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More Pangs

February 22 2005 05:18 PM ET (Permalink) (Comment)

Now, if only life could get a little more retro.

Poison ivy. I haven't had poison ivy since I was in high school.

I spent a good part of last week trying to figure out where it came from. I have gone back behind the house more often lately, but not in the week prior to the outbreak. And while there's a ton of ivy back there, I've never seen any poison ivy.

Then it dawned on me. When I drove in from Charlotte for the game last Sunday, I was wearing street clothes, since I didn't want to drive three-plus hours with Umbros on under my pants. So I grabbed my gear and changed in a wooded area off the field.

Ugh. Both sides of my legs. Annoying.

It reminded me: the worst reaction I ever had to poison ivy/oak/sumac/whatever might have been the last time I had it. I went out to help one of my classmates videotape a soccer game. We climbed up a hill to the side of the field to get a good view.

Apparently, I ran my hand across the plant on the way up, and, at some point, wiped my hand across my face. The next day, I had what looked like a horrible outbreak of acne across most of the left side of my face.

Being "that age", I was unbelievably self-conscious about how it looked, and kept mumbling about how mortified I was. I remember pointing it out to one of my classmates, and was stunned by his sharp response: "You know, I never would have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out."

It was one of those moments that stuck with me, pointing out the key of high school life: everybody wonders why nobody seems to care about their drama, yet it's only because they're too busy worrying abut their own.

Ugh. Both sides of my legs. Annoying.

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