Tag Archives: Health

To The Woman Currently Cutting My Hair: Are You Paying Attention?

Jana: Recently, I got a haircut. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to tell you about the full experience of my haircut.

 
At 6 AM on the day of the haircut, I got up and drove my boyfriend to the airport, as he was leaving to move to Los Angeles. Then I came home and lay in bed being sad for a while. At 11:30 AM, I roused myself, ate three pieces of toast, and got in the car to meet my sister, because we had purchased “Living Social” deals to get haircuts for only $20, and we had thought it might be a nice activity for the day that would help me take my mind off my boyfriend moving and my having no money and no real plan for my life. I was encouraged by the thought of the haircut.

I need to note that my encouragement was a product of that pesky human inability to accurately remember pain (my best example of this is eating hummus only ten minutes after having been on the toilet bargaining with God because of hummus-induced problems. Once it’s over, I’m always like, it wasn’t so baaad. Ooo is that Sabra? What kind of crackers do you have?). Because, when I’m being honest with myself, I’m fully aware that I always have a terrible time at a haircut. The conversation between me and the hairdresser is a lot like this, always:

Hairdresser: Let’s see here. Oh woah, so we’ve got some serious split ends.

Me: I know, yeah.

Hairdresser: You really need to stop straightening your hair. This is really damaged! If you don’t drastically change your lifestyle, it’s going to be damaged forever.

Me: I know, yes, you’re right.

Hairdresser: And oh my god, such little hair! It’s so so thin!

Me: Yeah, it’s really thin.

Hairdresser: Ok, I’ll see what I can do but I can’t make any promises! *Laughs*. So, are you excited to start high school in the fall?

 

Then they cut off the split ends and try to make conversation which I try to deflect with silence; then, I pay them $60 and go home to furiously straighten the hair.

But, on the day of this haircut, those memories were all rose-colored. Off we went to our haircut with tear-stained faces (just mine, my sister was fine) and hopeful hearts.

It was a very hot day, so we were excited to get inside to an air conditioned room. We ran across Mass Ave and into the salon and found it… stale. Terribly, terribly hot, and empty save for one girl getting her hair cut by a strange-looking man who was wearing a T-shirt that said “I’m just here to annoy you.” We approached the front counter, where a woman stood looking over some papers. She completely ignored us. “Hello?” we tried. She was obviously pissed that we were there. “Busy now, you can sit over there,” she said (it became clear at this moment that she was some kind of European foreign, which I’m only saying to accurately set the scene). We didn’t know what else to do, so we went and sat over on the weird-looking bench. From that vantage point, I could now see the woman’s full person:

This was an older lady, maybe in her late 60s, with cropped white hair, which is fine and good. She was wearing a somewhat ill-fitting dress that really highlighted her stomach paunch, which is also nothing I’m ever gonna get on a high horse about (am I right ladies? – sorry, I don’t even know what that joke was). But ok, HERE IS THE KICKER: on her feet, she was wearing those shoes that have the individual toes. I don’t even know that you can really call them shoes, but regardless, I’ve always understood them to be designed exclusively for endurance running. And yet, this woman wore them in her hair salon, paired with a dress. Furthermore, the shoes appeared to be wet.

You heard me. They were wet. As if she’d recently been walking in some sort of river.

Despite the shoes, we stayed. My sister was soon taken in for haircutting by the “Annoy you” t-shirt guy, who’d finished with the other girl. As I flipped through a magazine, I sensed from overhearing my sister’s conversation that the male hairdresser was in fact quite capable and normal; they laughed together as he cut her hair. I relaxed into the uncomfortable wooden-wicker bench.

Eventually, old Wet Shoes was ready for me, which she signaled by pointing – “Sinks, I meet you over there.” I went to the sinks.

