Thursday, October 22, 2015

Queen of Denial

I live in a perpetual state of denial, about almost everything. Just one example: I haven’t been to the dentist in several years because I know my gums are receding and he will tell me that and then I will have to do something about them, which will wind up being terribly painful both to mouth and pocketbook.  Instead, I brush often but gingerly, and try to smile in a way that does not betray a set of gums that is going out like the tide.

Smiling Carefully!

Similarly, I make a point of avoiding medical professionals in general. Whenever I accompany one of the kids to the doctor’s, I don’t touch any of the dog-eared issues of Yachting World and Highlights for Children lying around the waiting room. I just know they have recently been handled by sick people, such as the guy three chairs over who has been coughing up a lung for 15 minutes. Of course, I wouldn’t dream of getting a flu shot, but somehow feel that hands off the People magazines will keep me well.

I deny the irrefutable fact that I have regained the 20 pounds I lost when I started taking Wellbutrin nine years ago. Those size zero dresses and pants still occupy much of my closet, because I refuse to believe that I will never weigh 105 pounds again. I deny that I am getting older by dyeing my hair (that’ll fool ‘em!) and, in lieu of pricey anti-aging creams, I just look in the mirror without wearing my eyeglasses, which immediately erases my wrinkles. Btw, for many years I denied that my vision was getting worse and even now, the specs remain in their case for the most part.

I hate winter weather (which makes Philadelphia of course a perfect choice of residence). I therefore wear shorts and flip flops until the first snowfall, willing the temperature to climb back into the Swell 70s again. This clever wardrobe decision has been known to make me ill, which I also deny by never taking any cold remedies, even as my nose runs like the proverbial faucet.

Never took it. Never will.

Around the house, I refused to believe there was anything wrong with the refrigerator until the meat in there almost started to cook, and that the chimney was in desperate need of repair until bricks began falling into the yard. At work, my computer is in its dotage and while deep down I know it will go kaput any day now, I refuse to back up my files.  If I allowed myself to feel shame about the immense amount of clutter in my office I might have to clean up, so I pretend the teetering stacks of books and CDs look “artistic.”

In short, I deny more things than an accused criminal on the witness stand.  Reality, as the saying goes, bites.  So why face it until you absolutely have to? Mine is a dream world where gums heal themselves and laptops never break. You’re welcome to join me!

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