Since I was about five, I’ve been prone to hives. Since high school, I’ve been prone to tearing out my eyelashes (but not eating them, though I’ve heard that’s a thing). And since becoming a mom nearly thirty years ago, I’ve been prone to breaking out in little red bumps that itch like hell if I touch something that, for lack of a better way to explain it, doesn’t like me.
Suffice it to say that, with the exception of the eyelash pulling business (which I don’t do any more thanks to my former shrink who made me wear a bumble bee hand puppet during our sessions so I couldn’t, bitch), I’m almost always itchy. And it doesn’t help that if there’s a mosquito anywhere in the continental United States it seeks me out, (“Suzy’s at the beach, let’s go!” “Suzy’s in the supermarket, let’s go!), and bites me. To add insult to injury, all my mosquito bites swell to the size of breasts which is a particularly cruel and unusual way of reminding me that this is only way I’ll ever have a pair.
Now a mature adult would perhaps get a prescription for the hives and put something on the itchy red bumps and mosquito bites to get some relief. But alas, I am not that person. I prefer to think I can tough it out. So I try.
“I will not scratch. I will not scratch. I will not scratch,” I tell myself until — of course — I’m scratching, clawing, and stabbing x’s with my thumbnails like daggers into the swelling, screaming mounds and, ultimately, drawing blood. Lots of blood. And the worst part, beyond the fact that whatever I’m wearing is ruined, is that I’m still itchy. . .
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