Once we were there, in the familiar space of an awkward salon hairwashing, I sort of started to like her. She told me that she had just seen that movie “Hot Mike,” and that it was full of “beautiful bodies.” She explained that she’d been so rude earlier because she’d been trying to find an envelope full of something to do with taxes, and it had ended up being right in front of her. I got that, I’ve been there. I figured it would be ok.

And it was, such as it was, in that she did cut my hair and we did interact with only mild awkwardness. However, as we chatted, I couldn’t help but notice that she seemed to be really arbitrarily selecting pieces of my hair to cut. Juuust whatever. Just a piece here, a piece there. I didn’t see a PATTERN, see. In addition, TWICE during the haircut, someone came into the salon to ask her something, and she talked to these people WHILE SHE CUT MY HAIR, with her head fully turned away from what she was doing. So, I worried. But I was so TIRED and emotionally drained, and so sure of my inability to speak up for myself, that I just settled into it. I equate this situation to quietly agreeing to rent a HIDEOUS house that I’d have to live in for six months for fear of insulting the realtor. We live in our hair, is what I’m saying.

Then it was over. We tipped, we left. When I got home, it became very clear that my wet-shoed friend had cut a full layer of bangs all the way around my head. Like, an all-one-length layer. Left alone, this very closely resembles a mullet, or a poorly done version of the haircut Rachel had on “Friends.” But it’s ok! It’s just the way it is. I have a bang, around my head. And because hair grows at the same rate over time, I can only assume that this is how it will always be.

Like this.

PS. Right after the haircut I cried while eating half a pizza and then fell asleep watching “Something Borrowed.” Just to be clear about the day.

Catherine: If there’s one thing I like to make fun of besides Jana’s allergies, it’s her hair. It defies gravity. It has been known to fight the strongest straighteners, the firmest tugs of the comb, and emerge victorious, standing straight up on Jana’s head like a crown.

It’s incredible.

Jana, you gotta stop cutting your hair. You do it all the time, it never looks different, and you’re always really sad afterwards. This story, I hope, will teach you to steer clear for at LEAST a year. You don’t deserve the pain. You simply don’t.

And also, you should have been tipped off by the toe shoes. Those are disgusting. The only thing I hate more are probably Tevas, shoes that look like Tevas, and birkenstocks with socks. It’s in the top five worst shoe – I would’ve walked out then and there.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – Jana and I will be reunited again next week! Maybe something horrible will happen? It probably will. We’ll let you know.

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How Did You All Get Here?: Relationship Edition

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s back! That’s right, people KEEP FINDING US without meaning to. And, those people keep on being just so very weird and troubled. They are dating losers, their friends sound like real jerks, and a lot of them appear to have cold sores. It is an honor to count them as our own.

Here, for you, are some of the most recent searches that directed people to our blog.

Actual Search #1: “can you get a cold sore from someone passing gas in your face”

Catherine: Why are you hanging around this person?? DID THIS REALLY HAPPEN TO YOU?

Jana: Ok first of all, no. That’s ridiculous. Secondly, let’s talk about this relationship. Was this whimsical, or was it cruel? Take a look at the situation and really assess. And then either way, probably, get out of it and never look back.

Actual Search #2: “what did i do in my past life to deserve not to have a boyfriend”

Catherine: This is so tragic. I want to reach out to you through the internet and hold your little hand. He’s out there! But he may be, or probably is, dating somebody else.

Jana: Oh noo. I’m so saaad. Person, you’re probably ok! But with that attitude, it’s just not gonna work out for you. Be less sad. You’re making me sad. Stop it.

Actual Seach #3: “will he love me with cold sores”

Catherine: Less so.

Jana: Yes! Yes! Yes! (not guaranteed).

Actual Search #4: “why do my friends tell me to be loving when my boyfriend is cold fuck it”

Catherine: You’re confusing me. Fuck what, exactly?

Jana: Your friends are wrong maybe? Or, what do you mean by “my boyfriend is cold”? If he’s cold as in, calls you names and beats you, then your friends are very wrong – don’t be loving, the guy’s an asshole! If he’s cold as in, doesn’t buy you diamonds, but does make you dinner, then maybe you’re just a bitch.

