Two heads are not necessarily better than one

One morning, back when I was a teenager, I woke up with more than the usual amount of heads.

There was my original head, of course – the one on my shoulders, that had been there when I went to sleep. But now there was another, second head, rising triumphantly out of the exact middle of my forehead, a little like an illustration of Zeus giving birth to the Goddess Athena.

Of course, I rushed immediately to the mirror, where I was only slightly reassured to discover that this was not, in fact, a second head, but merely a spot. Oh, but what a spot it was! Although resembling a head in terms of its size and general shape, it had no head of its own, which meant that it couldn’t be deflated by means of squeezing. (Not that I would do such a thing, I hasten to add, for the beauty magazines are forever telling us never to squeeze spots, and of course I do EVERYTHING the beauty magazines tell me. Ahem.)

Instead, it just rose up out of my forehead, loud and proud: it was as hard as a rock, and there was nothing – and I do mean NOTHING – I could do to disguise it. Concealer only seemed to make the spot more prominent, and although I did seriously consider just slapping on a sticking plaster and pretending I’d hurt myself (after all, people are used to me being a clumsy fool, but a second head is just plain alarming), my mum talked me out of this course of action, and so it was that I was forced to go out into the world that day, and for the two or three days that followed, looking like a genetic experiment that had gone badly wrong.

(After two or three days, the Second Head deflated slightly, leaving me merely looking like Buddha, with a red dot in the exact centre of my forehead.)

As traumatic as my time with two heads was, I comforted myself with the knowledge that it was unlikely to happen again. Obviously, though, I was wrong about that, and from that day forth, every time I had a special event of some kind to attend, I could absolutely guarantee that the Second Head would return to attend the event with me, always appearing in the same position in the middle of my forehead, and each time looking even larger and more alarming than the last. The most notable occurrence of the Second Head: my first day in my new job as a journalist, when I was introduced to my future colleges looking like there were two of me.

(Strangely, my method of dealing with these situations has always been the same: I point out the Second Head to people before they have an opportunity to notice it for themselves.  And, I mean, I would HOPE no one would actually be insensitive enough to mention it, but on the occasion of me starting my new job, the Second Head was SO prominent and bizarre looking that I felt I had to go around introducing myself to everyone with the words, “Hello, I’m Amber, and no, I’m not deformed, that’s just a massive spot on my forehead. Horrible, isn’t it?”)

Anyway, so birthdays, parties, dates, holidays – all have been marked by me having more than the usual number of heads. In fact, there are some people I only ever see socially who probably think I was born like that, such is the reliability of the Head. Lately, though, a powerful new player has entered into the game I like to think of as “Let’s Spoil Amber’s Fun In Any Way We Can”, and if you’ve been reading this site for the last couple of months, you’ll probably know of what I speak. No, it’s not the Haircut O’ Doom, (although that’s fairly reliable too), it’s the fact that I am guaranteed to get the cold or flu the day before any event I’m expecting to enjoy. See “Our Honeymoon“, “Christmas” and “That Time We Went to Tenerife and I Thought I Had Pneumonia” for evidence of this.

Lucky, I am not.  At least, not when it comes to getting through supposedly happy occasions without either feeling like hell or looking like hell.

This Saturday, then, Terry and I had decided to throw a little party for some of our friends.  We were both looking forward to seeing everyone, so naturally, as the day approached the main question occupying my mind was this: what would it be this time? Would I be either:

a) horribly disfigured by the coming of a Second Head?

or

b) almost totally incapacitated by the cold/flu/other illness?

Can you guess which one it was, folks? That’s right: IT WAS BOTH OF THEM! A double-whammy! Not only did I wake up on Friday morning with a raspy throat and runny nose, I woke up on Saturday morning with my old friend The Second Head in its customary place in the middle of my forehead! AAAAAARRRRGGHHHH!

I was fairly lucky in that the cold didn’t really get into its stride until yesterday, the day after the party (and I think the wine probably helped to numb my senses a little), but as for the Second Head… well, I can only hope our guests were distracted by the fact that all the heating downstairs decided to break a few minutes before the first of them arrived. Hopefully the Arctic temperatures helped distract everyone from the state of my forehead and if not that, well, surely the fact that we were giving them triple shots of vodka for every inch of mixer would’ve done it. I hope so, anyway.

Luckily Terry did manage to fix the heating halfway through the night, and my Second Head packed its bags the next day, meaning that I’ve now entered the “Looking a Bit Like Buddha” phase of my affliction.

I’ve still got that cold, though…

Hi, I'm Amber. I'm a full-time fashion/shoe blogger from the UK, and this is the story of my life, my clothes, and the International Man of Mystery Next Door. You can read more from me at my other blogs, The Fashion Police and Shoeperwoman, and you can follow me on Bloglovin' here.

20 Comments

  • Reply February 9, 2009

    Amanda Nicole

    I feel for you. My skin has always been reliable in that a) most of the time it's actually very good, and b) whenever there's an event for which I intend on looking nice, I get one mega-zit on my chin. It's probably due to getting worked up over a coming event that makes our skin go haywire, but really, it's more than a little irritating, isn't it?

    <abbr>Amanda Nicole´s last blog post..things I learned outside city limits</abbr>

    • Reply February 10, 2009

      Amber

      I'm the same – I actually hardly ever get spots, but when I do, it's always this same one, that absolutely nothing will cover. This is why I frequently flirt with the idea of bangs!

