Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nose to Nose I Suppose!

It was tough; I wasn't quite sure I could pull it off .

My reflection begins. In 1998, after some discussion, my sister and I agreed to have sinus operations. We both have been plagued with sinus problems most of our lives. Having a chronic sinus condition was an annoying problem that, well, annoyed us. :-0

Diana made the dates; she picked a well known doctor. Within a few days we both had had a sinus operation. My sister's procedure turned out fine, but, oh my goodness, I suffered a nose collapse. This was not at all my sister's fault, as she, at times, has blamed herself. "It was the luck of the Irish draw.", I would quip to myself.

As denial turned to realization that my face had changed, I jettison my emotions toward wacky humor. I announced that I was moving to Alaska, to live in an igloo and be among my brethren. What really happened slowly and insidiously was my onset not wanting to be with people. New people that I met after 1998, wasn't too bad; they thought I was a distant cousin to Owen Wilson. Those that I have known all my life presented a conflict to me. I didn't want for them to see " the change." My weight fluctuations have been part of my life for all my life, and that was part of me. This nose was not mine. I truly disliked my nose.

I wanted to shoot myself in the "nose" for those thoughts. Many of our soldiers returning from war were maimed. Many had multiple disfigurements, and here I was obsessing over my dent in nose. I watched soldiers get on with their lives in spite of carrying the knowledge it was war and not birth that had altered them. I wanted to be magnanimous about myself, but it wasn't happening. I felt small. I didn't look small, but I felt small inside.

My 1965 high school reunion was coming up soon. My sister wanted to attend the reunion, and it was so, so important for her that we go together. I thought how she probably is not aware that twelve years, of being different than I was, had affected me internally and socially. Unlike her I was not in the public; it had become easy to stay out of the public eye.

This was difficult, for I hate to disappoint a sister who has done a great deal for me these many years. I kept thinking about our soldiers' determination. With reluctance I said to Diana, "Let's go for it." I attended, but my heart was heavy.

The reunion turned out fine. Diana crowed, "No one mentioned your nose, Charlene?"
"No one did."
"No one asked if you've had an encounter with the boxer, Tyson?"
"No, and my ears are fine, thank you."
"No comments?"
"No comments."
"And why do you suppose?"
"I suppose they didn't recognize me!" (;-)

The reunion was fun. Many people I didn't recognize either.

In a way, I came out of the closet of insecurity nose first; it's all I can do not to turn around and follow my nose back inside. It's tough. And I'm still not sure why.

1 comment:

OKeedokey said...

You know we don't even notice or think about it anymore. I think it's because you quit pointing it out with all your "jokes!"

Do you see the crooked nose below?