plus, telangiectasia and poikiloderma...the Greek desserts of skincare?
It's strange to be reading your posts backwards in time about events and experiences in the past. Regarding your observations about our diversity in the US (thank you for such a post), it's an interesting and/both when it comes to being part of the majority (like when I visited Hawaii or when I moved to southern CA and suddenly feeling at ease) or in the minority ("you speak English so well" and my (internal) response,"duh, I was born in Boston.") as I was growing up in a Jewish White neighborhood then being a minority in a majority-minority context (my friend's 60th birthday party with her African-American friends and family or visitng a Black church and I felt completely at ease as well). The experiment continues...
Welcome back, dear Val! One thought about your wonderful post: I’ve always known you as a person who thoughtfully infuses honesty with compassion. So I’m not surprised that your trust in your co-workers shifted.
I’m thinking, though, that perhaps they didn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, you were still the same fabulous Val to them, blotchy face and all!
But I can relate to how you must have felt at the time. Like when you get spinach or salad stuck between your teeth and nobody tells you. I always want to say, “Please tell me!” For me, better an awkward moment of embarrassment than not to have one’s “predicament” acknowledged. ☺️
How refreshing to take one look at our proverbial shore and think, I LOVE this gorgeous mess. I'm reading Braiding Sweetgrass now (already one of my favorite books of ALL TIME)... in it Kimmerer writes, "The stories we choose to shape our behaviors have adaptive consequences." I'd like to talk about loving America more. Because hey, it's our mess and maybe we'd all feel less antagonistic if we could admit the basics--it's *good* to love where you're from. Welcome home.
I was always taught to default to respecting the privacy of people I didn’t know that well, especially for things outside of their control like your face. If they wanted me to know, they could tell me. Obviously if we were close, it’s another story but what if this was a side effect of cancer treatment that you weren’t ready to talk about with co-workers yet? Sorry for those that you so casually dismissed as “uncaring” when they were trying to be respectful of boundaries
Have you seen this ad?
Welcome home, Val, to this marvelous miraculous mess. A cacophony of cultures indeed. Somehow this experiment is still working and we’re fortunate to be a part of it. ✨￼
Look forward to reading this every week!
As usual I loved this column..but especially your personal thoughts on arriving home. Welcome back! I remember feeling the same way when coming back from Japan. When I went to Japan I was meeting a Japanese exchange student in a small town north of Tokyo. I had met her in the states a few years earlier and she said, you will recognize me because I will wear a U of M sweatshirt. She laughed out loud when I seriously asked how she would recognize me. HA!
So nice to read something lovingly said for our country that also acknowledges our faults but still comes out unabashedly patriotic and thus NOT in the least political.