Connecting the Dots

One morning I got up, looked in the mirror, and saw a constellation on my face. There it was, the Big Dipper of zits: one on my nose, two on my chin and two on my cheek. Connect the dots and you got a saucepan.

“Augh!” I groaned to my husband. “Look at my face. I have pimples in the shape of the Big Dipper.”

“No, Honey, it’s more like Orion’s Belt. See how it goes across here,” he said, tracing the spots across my face.

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I stood dumbfounded. Then the kids walked in.

“What’s up?” asked my son.

“Take a look at Mom,” said my husband. “Do you think the pimples on her face look more like the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt?”

“It looks kind of like a peace sign to me,” said my daughter.

“I see an elephant,” said my son. “See, there’s the trunk.”

“Aaaaahhhh, I hate you all,” I shrieked. I was really annoyed. Not so much at my family, but at the fact that here I was at 50, still getting pimples. That at 50, I was still buying Clearasil. And that at 50, the stupid Clearasil wasn’t working.

Unfortunately, my pimple crisis was not an isolated incident. Lately, I’d had more breakouts than a minimum-security prison. As I spackled cover-up across my cheeks, I thought I should go get some professional help before the entire galaxy could be mapped across my face.

But first I conferred with some friends. They all empathized. It seemed a bunch of us were trapped in the pimple/wrinkle zone. We felt like we were leading some “Freaky Friday” double lives:  anti-aging moisturizer by day… benzoyl peroxide by night. I thought I should simultaneously get a subscription to AARP magazine and Seventeen.

Finally, I scrubbed off my makeup, put on a big hat, and went to the dermatologist.

“Too much chocolate?” I asked as she examined my constellation.

“Too many hormones,” she responded. “You have hormonal acne. It’s common in teenagers… and peri-menopausal women.”

“Since I’m not in that first category, I assume you think I’m in the second,” I said glumly. I had always been pre-, during, or post-something in my cycle. Now I was peri and it was just as much of a joy as the others had been.

She wrote me a prescription for some magic cream for the pimples, some more magic cream for the wrinkles, and told me to check back in a month.

For a few weeks, it was acne as usual. But then, slowly my complexion started to improve. By week four, my face was blemish free. I was overjoyed.

Then one morning I woke up, and a new constellation had appeared across my face. I made an emergency appointment for the dermatologist and stormed into her office.

“Look,” I said pointing to my inflamed cheeks. “I thought the creams would get rid of my pimples? What is this?”

She peered at my face.


For more Lost in Suburbia, follow Tracy on Facebook at or on Twitter at @TracyBeckerman.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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