommy, are you telling me there isn’t at least one so-called pimple on her, um, character that you might be able to call out in a ‘tit for tat’ moment that might get her to think before she speaks next time?

  • melanie

    2003/01/10 at 9:08 am

    jen, i think jimbo was being funny, not daft.

    anyhoo. minutes before my first day of teaching freshman comp at the university of colorado this fall, i got my period, spilled coffee on my boob, and watched in horror as The Biggest Pimple In the History of Pimples sprouted on my face. i’m not kidding – that thing staged a bloodless coup in two seconds flat. it was on the right side of my nose, right below my eye. i had to teach with that thing on my face for two weeks. i think it was sent to implant a microchip or something.

    so, i feel your pain.

  • shy

    2003/01/10 at 9:09 am

    i hear you on mothers… my mother will take it one step further and begin to lecture me on eating too much greasy foods. or chocolate. or whatever the wive’s tale of what causes adult-pimples. i have one now too.

  • julie

    2003/01/10 at 9:18 am

    if you have to touch it, do so with a cotton ball and some tea tree oil or rubbing alcohol a few times a day. that’ll zap that sucker quickly.

  • Glovia

    2003/01/10 at 9:30 am

    Why you always gotta talk about such sensitive subjects.

  • lola

    2003/01/10 at 9:33 am

    julie’s right. Tea Tree oil is a magical treat. It dries the shit right out of those face boils. And before I discovered the wonders of nature, I used retin-A and it worked just dandy. There was the side-effect where my entire top layer of skin peeled off my face. But at the time, I would much rather have been scaly than pimpley.

  • Chip Tijuana

    2003/01/10 at 9:47 am

    What you really need is a good pair of wrap around shades, something a la Corey Feldman or Randy Macho Man Savage. Not only will they cover the blemish but they will give you a unique style that hasn’t been seen since the early 90’s

  • Anonymous

    2003/01/10 at 9:50 am

    antibotics. take amoxicillan (spelling maybe wrong) couple days. it’ll kill all pimples that are on ur body.

  • in the dark

    2003/01/10 at 10:11 am

    So where do you get retin-A, Acutane, tea tree oil, etc?

  • LK

    2003/01/10 at 10:13 am

    ditto on the tea tree oil, it does work great. of course, if you have some extra money to spend, go visit a dermatologist and get a tiny shot of cortizone in the sucker. it’ll magically disappear the next day.

    as for the antibiotics comment… that’s a no-no. people who take antibiotics for every little thing can breed super viruses.

  • LK

    2003/01/10 at 10:14 am

    PS tea tree oil is available at almost any health-nut place as well as your local Body Shop in the mall. As for the Retin-A and Acutane… you need a doctor’s prescription.

  • Pimplemint Pattie

    2003/01/10 at 10:18 am

    Is this one of those throbbing pimples? Why do they throb? Maybe if you wear your hair over the pimple, your mother will say, Heather, your hair is in your eyes.

  • April

    2003/01/10 at 10:27 am

    If spraying Windex on it doesn’t work, stick a Bandaid on it and say you cut yourself shaving. Who cares if no one actually shaves their forehead…

  • meesha

    2003/01/10 at 10:29 am

    The reader beauty tip in this month’s Jane magazine is to dab a cotton ball soaked in “sensitive” or “gentle” formula douche on your face to clear up blemishes.

    If anyone’s actually tried this, let me know. It seems like logically it would work, but I’m afraid to try.

  • Judith

    2003/01/10 at 10:34 am

    Apply Tea Tree oil and or Hydrogen Peroxide, alternately. Change your pillowcases every day.

    Please, not Canada, in fact we should de-annex most of the North of our Northern states.

    Don’t worry about waiting til 50 to have a clear complexion. For 10 years I enjoyed one of the loveliest features of peri-menopause, acne. Then with menopause my face completely cleared up. I was gleeful at not having to wear make-up. This was only nature taunting me. I still have the occasional breakout. I am 57.

    And, my mom is still as helpful as ever in pointing out every red spot on my face with such amazement, as if no one on the planet has ever had such a thing in the history of the world.

  • Glovia

    2003/01/10 at 10:38 am

    April, so long as it’s unused douche. The vinegar stuff in it will dry it right out. And you’ll smell like flowers.

  • the propagandist

    2003/01/10 at 10:45 am

    maybe its bothering you so much because the insidious little bastard is sending its pus-filled roots into the very embodiment of your consciousness…soon your brain will be pulsing with pimples, bursting within your skull, and then…

    a little pimple on your temple won’t seem so bad, eh?

