Nevertheless, the scars from many years of emotional turmoil still rear their ugly head every now and then. (Literally, in this case.) And so, when I began noticing a little white zit-like creature forming on my lower lid, I immediately went to WebMD for assistance. In fact, I Googled everything I could about sties and how to treat them, only to find there’s no real cure. You just have to wait them out. Hot compresses are highly recommended; though popping or lancing them are not.
As luck would have it, the sty appeared two days before I was going to the theater to see “Equus” starring Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe. And though I’d hot compressed the thing to death, it only seemed to make the sty grow in size until it was practically taking over my entire face. (“Is that a sty in your eye, or are you just happy to see me?”) I am exaggerating, of course, but that’s what it felt like.
On the day of the show, the sty appeared to have grown several other whiteheads on top of it, like an out-of-control litter of bunnies. And since I was going out to dinner before the show with a bunch of friends, I was sort of concerned about how people’s appetites would be after they got a peak at my mushroom sty. Would they be concerned that the sty would suddenly pop and pepper their soups with a pound of puss? Or would they all take pot shots at it for the rest of the evening until they’d worn out every joke and pun that could possibly be related to a sty? And since both options sounded like recipes for disaster, I came up with an alternative plan that would hopefully curb my public humiliaton--I would wear sunglasses the entire evening. (Oh yes, vanity has no limitations.)
Wearing sunglasses during the daytime is one thing. Even if you go inside a building to shop for a while, people don’t really care if you’re still wearing your sunglasses. They probably assume at any minute you’re going back outside so you just didn’t bother to take them off. This might even be acceptable in a restaurant during the day, because you might be trying to avoid eye contact with people, or you have a paparazzi complex. But once the sun goes down, people naturally expect you to take your sunglasses off. After all, without the sun, they just look like dark glasses. Only mine happen to be really dark glasses---the kind you can’t see into.
When I met my friends at a neighborhood bar before we went to the restaurant, I explained to them about the sty and that I was actually wearing the sunglasses for their sake—so they wouldn’t have to eat while looking at such an unsightly cluster of grossness. As my friends are used to such “antics” from me, none of them really cared. Although I did have some difficulty when I tried to find the bathroom in the darkened bar. I managed to find the Owner’s office, the broom closet and the women’s room before I finally was able to decipher the strange hieroglyphics on the men’s room door enough to realize it was supposed to be a cut-out of a male body. Stupid me. .
Later, at the theater, I heard whispers as I took my place in the second row of the mezzanine. I’m sure people were wondering if I was some reclusive movie star trying to hide his persona, or just another wacko New Yorker who imagines himself much more important than he actually is. As I was neither, I tried to concentrate on the program, while everyone around me was apparently trying to solve the mystery of the man in dark glasses. At one point, a little girl came up and asked for my autograph, no doubt thinking I must be someone famous. I pretended I was foreign and didn’t understand her, until she finally went back to her disappointed parents, who might have been hoping the autograph would settle their bet as to who I was.
Once the lights went down, though, I took the sunglasses off. And I’m glad I did, because at one point Daniel Radcliffe looks up into the audience for quite some time, right at the point where I was sitting. I could only imagine what he might think if he saw someone with sunglasses sitting in the second row. Perhaps that I was Severus Snape coming to sabotage his performance, or one of the Weasley boys about to perform a prank.
The next day the whiteness and puffiness of the sty calmed down, or perhaps retreated out of embarrassment, and is now just a small scab waiting to heal. I just hope I never get stymied like that again.
But that’s just me. Have you ever had an embarrassing experience with a sty?