Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And One More Thing About Freckles

Having red hair and freckles seems to be one of those things that everyone always compliments in little kids, but never actually wants for themselves.

I had a tough time as a kid accepting my state. Though my mother tried to encourage me to embrace my life as a ginger kid with posters of Molly Ringwald and later Julianne Moore, but the truth remains, who wants spots? In school (especially high school) you either want to completely blend or really pretend you don't care (and hope to really blend).

So, I hated my freckles. I use to pray that they would fade and I even sought off-the-wall home remedies to expedite the process.

On one instance....

I snuck into a "mom and pop" pharmacy and headed straight for the cosmetic aisle to search for a scar cover-up I had read about in a magazine. The advertisement had claimed that the concealer could mask even the most drastic of scars; so, surely it could cloud my freckles.

I crouched down and scanned the labels, hoping that my salvation was there and within the babysitting budget I'd secured over the last few weeks. Before I could locate it, however, I was overcome by the smell of Old Spice and menthol.

I turned to face a shadow of a man whose wrinkled face was staring quizzicly back at me, causing my own to blush at having been discovered.

"Can I help you find something?"

"Uh, no....well, I was looking for something called Dermablend?"

"Dermablend? For scars? Oh, honey, you don't want that....your freckles are beautiful."

I was speechless. How could he know? I was also ashamed. I quietly excused myself and bolted out of the store.

Though almost two decades have passed since that exchange, I have never forgotten it. The memory has stayed with me, not because someone was trying to suggest that freckles weren't equal to leprosy (I'd been hearing that from generous relatives all my life), but that this seasoned man saw and understood exactly what I was struggling with, and ackowledged it honestly.

If I am being candid, I still don't like my freckles, but there are also far worse things that I could concern myself with. I've accepted them, and a small part of me has even smiled over the few that now sprinkle my daughter's face.

And though you will never hear men remark, "Wow, did you check out the freckles on that one?!", I am content to know that at least one guy did.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Ah, my freckled sister. Did you forget about the YOUNG man in Albany who told us our freckles were "very appealling."

I don't even notice my freckles anymore when I look in the mirror, but notice them on others. And, I find there's a special bond had between freckled people.