Today I had a letdown, a moment of disappointment.
I was so excited earlier this week when I felt a little lump on my chin! "Woohoo," I shouted to myself as I felt the tiny pimple. "Holy smackers, is that ever cool!"
As a teenager I was no stranger to pimples, but I never sprouted crops of them like some friends who could grow pimples like zucchinis in a Doukhobor farmer's garden.
Now, I'm 70 years old, and it seems like growing a pimple ought to be an accomplishment worth celebrating. Don't ask why. It's hard to explain.
Recently I decided to grow a ponytail. I've never had one. Never wanted one. But last spring I visited a long-time friend who is a couple years older than I am and who I hadn't seen for more than a decade. During that time his hair turned pure white and he wore it in a pony tail. People, friends of his, we met in a cafe called him "The Silver Wolf."
This morning I called my mother. I thought she'd be interested to hear about my pimple.
First, though, after exchanging our usual greetings and pleasantries I decided to mention my ponytail. It's not really a ponytail, yet, because it isn't long enough and I haven't tied or rubber banded it back. But it's an idea and it's getting close, so I mentioned it, casually...
My mother is not the silent type, so the dead air in the phone seemed pretty loud as i awaited her charmed delight. I could hardly sit still, anticipating her glee.
Eventually, it came... a long, drawn out, gruff, "Why?"
"Well, I've never had one..."
Ma's clever enough to know when I've got her beat, so she changed the subject.
"Do you ever watch golf on television?" she asked.
"There's a guy on there, " Ma continued, "who wears a ponytail. And he smokes cigars (another of my little pleasures that she thoroughly disapproves). I can't bear to watch him. I think he's disgusting."
At that moment I was pretty tickled that we had changed the subject away from me and my ponytail. And just to be sure we didn't regress I decided to hold my pimple news until the next time we talk. I didn't really feel like discussing Tiger Woods and his chin eruptions.
It was only after we had hung up after a nice, long mom and son discussion that my disappointment set in. I got to musing and rubbing my tiny chin bump, which seemed to feel sore and irritated, so I checked it out in the bathroom mirror.
It wasn't a pimple after all. It was a damn mosquito bite.