giant pimple

I have a giant pimple on my face. It is on my chin, positioned above a slightly smaller pimple.

I have decided this is a blessing in disguise. Blessings in disguise are always decisions. It can go two ways: it’s a blessing in disguise or it sucks a lot. I’ve decided it doesn’t suck a lot.

It’s a blessing in disguise because when I got up and checked the weather report to decide how much clothing to wear, it said, “INCREDIBLY FRIGGIN’ COLD. YOU WILL PROBABLY DIE.” At least, that was my interpretation. And I still don’t have one of those giant down coats because I don’t like the way they look (this is a terrible reason not to have the only article of clothing guaranteed to save your life during a New York winter). So it was either look cute and die or put on every piece of clothing I own. I looked in the mirror.

“Goddamn it, that is the biggest, meanest pimple in the world.” It wasn’t even the popping kind. Those at least are satisfying. Nope. This is the deep-under-the-surface, angry-red-mountain-rising, will-take-weeks-to-subside, maximum-surface-area, painful kind. The worst. It occurred to me that no cute outfit could save my face. The pimple was too dominant. It was controlling the situation.

So whatever– I put on a million things and waddled out the door.

(I was wearing a little more than this much clothing. source)

Later, at yoga (my second class! I’ve been to yoga more than once now!), I was peering under my own leg at the gorgeous woman behind me. Her limbs seemed to flow naturally into the poses, her hair was falling over one eye just so, like a movie poster. Her breasts seemed to support themselves, without a bra. (OK, so I checked out her boobs a little.) And my inner thigh was screaming something laced with obscenities at me about how if I didn’t put it down RIGHT NOW I would be really, really sorry, potentially forever. I remembered, as I had been remembering steadily since the class started, that I am not graceful. Not even a little.

But you know what? It didn’t matter. Because I already had a giant pimple on my face. And the possibility of grace and beauty had already been killed, much earlier that morning. So no pressure– just try not to collapse less than five seconds into the pose. After that, all bets are off.

I got plenty of work done. No mirror could distract me.

I walked by some construction workers on my way back from the subway. My huge, shapeless red coat (why don’t I just get one of the down ones??), thick hat, and massive pimple were a buffer. There was no way they’d say anything. Or even glance up. They didn’t. I smiled a little. Ha! I have defeated you with my pimple!

I’m going to book club later tonight. Who knows how many layers I’ll wear. Maybe even more than this morning. I think adding a sweatshirt is probably a good idea.

It’s been a good day, and I’d like to dedicate it to my pimple.

*  *  *

Tell me your best pimple story! Go! (confession: this was not my best one. Just my most recent)

Unroast: Today I love the way I feel in really warm socks.

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Kate on January 4th 2012 in beauty, exercise

26 Responses to “giant pimple”

  1. Melanie responded on 04 Jan 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    I just changed pills and have been getting pimples on occasion. The first one I got was a giant red one like the one of which you speak. You can’t pop it. You just have to watch it grow, try not to mess with it, and hope it goes away soon. If I had turned my head the other way for the cake pic, you’d still see a remnant of it. Luckily it’s on the right side of my nose, or it may have shadowed the cake completely.

  2. Kate responded on 04 Jan 2012 at 6:26 pm #


  3. Katharine Lilley responded on 04 Jan 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Love it! I have struggled with acne all my life. It’s not super bad but it is constant. I used to get really down over it. Like it was my ‘one thing’. If only my skin was clear I would be happy. Well, my skin is still never clear and yet I AM happy. And I know I am beautiful despite it. I love that you say a blessing in disguise is a choice. How very true! My imperfect skin doesn’t define me just as much as your imperfect nose doesn’t define you, and it takes time and experiance to realize that. My mom gets the occasional hormonal huge zit and she is in her 50s. She gets really happy when they come up because she says they make her feel young! Her glass is half full and it is a CHOICE! :)

  4. claire responded on 04 Jan 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    on my wedding day, my husband’s rather unpleasant cousin, came over to the chair, of course I was sitting down to receive these blessings, or whatever, and he looked at me and said I see all the zits have left your face at last. I was all of 19, and did not know If I should cry, or scream, or hit him. At any rate I did not do any of the afore mentioned and just smiled. Later I cried quite a lot. Happy Wedding Day. LOL

  5. Sarah responded on 04 Jan 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Wow, Claire, he sounds awful. What a completely unnecessary thing to say to someone on their wedding day.

