Recently, I went to a bank that I frequent to complete a transaction. Honestly, I don’t remember what kind of transaction it was, but it was something that took about ten minutes to complete, rather than a simple deposit or withdrawal.
I stood at the front desk while the teller helped me as far as she could and then she brought over another employee to assist with the transaction. While they worked, I stood there, alternating between daydreaming and making light conversation, waiting for them to finish. At one point, another employee came up, exchanged a few words, and returned to her desk. Truly, I don’t remember how many customers were in the bank during the time I was there. I like to think there weren’t many because of what happened next, but that might just be a fine example of selective memory.
At any rate, when my transaction was complete, one of the ladies handed me my paperwork and, as I turned to leave, said something along the lines of, “By the way, do you know you have something under your nose?”
What, like a mouth? I believe I stared for a second. That could mean so many things, after all.
She continued. “There’s something white on the end of your nose and right under it.”
When she used the word “white,” I knew what I had done.
This is embarrassing, obviously, but I was just getting over a cold, and the skin around my nose was getting dry, so when I arrived home from work earlier that afternoon I had swabbed it with a thick layer of lotion, thinking I’d be working at home for a while. Then, LCB came in and asked me to do a bank run, naturally forgetting to remind me that I had a giant glob of lotion under my nose before I left.
I’ve debated for a week about whether or not to give you the visual so you could see the full effect of my humiliation. But, in the interest of sacrificing my dignity for the sake of humor (something I’d inadvertently already done on a smaller scale in the bank that day), here’s approximately what I looked like. I know, because I’ve done this a few times before, and it generally looks about like this.
Hot as I wanna be.
I quickly began wiping off the lotion and doing all the things that one does when one is completely mortified. You know, like rambling on aimlessly and thus making things worse.
Whatever I said must have evoked sympathy in one of the ladies standing there, because she said, “Don’t worry. I don’t think it was there when you first walked in,” as if my embarrassment had not been going on for a good ten minutes. I really do think she meant well, and she probably just said the first thing that came to mind when she heard me
freaking out expressing concern.
But think for a minute about what her assertion would mean. Believe me, I have. I’ve thought long and hard and obsessively about this one, and I can only come up with two possibilities if it were correct. (It’s stunningly incorrect, but let’s pretend.) Either I applied the lotion on the lower edges and the area surrounding my nose while banking, and thus am one of those people with no inhibitions and no sanitary intelligence whatsoever. Or, midway through my transaction, I snorted a white, lotion-like substance that had quietly been residing in my naval cavity out of my nose.
Let’s examine the first possibility. Frankly, it’s kind of weird that I apply lotion like that at all, let alone somewhere other than in the privacy of my own bathroom. So no, that didn’t happen.
And the second possibility? Do I seriously need to go there? I think not.
In life, I’m not sure of much. But I am sure that I, in fact, did neither of these two things. And I’m sure that the thought that several banking professionals now think that I did do one of those two things is immensely disturbing. The “It Wasn’t There Earlier” lady was rather insistent too, repeating her assertion twice, which made me fumble for words, because how do you correct someone without sounding muy loco when you’ve just been dubbed a lotion snorter by a person in professional attire who’s clearly committed no such hydration-related blunders herself? You don’t. You just say “Oh,” and “Thank you
for the flattering accusation for letting me know,” before you slink back into your minivan and drive way, vowing not to darken the doors of that bank again until there is a clear and present need for another transaction that can’t be completed at night via the ATM.
I take some measure of comfort in the fact that at least I didn’t go to work and teach in that state. And who knows? Maybe someday I’ll grow up to be one of those people who just lives a normal life, ever aware of the obvious best practices like removing all giant globs of lotion before exiting the house. There’s a thought.
I’m not optimistic, however. After all, my resume also includes a litany of life experiences such as talking to myself in public, walking into work with baby snot on my lapel, and accidentally using someone’s derrière to catch myself from falling.
And really, if I gave into the siren call of normalcy, who would step forward as the small people’s role model?
Next week, in anticipation of An Island Mom’s second anniversary, I’m introducing a giveaway. Stay tuned. It’s definitely coastal!