Either way, it seems like you’ve already made up your mind, as you didn’t even put any extra punctuation around “fuck it,” implying that you’ve just decided to fuck it with no hesitation.

Actual Search #5: “get drunk enough to call her”

Catherine: PUT THE PHONE DOWN. If you wanna talk to her so bad, call her sober. She probably doesn’t want to talk to you though, you sound like a real mess. Go eat a Snickers or something.

Jana: Good idea man. That’ll definitely work. Do it.

Actual Search #6: “how to get your first kiss in elementary school”

Catherine: JESUS Christ. If you aren’t even wearing a training bra, you need to apply the brakes. Chill the F out and watch some SpongeBob.

Jana: I am not qualified to address this question.

Actual Search #7: “can u give someone herpes if u suck their wily when u have a cold sore”

Catherine: This is too gross. I’m sure the answer is yes? And please don’t refer to that uh, thing, as a willy? And if you do, spell it right? But don’t call it that, ever. So actually don’t worry about the spelling. Refer to it as a “lollipop,” “hot dog,” or “cheese stick.” Food items work best, I find.

Jana: CATHY EW THOSE FOODS AS PENIS WORDS MAKES ME WANT TO DIE.

Reader: Yes, you can, so don’t do it. Also, if you call it a willy and you spell it wrong, you’re not even allowed to leave the house. You have to stay home alone, forever. Sorry.

Actual Search #8: “we had sex in a neck brace”

Catherine: On one? Wearing one? Too vague, but you have my attention.

Jana: Impressive.

Actual Search #9: “if your a straight guy in a bathroom and no one’s home what are some sexy hot and very naughty things you could do to your self”

Catherine: Learn to spell?

Jana: Why do you have to stay in the bathroom if no one’s home? Don’t punish yourself just because you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Get out there and use those other rooms! But um, I have no idea what you should do in them. Usually when I’m home alone I make a bowl of brown rice and eat it in bed while watching stuff on Hulu?

Actual Search #10: “do we need to isolate with people who have cold sores?”

Catherine: Isolate with? No, that’s not a thing. Isolate, yes. Isolate people with cold sores, but if you are WITH them, that’s not isolation.

Jana: We’re not LEPERS, and this isn’t Nazi Germany, so NO. Let’s isolate with from YOU. YOU need to be isolated with. I dislike you.

BONUS SEARCH: “i’m allergic to dust and but not to cats”

Catherine: THANK GOD! How many cats do you have? I live with TWO cats. Do you have more cats?? Are they so cute and do they cuddle with you in the morning before work, often making you late?

Jana: Stop complaining? Go hang out with your cats and invest in some medical masks for when you have to dust stuff. Your life is awesome, so leave the google search alone.

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How Did You All Get Here?: An Exploration Of Our Readership.

Hello, readers. So, now that we’re a big deal, something new is happening: wordpress informs us that we are being found via google. Hooray!, you might think we’re thinking. But, let me clarify. It’s not that we’re being found via google ON PURPOSE; no, we are being found via google by people who are in really weird, gross, or sad situations. They are stumbling upon us, because what we write about is weird, gross, and sad. Through the magic of the internet, we’re being connected with our people. 

Since these poor suckers aren’t getting the answers that they’ve probably expected when clicking our link, we thought we would try to provide some now. Listen and learn.

First, we shall address some of the MANY search queries relating to cold sores.

 

Actual Search #1: “did people notice my cold sore on my wedding day”

 
Catherine: Most definitely.
Jana: Did you seriously not postpone your wedding?
Catherine: You know there are hundreds of pictures, right?
 

