Summer Top Ten

It’s late at night and Letterman is on, so, here we go Top Ten style.

The Top Ten Reasons I’m Giddy For Summer

10.  I’m hoping to re-vamp my backyard a little bit so it feels more like an oasis and less like a slab of cement surrounded by dead plants.

9.  I’m heading to the NCWP Summer Institute again.  That means new ideas, new people, and time to reflect on my practice as a teacher.  Not to mention regular doses of Jon & Bon’s frozen yogurt.  Mmmmmm…

8.  After two weeks at the Institute, Terry and I head to Alaska with four of our friends.  We will mountain bike to justify eating unholy quantities of delicious food.  Then we’ll take a zipline ride and throw it all up.

7.  Fourth of July will announce that it’s birthday week for Terry and I.  I heart fireworks.

6.  On my birthday I head to Southern California to hang out with a few hundred of my favorite high schoolers, not to mention some of my dearest friends at Western States.

5.  I fly from Southern California to San Jose where I will meet up with Terry and The Rocket to ride 100 miles and show cancer exactly what I think of it.

4.  A few days later I fly to Arizona to participate in The Writing Project’s National Retreat where I will soak up as much knowledge as I can in hopes that this bear of little brain can retain some of it.

3.  Five of my nieces and nephews will be spending a month in Redding.  I can’t wait to squeeze, kiss and snuggle them all, especially the boys who pretend to hate all that mushy love stuff.  Deep down they love it.  Deep, deep down.

2.  In August I’ll sit down for a second in my new and improved oasis, surrounded by dead plants, and laugh at the fact that I’ve once again failed to cure my brown thumb.

1.  Terry and I will celebrate another year together.  The best compliment I’ve ever received came in the form of two little words: I do.  The fact that he still does makes my heart full.

It’s not a mustache. It just looks like one.

My female plumbing has gone haywire.  And that is all I’m going to say about that because I don’t like talking about stuff that goes on down there.  Apparently my little daily pill, which prevents me from creating devil spawn to unleash upon the world, can also cause weird skin pigmentation.  Especially when exposed to the sun a lot.  Like say for several hours at a time while riding a bike.

I’ve had a couple of darker little spots on my cheeks, but really who cares about those.  I wear SPF daily and have a drawer full of face products to help my skin retain its youth.  I simultaneously recognize, and give a bit of thanks, that I’m no longer a fresh-faced twenty year old.  Scars and the occasional sun spot are proof of my adventures, proof of a life lived well.  I don’t mind them.

More accurately, I didn’t mind them until they started appearing on my upper lip.  First one small one.  A sweet, innocent beauty mark.  Then it invited all of its relatives to move in.  Siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, in-laws.  One by one these dark spots traversed my upper lip and set up camp indefinitely.

Off and on, in an attempt to be helpful, people say to me “You have something on your lip.”  While I appreciate this concern for my appearance, it’s hard to explain that it’s not something I can wash, wipe or shave off.  The other funny thing people have started doing is subconsciously wiping their top lip when they start a conversation with me.  Kinda like when you notice someone with a zipper down and automatically check your own.

On one particular day in the recent past, three separate people told me I had something on my lip.  One of them even tried to brush it off for me which was weird because unless you’re my husband, my dentist, or my orthodontist, you don’t get to touch my mouth.  Ever.

So when I talked with my doctor about my haywire female stuff, I also brought up my spot mustache.  He was leery of changing pills because my spectacular plumbing is impervious to month to month pills.  Instead I get to apply bleaching cream twice daily to encourage my spotstache to vacate.  I’m not entirely thrilled about the prospect of bleaching my face.  I mean, we’ve all seen how that worked out for Michael Jackson.  Yeesh!

Upon reading the box of the bleaching cream I discovered that this cream can cause redness, peeling, flaking, and burning.  Yes, burning.  As a general rule I try to avoid things that burn my face.  I’m not sure which is worse; people thinking I’m growing a ‘stache or bleaching my upper lip into oblivion.  It’s day 2 of Operation Spotstache Removal and so far no peeling, flaking, burning or other uncomfortable side effects.  I’m assuming they’re all lying in wait to appear this Saturday at my big family reunion.

My mom is concerned that all 9,687 of us wear white or another light color for the family photos.  We can be all matchy-matchy.  After all these pictures will hang in our homes for eternity.  Fine. I’m wearing a white sundress with green flowers on it.  That is the least of my problems.  I’ve got one day to figure out how to make my face look less like Tom Sellack.  It doesn’t look good.

In order to survive family photos, I figure I’ve got three options.  I could feign a cough and cover my mouth with my hand just before each click of the camera.  I could apply unholy amounts of make up so that I have the nice, waxy sheen of a trollop.  Or finally I could sneak around at night and Sharpie mustaches on the faces of my relatives while they’re asleep.  I like the third option best, but somehow I don’t think this is what my mom meant when she said she wanted all of us to match.

If you have any other ideas, please drop me a comment.  In the meantime I’ll be warding this thing off before it looks like a full-blown beard.