  • Reply February 9, 2009

    Tracey

    You must have been really bad in a former life to have to suffer like this now.

    <abbr>Tracey´s last blog post..Mellow Yellow Monday</abbr>

    • Reply February 10, 2009

      Amber

      I know, I'm just trying to work out what it is I must've done!

  • Reply February 9, 2009

    Jennifer

    When in college, studying microbiology, I picked up a 'staph infection' from the uncleaned microscope eyepieces. This stunning giant-pencil-eraser-on-steroids shaped sweetie was located on the inner corner of my right eye socket. (I could clearly see it, and it partly obstructed my vision) After a few doses of antibiotics, the dermatologist decided to "put it to sleep" by injecting it with some combo of steroids and euthanasia serum. Well, Lester (as we called him) fed off of the elixir of death and dramatically increased in size. After being put to sleep 2 more times – with corresponding growth curve – the doctor decided to "Remove the Pore." This consisted of using a micro-ice-cream scoop to carve Lseter out of my head. This ceremony ended with a stitch and a pat on the back with the 'it shouldn't leave too noticable of a scar because of the location, honey' reassurance.

    Thankfully, it left just a very tiny mark. And thankfully, I didn't know much about MRSA then (despite the micro course) or I would have died right then.

    maybe you could consider the ice cream scoop treatment?

    Hope you are feeling better!

    • Reply February 10, 2009

      Amber

      Eeek! Wow, that sounds absolutely horrendous – Lester sounds even more stubborn than my Second Head. I wonder if they're related in some way?

    • Reply February 10, 2009

      Terry

      That is a story and a half! RIP Lester.

  • Reply February 10, 2009

    Toni

    Nail varnish remover and vitamin C tablets that contain zinc are the solutions.

    I'll leave it up to you to decide which is for which :)

    <abbr>Toni´s last blog post..Morals? Hey, I Might Have One!</abbr>

    • Reply February 10, 2009

      Amber

      Nail varnish remover? Seriously? I have tried toothpaste in the past, but am willing to try anything next time (which will no doubt be on the eve of some important event or other) so I will definitely give it a go if it works!

      • Reply February 11, 2009

        Toni

        Yep, seriously. It dries them out and, because it's usually quite cold liquid, stops the redness.

        I'm full of all sorts of mad beauty tips. I prefer the "lots of pain for lots of gain" method. And sure, nail varnish remover hurts like hell… but it works. I do it every time! I'm not sure what it is in it that does it, but the cheaper ones work best.

        Plus, because I am a mental, I quite like the tingling feeling it gives on the skin.

        <abbr>Toni´s last blog post..Morals? Hey, I Might Have One!</abbr>

        • Reply February 11, 2009

          Mona

          I would be a bit careful with using the varnish remover like this. The cheap version usually contains acetone, and or ethylacetate (just have a look the bottle for ingredients). I used to use acetone to clean laboratory glassware. The material safety data sheet about handling acetone states about chronic acetone exposure: Prolonged or repeated skin contact may produce severe irritation or dermatitis.

          These solvents make your skin permeable for anything else that may be on it. This is worse if you spill lab chemicals on you, but please be careful with using solvents on your skin! Do not want to be alarmist, and not all chemicals are bad, but organic solvents are not good for your skin. The nail vanrish remover liquid is cool because it evaporates very fast, but it also will remove all fat and protection of your skin. If you look for a drying effect, and the coolness, try rubbing alcohol or vodka. Skin tonics usually contain alcohol.

  • Reply February 10, 2009

    Diane

    Didn't you once use nail varnish remover as toner? So it wouldn't be the first time ;)

    <abbr>Diane´s last blog post..big-birthday girl</abbr>

    • Reply February 10, 2009

      Amber

      Haha, well remembered! I did indeed, I will stop at nothing!

  • Reply February 10, 2009

    Stephen

    Geez, it's not that long since I bumped into you, and you had a bad cold / flu then too – you're really not having much luck, are you?

    • Reply February 10, 2009

      Amber

      Not in terms of getting the cold, no! I managed to get through January without getting ill, but now I seem to be back on a scedule of regular illness – gah.

  • Reply February 11, 2009

    Carol

    Can you get Burt's Bees products over there? If you can, try their Herbal Blemish Stick (http://www.burtsbees.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=-35&catalogId=10051&storeId=10001&langId=-1)

    Works wonders for me! Dries it right up and even makes the skin softer and smoother than before.

    • Reply February 11, 2009

      Amber

      We do have Burt's Bees over here – thanks for the suggestion! I think I need to stock up on some stuff, because, of course, by the time I notice the Second Head it's already too late to do anything about it. I'll have to arm myself in advance!

  • Reply February 11, 2009

    Am

    ha ha, reminds me of the time when I was a teenager and my friend's older sister had just come back from India with her rather hot boyfriend (who I naturally had a MASSIVE crush on) and we're all sitting round and they're handing out bindhis that they brought on their travels and my (lovely) twin sister pipes up with "Am doesn't need one, she's got one already" – and indeed I did, a big red (oh yes freshly squeezed) spot right in the centre of my forehead.

  • Reply June 7, 2014

    Selina

    Try toothpaste and tea tree oil

    • Reply June 7, 2014

      Amber

      This was actually five years ago: it’s all gone now :)

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