It started on Thursday. I went to my evening class, did my usual song-and-dance, and had the students working on reading an article. Ok, I guess that is the point I should emphasize. We were doing reading strategies, so I handed them an article, told them to read it, and the room was silent. Silent.
One of the students who sits close to me looks over and whispers, "Why are your hands orange?"
I just looked at her. "No. I'm not answering that question right now. Read the article."
She was pretty ok with being shut down, but of course the other students noticed this whispered exchange.
So 45 minutes later, I have handed out their assignment and wrapped up class. I always ask, "Any questions?" Not that they ever take that time to ask a question, or if they do, not that it's ever an appropriate question.
The same student says (at full voice this time), "Yeah, why are your hands orange?"
Again, I told her it was off topic. So I ended class and then said, "Student X wants her question answered, so if you are interested you can stick around, if not, have a good weekend."
The room cleared out except for about 4 or 5 students. So one says, "I'm just staying to be nosey, what's the question."
The student repeats the question again.
Now everyone chimes in, "Yeah, they really are orange. That's so weird. Is it self-tanner? Have you been eating cheetos?"
And I responded, "I have a medical condition with my liver. One of the side effects is that my hands turn orange. Some days are worse than others."
Student who asked the question: "Wow. That's kind of personal. I didn't know it was that personal."
Me (in my head): "Well stop asking stupid questions!"
Older female student: "Maybe you should go to a doctor."
Me: "Oh I am. I'm under frequent and watchful care, and I'm hoping that it will be under control in a few months."
They all left. And now I'm waiting for the rumors to start. A condition with my liver means the first possible rumor is I trashed my liver with alcohol and am waiting for a transplant. I know I look way to healthy to be waiting for a transplant, but I could be a recovering alcoholic. Second possible rumor: It's cancer.
And my "You will never believe what just happened to me!" continued today.
I was leaving church and one of the older ladies stopped to talk to me. She asked about school and I asked about her job. So we were chatting for a minute about mundane things (I love the word "mundane" because it makes me think about Pecos Bill. "Without Bill there wouldn't have been a Wild West. It would have been plain old mundane."
Wait! Did you know there's a video:
And end parenthesis)
Our mundane chat continues and then she says, "You have fine hair like I do." And I say, "Yup, it's really thin."
She says, "I am an artist, so I've been thinking about what hairstyle would look better on you." And I say, "Oh do tell. I've been pondering that too."
She starts gesturing, "Well what you need is something that frames your face. And bangs. You should go somewhere nice and they will be able to help you. You know who cuts hair? So-and-so's daughter. And just something around your face. You have such a long face. Although the oval is the ideal shape. But you really have to show it off. If you would just do something with your hair, you would really pop. You could stand out. I wouldn't color it, I like your color. But maybe highlights. And then you would just really stand out. And that person who is looking for someone special too will notice you."
Somewhere in there I was able to manage a "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."
But no, it kept going. "I know you are busy. I know with school and work it is hard to keep everything under control. But you really have to take care of yourself. You really have to make sure you look good so that special someone will notice you. And if you just take care of yourself..."
Mostly as she kept going on and on, I was thinking, "Don't say anything about my clothes. Don't say anything about my clothes. Because my clothes today are great."
So feel free to weigh in on my hair.
A couple of pictures: Two of me with short hair, two with long hair. I have been thinking I will grow it out -- and yes I know that right now it is at that awkward stage.