    Also, gosh, I don’t have any good acne stories. But I will say that acne seems to obey Murphy’s Law. That is, I always get it at the worst time possible, when I will feel most self-conscious about it. Bah! Whatever. I really believe that other people don’t notice our imperfections as much as we do.

  6. San D responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 9:22 am #

    To be human is to have acne at one point or another. Unfortunately for me, I had what appeared to the untrained eye (read: my mother) to be acne on my face was rosacia, and I was tormented all of my young life by her insistent remedies, from trying to pop them to going to a doctor and having some sort of abrasion done. I have what I call a “ruddy” complexion, not unlike my Aunt, whose visage reminded me of my own. My “face” has never been my stock and trade, my “laughter” though, has been.

  7. Angel responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 11:18 am #

    In 7th grade, I had a pimple next to my lip that was big and scary. A kid on the bus asked me if I had kissed a warthog. This is yet another reason my closest friends were Laura Ingalls and Nancy Drew.

  8. lik_11 responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Yes!!! Thank you so much Kate for an awesome pimple day!

    I have always been a picker. I have the perfect skin for picking- as I always have pimples/blackheads/whiteheads- even into my 30s, with a dermatologist.

    (Reader beware- disgusting follows:) For over 10 years (literally!) I had a huge lump on my cheek. Occasionally I would try to pop it- but all it did was hurt and never produced anything. Last summer- it started coming to a head. Being me- I couldn’t leave it alone and kept pestering it. One day- it exploded… just when I thought it was done- it exploded again, and again, and again. For over 45 minutes- I picked and prodded at myself until that damn lump was empty. (My husband was repulsed!) I took pictures of the mirror afterwards- because I was super impressed that so much could come from a small hole in my face. (Yes- I shared the picture with the friends I knew would appreciate it). The skin around that pore was butchered from all the squeezing, so I had to wear a huge bandage over my entire cheek for a week because of the surrounding damage I had accomplished. But it was SO worth it!!!

  9. Kate responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    OK, that sounds fantastic to me! That’s like the most satisfying thing ever, and in a way, I’m jealous. I know, weird. But I can’t help it.


  10. Kate responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    That reminds me of this girl I knew from a class I was taking when I was 13 or so. She had this huge pimple on her nose that developed over the course of, like, WEEKS. I don’t think anyone said anything (we were a group of gentle, earnest homeschooled kids), but I remember thinking, “Just pop it already!!”

  11. Kate responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    P.S. Sorry if that had nothing to do with your story. I think it was just the age thing that reminded me.

  12. Avery responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    So, when I was about 14, I finally got a hold on some prescription goods, etc, and began my love affair with light acids to kill the invaders on my face. After about a month of use, my best friend, an honest, naive, clear-skinned spanish-german ballerina, said, your face looks great now. I replied, “meaning, it was like hell before?” she said, “pretty much”. Good times.

  13. Anna responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I have fairly nice skin, but every once in a while, I get a huge one (the people in my family tend to have cystic acne, I as of right now have been spared). Once I got one right on my temple. It was marble-sized, hurt like hell, and nothing I did would pop it ir make it go away (it was under the skin). Before finish this I have to mention I zone out when I read. While reading a great book about awesome people with powers and a pudgy-but-confident (and kickass) main when I just randomly tapped my temple. I don’t remember why, but I just knocked it lightly with one of my nails. There was a audible ‘schlursh’ noise. I went to look in the mirror and the size was noticeably down and there was a large hole where it was… But I have no idea where the center went. I have since washed my sheets. And blankets. And pillows. And soul. Still doesn’t feel clean.

