Summer’s always a difficult time for me. I never know what’s appropriate office wear. Seattle is a gray city for months on end, allowing me to literally hide my junk in the trunk–a trunk made of layers of cotton, wool and liquid latex body paint. But I only wear cotton on Casual Friday because I have to draw the line somewhere, peeps.
This is my half-Tyra Banks, half-I’m-a-little-teapot akimbo pose, exposing my huge problem of not knowing what to do with my hands in photos and also: my birthmark. I’ve always hidden this patch of pigment under cardigans, shirts, or signs that say, “NO BIRTHMARK HERE!”
My birthmark is a large mass of color that is shaped like Greenland, only brown (Brownland!) and with a mole that marks, “YOU ARE HERE.” I’m sure when the polar ice caps melt and we’re on rogue ships hunting for dry land, some pirate is going to look at my arm and quickly become disappointed that it isn’t a map, it’s just where “the angels kissed me.” (Though, I’ve never understood that line, because what in the holy hogwarts did the angels do to me?)
I was going to put a ruler next to it for reference, but I thought that would be weird because I’m not selling it on craigslist. Or maybe I should! For sale: one 25-year-old birthmark. It’s vintage!
I remember once when I was a kid, I was in my bathing suit and examining my birthmark. I asked my mom if I could get it removed. “No. You need your birthmark,” She replied. “What if you drown? How will we identify your body?”
“I don’t know, Mom. Wouldn’t you recognize my Miss Piggy bathing suit or better yet, couldn’t you just LOOK AT MY FACE?”
I don’t even know what color to call my birthmark. It’s too light to be “brown” or “mahogany.” It’s too dark to be a “taupe” or “mocha.” Could I just go to Home Depot’s paint section and tell them I want to paint my foyer the color of my birthmark?
Another question I have is would it be appropriate to go to work wearing clothing that reveals my birthmark like this sleeveless number? I can understand covering up tattoos and piercings in an office, but what about birthmarks? Should I just make enough trips to the spray tanning booth until my body is one orange blob and my birthmark is the least awkward part of my body?