Actual Search #2: “I have a bad cold and sore throat should I hang with my friends or just stay home”

Catherine: Just stay home. You didn’t say it explicitly, but I’m assuming your face is also broken out and you’ve been wearing the same underwear/sweatpants for a few days now. Nobody wants to see that.
Jana: Listen, guy, I’m not gonna tell you that I haven’t on occasion rallied through a little sore throat by chugging airborne and taking tequila shots. That said, I was much younger. So this really depends on your age. How old are you? Do you often get into conversations about “Fraggle Rock?” Did you love “Empire Records?” Where were you on 9/11 – High School bio class, right? Stay home.
 

Actual Search #3: “what can my cold sore do to me?”

Catherine: What can’t it do is a better question. Offer you the fine company of solace and isolation? No, it can do that. Embitter your soul? It invariably does. Expect that it can, and will, do anything to bring you down.
Jana: Your cold sore can fuck you up.
 
 

Actual Search #4: “why do cold sores take chunks from lips”

Catherine: I don’t think that is supposed to happen…
Jana: IT DOES HAPPEN. It’s because they have to dry up first and then the dry stuff comes off, bringing chunks with it. TOO MUCH, I know. Real answer: It’s because the world is cold. Stay inside.
Catherine: Jana, TMI, buddy.
 

Actual Search #5: “if a cashier has a cold sore and touches you do you get herpes”

Catherine: Geez, I don’t know, probably? At least if it were me that would happen, because man, that would really suck.
Jana: Speaking as a former cashier with cold sores: No, bitch.
 
 

Actual Search #6: “I have some cold sores”

Catherine: Oh, really?
Jana: I understand the impulse to just type this into google as a stand-alone statement; I really do. Let me know if you need a hug or a valtrex.
 
 

Actual Search #7: “I don’t have cold sores”

Catherine: Congratulations! Read about Jana’s!
Jana: Cool, congratulations. Why did you put this in google? Is there a problem?
 
 

Actual Search #8: “people comment on my cold sores”

Catherine: Of course they do.
Jana: They talk about them behind your back too, I’m sure. Why is it that you’ve been going outside?
 
 

Actual Search #9: “nearly almost get cold sored during the night”

Catherine: Now, I assume this was a typo, but it’s so good to think of it NOT as a typo. Like, “coldsore” the verb. As in, “Man, I had a date, but I got coldsored so I stayed home and watched Hugh Grant movies while contemplating why nobody likes me.”
Jana: I’ve said this. I have actually said this.
 

BONUS ACTUAL SEARCH HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH COLD SORES: “he stopped in middle of having sex then told me he wasn’t ready for a new relationship”

Catherine: I can only hope that reading our blog helped this poor person feel a little better, because DAMN.
Jana: Did you cry? I would have cried. Man, sex is great.
 
 
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Cold Sores and Me, or, A Fun Problem To Have Is One That People Commonly Mistake For An STD.

Jana: If you’re an avid DWDSTDT reader (oh my god, ok, we see it too, that acronym is TERRIBLE. I’m gonna talk to our marketing intern about it, or in lieu of having a marketing intern I’m just gonna leave it – you guys don’t mind, right? We can talk about it if you do)… anyway, if you are, you may have read my previous post about my allergies. And you may have seen that my list of allergies contained some weird and not-super-explainable things, like chocolate and spicy foods. So, I will now disclose that those foods are to do with a problem entirely SEPARATE from my chronic congestion: my lips. Folks, I’m prone to cold sores. Who isn’t? Ok, some people, but not me.

Between junior year of high school and sophomore year of college, I got some seriously terrible cold sores that resulted in alienation and intense sadness. In high school, I just stayed home from my bakery job and tried to eat foods that I could fit into my mouth in one bite, so that I didn’t have to crack my lips open too much. When the sores struck in college, wiser and more tech-savvy,  I took to the internet. There, I read tips from fellow cold sore sufferers, such as “Go to the movies, so you’ll be distracted from the pain, but no one will be able to see you.” And, “Ice your lips to stop the tingling” (I did this religiously, often falling asleep with ice pressed to my lips and waking up in pools of melted ice). Anyway, I also read that you should avoid chocolate and spicy foods and nuts, and SO I HAVE. And will. Because cold sores are the worst, and it’s awkward when people think you have herpes, specifically if you are dating them, which I’ll get into in more detail some other time.

