In order to reach new heights with my inanety, I would like to take this opportunity to debunk a few myths that I, in the naivete of my youth, took as fact.

1) If you pop a zit in the T-zone, you will die an immediate, painful death: I remember seeing a movie in health class about acne or puberty or some mixture of the two. This movie put much focus on the dastardly “T-Zone”–the top of the T being your forehead and the bottom of the T being your nose (and area beside your nose) and chin. I remember that this zone was characterized as a zone of death–the pus from any popped therein would go immediately to your brain and somehow kill you. This was unfortunate news as most of my zits (I hate the word “zit” but I hate even more the words “pimple” and “blemish” so am at a loss–but if you have a suggestion for a better word, please do let me know) at that time were on my forehead. Regardless, I did, on occasion, throw caution to the wind and pop zits in the T-Zone and I have lived to tell.

2) If you pop a zit, you will get a scar: This is what my mother (of the perfect skin–she actually told us she used VASELINE as moisturizer when she was young. Vaseline! Can you even imagine? My head would become one giant whitehead) told us growing up. Do not pop them! Don’t do it! AND if you must do it, then hold a washcloth under steaming hot water and then press it on the thing until it pops itself (Have you ever tried this? Painful does not even begin to describe what a piping hot washcloth on a whitehead feels like). Still, scars be damned, I popped them! I have no scars from such poppage, but still I think my mother had my best interests at heart.

3) Once you turn 20 you will never, ever have another zit: Not quite sure where this one came from–some sort of urban legend I clung to and believed. Needless to say, my 20s were my most zit filled years, mainly because I took absolutely shitty care of myself and my skin paid the price. Thanks to my best friend teaching me some stuff about what cleansers and moisturizers to use (she worked at The Body Shop at the time), I was able to clear up my skin. Now, at age 38, I only get the occasional zit, but I do still get them.

And so, the reason I’m writing this is because I had an enormous, painful zit beside my nose this morning–in the “T-Zone” and I worried over it for a few minutes, actually considered whether I was willing to risk life and limb to pop it. Ultimately, I decided it was too fucking unsightly and had to go. But I made my mother happy by first doing the washcloth thing and when that didn’t work I did what was necessary.

Sweet relief–but also a moment of abject terror as the eye above it started to go a bit blurry. Would I go blind?

Nope. An hour has passed and I am neither blind nor dead. I have once again survived the T-Zone.

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