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I do believe The Mom is mis-remembering. I didn’t get plastic gloves to do the washing up, I got them for touching raw meat after twelve years of vegetarianism.

Nevermind. The point remains that when I’m in Canada in the winter, actually, when I’m forced to confront winter of any kind, my skin shudders and beings to fall off.

I had thought, having moved to the UK where it is rarely dry (more so these days as literally the entire country is under some kind of water-related disaster watch) that my skin wouldn’t be as dry and flaky in the winter as it was back home. My reasoning was that even though we get a lot of snow back home, there is zero moisture in the air. My skin can’t cope. Then, because it’s so cold, I take a lot of hot showers or baths. Which serves only to dry my skin out even more.

When I am at my wit’s end, I will go into The Mom’s room and begin listing my various irritations.

“This spot here,” I’ll say, lifting up my shirt to where the tag I have cut off is rubbing against the delicate skin on my belly. “You see this? It’ll be bleeding profusely by morning. I may well bleed to death in my sleep.”

The Mom will nod. “What else?”

“The skin on my thighs has been rubbed raw by the seams on my trousers!”

“Have you tried wearing pantyhose? Adds an extra layer of warmth.”

“They are the Devil!”

“Suit yourself.”

“Also, my head is bleeding.”

“Have you been scratching it?”

“Obviously, it’s very itchy.”

“Stop scratching it you idiot!”

“I had a nose bleed last night too.”

“Does that mean you need a clean pillow case?”

“Don’t see the point, really. It’s just going to bleed again tonight.”

“Is there something you wanted, beyond listing these ailments off to me?”

“Yes, I want you to fix them.”

It’s at this point that The Mom will proffer her large tub of Vaseline. “Put some of this on it.”

“On what?”

“Anything that is both dry and itchy that has potential to crack and bleed in the forthcoming 24 hour period.”

“No, I don’t like your Vaseline. It’s weird. What else?”

“That’s it. Too bad. It’s Vaseline or nothing.”

“Incorrect. There must be a seoncdary option.”

“Nope. If you want something else, go and ask your sister, she’ll have something. Her skin is just as bad as yours. I don’t know what’s wrong with you people. Your skin can’t cope with anything.”

And now, Dear Readers, it is my revenge. After years of mocking us, with our delicate skin and our constant rashes, The Mom finally understands the distinct misery of having dry, cracked, bleeding skin.

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