…. or NOW. Briefly.

First, I’ll show you this picture, in which I DON’T have cold sores. This is to spare you all, as one picture of me with cold sores does exist, and it’s straight disgusting. Here, though, I look as angry as I looked with the cold sores, but my lips are pursed in a way that would have been impossible in cold-sore condition. So, this is a photo of me on a good day, really.

I was once dating a very nice guy. Now, before my first date with this guy, one of my housemates was hanging out on my bed while I got ready. “Maybe you should put that valtrex away,” he said jokingly, referring to the pills that I took daily to stave off cold sore attacks (I kept the bottle next to my bed – I’m all about convenience). I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, regular viewer of television commercials for prescription drugs, that valtrex is commonly used to treat herpes. Now, looking back, I can see that my friend was not joking, but rather trying to protect me from future weird mix-ups. At the time, though, I just responded “I know right?”, and laughed. We moved on, he approved my outfit of black skinny jeans and a black top (I am NOT a risk-taker, fashion-wise), and I went on the date.

Cut to a few weeks later, when the romantic interest in question and I had been on several dates, and he had seen my room, and things had been going well until they sort of stopped going well and he stopped contacting me as much. I assumed the worst, which was that he’d realized he didn’t like me, weird but charming jokes and solid black outfits be damned.

But here’s the REAL story. After a week of light communication, I received an email on a Thursday night. I was so glad to hear from him! I opened the email and read the first few lines: “Jana: I like you, but something is bothering me and I need to talk to you about it. I saw your bottle of valtrex last week, and I know that you have herpes.”

OHH NOOOO. NOO. It’s just that.. I keep the pill bottles there cause I take them in the morning… I would have told you if I… NOOO. I wrote back and, luckily, we had a good laugh over it. Fake herpes scare! No better way to get to know someone. And no, I am not currently dating this person; we stopped dating shortly after the Valtrex/Email Incident. We both thought it was funny, but probably best to move on.

It’s now been a while since I’ve had a cold sore, but I can’t actually in good faith tell you that because I’m too suspicious. So I’m knocking on wood AS I WRITE THIS. I still take valtrex (and keep it in plain sight – one day I’ll own a medicine cabinet but not, honestly, until I win the lottery or an embarrassed spouse buys me one), and I don’t eat chocolate, and sometimes I ice my lips just for old times’ sake. Cold sores! And me. Together in sickness and in health.

Catherine: Oh, memories. I think that the day that Jana showed me the first fateful lines of the e-mail aforementioned was one of the greatest moments in my life. Jana, do you recall how long I laughed in your face? An approximate minute count? No? Nor I. Minutes turned into hours that day, so who knows how long I enjoyed your incredible misfortune.

I would like to mention how, often when Jana and I would get drunk alone in our apartment, the nights would freqently end in a good ol’ Jana ice-lipping. Another time she came to my house, and my brother saw what she was doing on our couch as we watched “Friends” and opened a second double bottle of white wine, and was so blown back that he too could not help but to laugh uncontrollably at her poor, cold-sored, can’t put lipstick on them lips. (Did you mention how you can ONLY put black chapstick on them? I greatly enjoy that as well.)

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I’m allergic to things (specifically, most things, foods, and animals).

Jana: This is a list of my allergies:
Dairy
Chocolate
Nuts
Spicy foods
Dust
Mold (so, so many kinds)
Minor Danders (hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, etc)
Dogs
Cats
Grass (when freshly cut)

So many! It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that I have spent approximately, at least, 85% of my life unable to breathe through my nose. When I was a child, I didn’t even KNOW that most people don’t breathe through their mouths just all of the time. I didn’t think it was weird to wake up with super dry lips and super gross morning mouth, or to carry piles of tissues wherever I went (mostly in the pockets of my zip-up hoodies), and, if I’m being honest, to leave a trail of said tissues in my wake. I wasn’t really bothered by wiping my nose on the sleeve of my Gap t-shirt, either, which was lovely. I was THE Allergy Kid. The resident one. In all groups of which I was a part (school, family, no other groups).

