Stay Calm. It’s Only A Pimple.


It’s 7AM. Your eyes flutter open. You can feel it coming. Maybe it’s your imagination. A slight throbbing on the most exposed part of your face. Probably your chin. Maybe just above your left eyebrow. God forbid that it’s brewing on the tip of your nose, dividing your already asymmetrical face. At work, you’re drinking your 10AM coffee, thinking, “Yep, it’s coming; bunker down, people.” Like a visit from your overly expectant mother or egocentric “best friend,” you’re dreading it already. How could this happen now of all days? You have a date/an imaginary important event. It’s just not fair. Your pimple is coming and there is no stopping it.

You try everything. Icing it. Windexing it. Some pimple cream designed to lie to the consumer and nothing else. You keep touching it subconsciously. Stop touching it, you idiot. It’s going to be a whopper. At lunch you decide not to eat a Burger King Whopper; it will probably just feed it. You avoid sweets and drink lots of water and tea. This does nothing except make you need to pee a lot and make your colleagues wonder why you are visiting the bathrooms every fifteen minutes. The last thing you need is a pimple AND pregnancy/cocaine addiction rumors circulating. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?, you yell-think. You Google, “How to stop a pimple.” It yields nothing. WHY IS THE INTERNET SO FULL OF SHIT?!?, you yell-think again. Drama is your only haven.

It’s 6PM, and you leave the office. In 24 hours you have to go on your date/an imaginary important event, and this pimple needs to be gone. You arrive home. Your plan: Tonight you’re going to drink lots of water, eat a salad, and watch a political show on state-run TV. In effect: Tonight you drink a bottle of wine, eat a pot of ice cream, and cry at your reflection in a mirror. I’M TOO OLD FOR PIMPLES, you cry-yell-think as you apply the fourth exfoliating mask for the night over the land-mine-effected area. You fall asleep in the fetal position, defeated and drained.

Overnight your face goes into labor and at 7AM, you wake up, as usual, with drool on your pillow and your pimple crowning in all its newborn glory. As you examine it in the mirror, deciding a course of action, you think to yourself, “Does my head feel heavier? Does thing have its own gravitational pull? Should I name it?” This is it.

Weighing up your options, curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to give it a bit of a squeeze. It spatters across the mirror. Did it hit the wall? Is that it on the ceiling? What’s left resembles a crater big enough for a tiny moon landing or a tiny dinosaur nest or a scale model of 1945 Hiroshima. You really screwed up this time.

Your 10AM coffee break couldn’t come quicker. EVERYONE is looking at your pimple. They aren’t talking to you; they’re talking to it. You protectively yell-think, IT CAN’T FORM WORDS YET; IT’S ONLY A DAY OLD. It’s lunch and you don’t know what to eat. Should you consult your second head? You don’t want it to get any bigger. I mean, it couldn’t get any worse, could it? You have a date/an imaginary important event, with Ben/John/no one in six hours. What do you do?

My advice:

Embrace it. It’s natural…I think.

Give it a name—a different one every time. Something alliterative like Peter the Pimple, Penny, Paul, Patrick, Pascal, Pam…yeah, I think you get it, I have had a lot of them.

Tell everyone about it. Introduce it by name. The more attention you bring to it, the less awkward staring it receives.

Don’t give it too much thought. You’ll only prolong its stay by stressing about it. The same advice can be given for a visit from the dreaded mother/“best friend.”

Don’t touch it. You’ll only make it bigger.

Water helps, but don’t spend so much time in the bathroom that you look like you’re abusing an addictive substance.

Finally, just remember that EVERYONE gets them. Even Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lawrence. But they deserve them. You don’t.

P.S. Sorry to my mother, I know she reads these. See you at dinner!