Friday, July 16, 2010

Why Happiness Matters and What Cold Sores Teach One

I get cold sores.
Looking at various pictures of mine from the time I was a child to the present day, I can locate the various lip geographies where these moronic creations land.
Now that I'm typing this sentence it dawns on me that the opening line of this post is a tad bizarre even by my standards but I'll see where the thought leads me. I'll own it. It's a truth of mine, after all.

I get cold sores not only when I do have the cold which, come to think of it, I don't really catch. I guess I move too quickly for it to have a chance to land on me. But I digress. Cold sores appear when I travel and find myself in different time zones, when I overexert physically, when I do too much cardio and perspire a whole lot, when I am looking forward to something exciting, when I get too little sleep over extended periods of time, when I allow stress to penetrate more than usual, when I am overexposed to the sun, when it's generally too hot and I'm dehydrated, when it's too cold and humid and I'm not wearing too much which I do tend to do as I'm not really the layering-kind-of-gal even when it's Park City cold and I'm wearing a light weight shirt coupled with a light weight Hurley coat.

Ergo, in nuce, I get cold sores when happy, I get them when not so happy and too stressed, when hot and happy, cold and happy, you get the drill. Life happens, they happen. The adage then, in this case, would say:
Cold sores happen.

What cold sores allow me to do however, other than get on the iPhone and find the nearest pharmacy that carries Abreva (Thanks, AroundMe app, for always knowing where everything is!), they force me to slow down. Or, as an uber-favorite person of mine tells me: "look, Kena, look: a rose. Look at it. Isn't it nice?"
Granted, subscribing to a generally optimistic outlook does help. But what is the alternative, really? Being crabby won't solve the problem. Throwing a fit won't help.

Incidentally, I know first hand that both scenarios only make the cold sore madder and is stays on longer. It's an obstinate little bugger. What I find helpful generally is the following: pretend like it's not there after you've applied enough Abreva on it, ignore it, and as most people of intelligence do, they will leave eventually when not enough attention is given them.

Granted, sometimes you encounter the kind of cold sore that refuses to leave even though you couldn't loathe it more but all you can do with it is cover it with more Abreva, apply some Chanel red lipstick on top if it and, well, hope for the best. Even the worst of cold sores responds to an indomitable spirit. Or not.
Cold sores are much like a series of bad news. They, for lack of a more apropos term, suck.

However, they do allow one to do something rather great with one's day: appreciate more what is not a cold sore. Like the day I discovered that having long eyelashes isn't just something annoying that bothers me when I swim but something of a cool present when you have the right eyeliner and little black dress. Or one might find that one can be more present and enjoy a beautifully simple moment, like picking plumps from a tree that a sweet friend planted especially for one.

In other words, perspective, folks, perspective. And if you do get cold sores or other vexations of that nature, throw them a little bone of appreciation. They were made for something, after all. Or not. One truth about them is that they do keep coming back like lovely Spring flowers or Lady Gaga on the radio.

subscribe Subscribe to HetPer

subscribe Subscribe to Gendering the Media Podcast


Anonymous said...

I like the plum-picking picture. Rustic, out-of-nature, but somehow authentic. :)

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard reading reading. Cold sores are sure to come back. Like Spring. Or Lady Gaga on the radio. HAHAHA!
I dug the 'moral of the story' though.
I guess if one gets cold sores, one should 'work them'. :)

Anonymous said...

And I like the minimalist look of HetPer. Very kibutz-like yet chic. :)

Will said...

I think I know what I want my next b-day present from you to say:
"Cold Sores Happen!" with a picture of a sultry lip with a cold sore on it.
Dug it!

JJ said...

It's so easy to focus on one little blemish when so much else can be appreciated. I guess human beings are programmed to pick at things. That is one mighty nice present, to have a plum tree planted for you. :)

Anonymous said...

I can't decide what's funnier, the fact that you make cold sores look good or that you politely give Gaga a little jab.

Liam said...

cold sores happen. i occasionally get a canker sore, like once every five years or something, and it hurts like a well-placed expletive. it makes one reconsider what one eats and generally prohibits kissing for the duration of the infliction, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as sometimes one needs to be reminded to think about such things.

Sra said...

What an oddly charming little post. Never thought I'd use the word charming where cold sores were involved.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The word to use in this regard would be 'charming.' I didn't expect to read sth like this here and, I dug it. Honest and cute. I don't know what your tolerance level is re: words like 'cute,' but the sentence called for it. :)