Here I am waking up as I always woke up: With my mouth open, ready for another day of clogged sinuses.

Case in point: At my alternative elementary school, we all had to make a personalized needle case by sewing a design that represented us on to the front. I sewed a tissue box, with little rays of sunshine coming out of it, because nothing else seemed to represent me quite so well.

My parents tried a LOT of different remedies for my allergies, including but not limited to: nasal sprays, daily and nightly consumption of Sudafed and/or Claritin, homeopathic doctors who had me react to crystals, elimination diets, and acupuncture. They also pulled out the wall-to-wall carpeting in my room, put in an air-cleaner, and bought really expensive dust-shielding pillowcases that they read about in magazines called “Allergen”, or something.

Sadly, I did not have the motivation to keep my room clean, so these efforts were largely in vain. I often found myself lying in bed, looking around at dust-covered surfaces, breathing heavily through my mouth and feeling trapped in a hell of my own making. It was at these moments that I would occasionally jump up, determined, and root through piles of shit until I found my very trendy Medicinal Masks, which I purchased in the First Aid aisle at Walgreens and wore for cleaning. I’d pop on one of those babies, secure the elastic around my frizzy hair, and clean until I grew tired, or until I could no longer stand the way my breath collected within the mask and then hit me in the face.

I wish I could say that I’ve since found another dusting solution, but against my better judgment I’m going to post this picture, taken circa 2008 during an epic cleaning of my last college apartment (which, as many of you can attest, was a DISGUSTING place. We had too many cups so we never washed them, and were mostly too drunk to clean, etc):

I know that I’m also holding salsa and wearing a wrist brace in this picture – cleaning the fridge with a broken wrist, a tale for another day.

So yes, my allergies extended into adulthood (excuse me – continue to extend as I hit the END of my twenties and have a pile of those masks in my room and a stack of *dusty* medicine boxes next to my bed). In fact, a few days before leaving for my sophomore year of college, I had an elaborate allergy testing session that entailed getting 60 shots in a row, on my arm, in patterns. Basically, they shot me up with all kinds of mold and animal fur to see how I reacted. Obviously, they learned that I was allergic to almost all of them (the result of this was that they gave me a concoction to shoot into my arm. For a while I gave myself shots, which meant owning tools mostly owned by serious heroin users, but naturally they were ineffective). While I sat in the waiting room allowing the reactions to kick in, I read “The Secret Life of Bees”, which I felt pretty meh about, and then returned to school that weekend with a VERY cool-looking pen-drawn allergy shot grid on my arm: ready to party.

Catherine: I will never get sick of reminding Jana of her allergies. Whenever I make anything (and I cook a lot), I make sure she knows that alfredo sauce has dairy, that chocolate cake has chocolate, and that peanut butter has nuts. The look of “Oh you, again, you got me!” gets me every. single. time. It has made eating out with the Jana difficult at times, but ultimately, it is so worth it because you get to enjoy her order with “no cheese please!” Inevitably, it will come with cheese, and Jana will PROBABLY just eat around it as sending it back is just too much.

Can I also mention that you are allergic to lipstick and anything but black chapstick? I remember in college, the costumers always being like, SERIOUSLY? And you slinking into yourself… “yeah…” Pale-lipped, Jan.

And aren’t you forgetting soy, too?

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Advice To Everyone

Catherine:

Hey, guy. Advice, unsolicited, from me to you. Think about it like an early Christmas gift.

If you have a broken nail, or a hang nail, or anything like that, don’t try to fix it after having drank an entire bottle of wine. With scissors. At one in the morning.

It won’t turn out how you hoped!

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