  • dbj

    2003/01/10 at 10:53 am

    Forget all your dependancies on pharmacies and pharm-assisted solutions…whenever I have a problem such as acne, or diarrhea or random thoughts of violence..I ask the best darn pharmacist in the world for the remedy. My friend and yours, Jesus Christ. He’d always laughed and say how I was a wasting his time and how I should “seriously” consider following another diety…That’s Jesus, always with the jokes.

  • whatthe??

    2003/01/10 at 10:54 am

    uh… thanks for the thought, Propagandist. I think that belonged on the Grosser than Gross list.

  • Sara

    2003/01/10 at 10:56 am

    After battling adult onset acne and breaking down and going to the dermatologist, I had thought things were under control (they still aren’t). I went to my hometown for the first time in months, washed my face after the trip… only to have my mother scream this phrase at me: what happened to your face?

    She couldn’t just point out the damn things all over my face. She had to make it sound like the acne squad had come and beat the shit out of me.

    And my wedding is only months away right now… I am praying for clear skin by then.

  • krotchbat

    2003/01/10 at 11:10 am

    Uhhhh, Dooce? Have you got a job yet?

  • Brandon

    2003/01/10 at 11:12 am

    Accutane is great! (If you don’t mind the fact that your lips feel like two Gummi Worms coated with tree bark.)
    Me personally…I’d pick it…then feel really guilty about it afterwards saying somthing like…”I should have known better than to pick it.”

  • holly

    2003/01/10 at 11:19 am

    Seriously. I was told that pimples are the result of food or stress one month later. Maybe its the stress from the move finally rearing its ugly head. Or its just a freak thing. Does it throb yet?

  • Bast Herself

    2003/01/10 at 11:25 am

    If you never want a pimple ever again, get on it. It’s worth all the drying side effects. I had zits since I was 12 and I went on accutane for a year. Not a zit to be found anymore. Never ever again will I get a zit now. My skin is so soft now.
    My advice for those with constant reoccurances, forget over-the-counter. It never works. Get rid of it once and for all.

  • Kat

    2003/01/10 at 11:26 am

    a clogged hair folicle. i get them on my arms, occasionally. they’re weird.

  • rd

    2003/01/10 at 11:27 am

    I SO understand the desire to pop. I get completely fixated, and yes I know that popping makes them worse. It’s the “underground” ones that are the worst. If you can manage to make it erupt into a whitehead, then you’re golden. If it stays underground, it will be there for a while. My derm says put really hot water on it to bring the puss to the top.

    What’s worse, though, is getting a big pimple AND a cold sore.

  • jessie

    2003/01/10 at 11:35 am

    molie molie molie molie molie molie molie molie

  • niurope

    2003/01/10 at 11:40 am

    i have an undergroun pimple right now…

  • pinklady

    2003/01/10 at 11:44 am

    i’m a bit disturbed at all the accutane references. i guess if it works for you great, but the side effects are slightly scary. it’s been linked to liver damage, severe depression, etc. there is a daliy pumice scrub from a company called DDF (sells at sephora)that is great. tea tree oil also works well.

  • Hollow Person

    2003/01/10 at 11:50 am

    Hey, why don’t you post a song list of like 200 really good songs?

    Because that New Year tune was great, and I have no taste.

  • moose

    2003/01/10 at 11:57 am

    So did you and Jon coordinate this boy/girl post thing? Pretty funny. Not that pimples and crapping are limited to one gender or the other. But, you know.

  • Yr Mom

    2003/01/10 at 12:09 pm

    An “adult-onset” pimple? Come on, I know you have better posting in yuh than that. A pimple post? Seriously yall, like that isn’t a battle fought every single day by everybody not living in LA or running up and down flights of stairs with Erin Brokovich. What has Dooce become? Is this just practice for a low brow girly teen mag (comparable more to YM than Sassy) you’ve got in the works? If this is the caliber of blog people shuffle to read, I’ve got about 8 stories on face that should last me a long while, if i’m lucky and they multiply.

  • Miami

    2003/01/10 at 12:30 pm

    Damn the adult pimple. I think it’s just cruel and unusual punishment that we’ve reached the time in our lives when we can start to see “fine lines” (Oil of Olay commercials have taught us not to call them wrinkles), and also see big, red, pulsing cesspools of meanness. Mine is close to my jaw. ick.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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