  14. Kate responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    LOL!!! For real. I loled.

  15. kristin responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    not quite a pimple story, but close enough and embarrassing none the less.
    when i was 16 i got a cat for my birthday. it was hideously ugly, but i loved it and named it pheobee (from the show friends…”smelly cat” reference). anyway, the cat clawed the tip of my nose. not just a scratch, an actual claw in the nose, which took a twist and a tug to get it out. it was bleeding for hours, and when it finally stopped, i had a pimple like spot left over. it is present in every single picture i’ve ever taken in the past 10 years. every now and then it will get really red and i pick at it, KNOWING it’s not a pimple, but an evil zit-like scar.
    I’m 26 now, and that damn thing is still vibrant as ever. my mother is constantly pestering me to get it removed (like i have the insurance to do something like that). my boyfriend lovingly refers to it as my “fripple” short for face nipple. he jokes that he’ll leave me if it ever goes away.

  16. Lynellekw responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I didn’t get a lot of pimples as a teenager – but then I think my skin decided to make up for that in my 20′s. In my 30′s, I still get blocked pores & the occasional spot (which I can’t help but pick at), but I’ve got no major complaints on the whole.

  17. Mara responded on 05 Jan 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    I have two of the angry red under-the-skin ones right now. I hate it.

  18. Recent Fantasticness | responded on 06 Jan 2012 at 8:05 am #

    [...] How a ginormous awful ugly pimple turned out to be a blessing. [...]

  19. Stephina responded on 06 Jan 2012 at 9:29 am #

    @ Lik_11, I too am a picker and love it. Your story is fantastic, and like Kate, I’m a little jealous!

  20. joceline responded on 06 Jan 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I get one every month on the tip of my nose. I’m pretty sure it’s the same pore that gets infected every time, the bastard. And it’s like, really? On the end of my nose for everyone to see? I’m also terrible at makeup so there’s no way I can hide it.

    Anyway one day in high school (yes this has happened since high school) I was eating dinner with my family, and my dad reached over with a napkin and said, “You have something on your nose,” and tried to wipe it off. He thought it was a grain of rice. And still, every time I think of that moment, it’s hilarious, and I don’t hate my pimple as much.

  21. Lilli responded on 06 Jan 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Still being in the age where pimples are the most prominant, i do get them, not often, or anywhere near even regularily enough to complain, but when i do, they are almost always the horrible kind that lurk forever.
    However, being a picker and a popper like seemingly the rest of the people here, i’ve found that the best way to make a pimple come to a head is to put some toothpaste on it and leave it overnight, by morning it should be poppable :) x

  22. Kate responded on 06 Jan 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    No way! Toothpaste? I never knew…

  23. Mandy responded on 07 Jan 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    “Ha! I have defeated you with my pimple!”

  24. Kate responded on 07 Jan 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Yay!!! Love the reaction

  25. Rebecca responded on 11 Jan 2012 at 6:51 pm #


    And, actually, courtesy of The Hairpin,
    I learned that compulsive face and skin picking is actually a real disorder: Dermatillomania

    I felt so relieved when I found that out!

    …And still need to get some professional help for it.
    Because seriously, I will pick my face (which is probably *fine* at the start) and pick and pick and pick for HOURS, literally HOURS, and by the end, I will be a swollen crag of mess and scars.

    And maybe one or two pimples that got popped.

    I blame my mother for both my spotty skin and my compulsive picking.
    It’s just frustrating.

  26. Slush responded on 19 Nov 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    I’ve been a compulsive picker since a teen, which was spurred on by oily and infection prone skin. And my skin scars easily, so it’s been almost impossible to get it to a good place. I’m 25 now though and things are clearing up for one reason: after playing with my diet for other reasons, I realized that I did not feel the urge to pick near as much when I drastically reduced the amount of sugar and yeast-feeding things in my diet. I also feel less anxiety over any pimples that do show up now. And I notice that if I mess up and binge on sugar something, the acne and urge to pick spikes.
    That’s just my experience; no guarantees it holds an ounce of truth for anyone else.