To celebrate New Years Eve I went to San Diego with a group of friends. We went to a hotel party that was a lot of fun. About an hour into the night I started chatting with a girl and then headed to the dance floor with her. She was cute, nice to talk to and fun to dance with and I was having a great time. However, at some point the flashing lights of the club hit my new friend at the right angle I realized she had a small crusty circle on the side of her lip. It looked like she tried to eat a glazed Krispy Kreme donut using only the corner of her of her mouth.
I wasn’t sure if she simply had chapped lips (it was cold outside and maybe she forgot her Chap-Stick) or something more serious. So I did the only logical thing I could think of, which was to ask my friend Michael to take a picture of her and I, but rather than frame the two of us in the shot, I wanted him to zoom in on her lips and snap a photo. The photo session went off as planned until she asked to see the picture (girls always do that!) and Michael had to tell her it “didn’t look good” (not a lie) and he zoomed out and took another one of the two of us. I told my picture partner I had to go to the bathroom and went off with Michael to analyze the evidence. The results were undeniable: This girl had herpes.
|When it comes to STDetective work, |
"Holmes & Watson" have nothing on "Todd & Michael"
While I couldn’t see any other explanation for her dry lip, part of me worried that it would just be rude to not talk to the girl for the rest of the night without confirming my suspicions. So, I went back onto the dance floor and found her:
“Hey so I don’t mean to be rude, but I have a question. I noticed you have a big dry spot on your lip. What is that?”
“What?” I couldn’t tell if she was shocked I noticed it, shocked I asked her about it, or maybe the music was simply too loud.
“What is that on your lip?!” I said, louder this time.
“Oh… It’s a cold sore,” she sheepishly admitted. AKA: Herpes.
I reported the news back to my co-investigator Michael and his girlfriend Darlene. And while Michael, who I have known over 20 years, wasn’t surprised that I was so forward about asking the girl about her STD, Darlene was a little taken aback. Apparently bluntly asking the girl about her disease was not how everyone would have handled that situation. And it got me thinking…
Throughout my life I have been criticized and complimented for my frankness and forwardness when it comes to my inner thoughts and emotions. My tendency for brutal honesty has drawn reaction in everything from the realm of romantic relationships to friendships to even this very blog. While I always take full responsibility for my words and actions, I believe I can attribute/blame my affinity for honesty to one major factor from my childhood.
|Mother-Son Bonding at its finest|
From my childhood into my teen years I have great memories of soccer, baseball or hockey practice a couple nights each week, most often with my dad as my coach. This was the typical father-son bonding time that most kids share with their dad. But I also remember a more peculiar daily ritual I shared with my mom: every night, after my mom got home from work, we’d queue up the VHS tape she had programmed to record that afternoon and we’d watch… Days of Our Lives.
Soap operas are inherently the most dramatic type of television. Each scene is dripping with conflict, whether it be something as typical as a love triangle or a murder or something as disturbing as the devil taking over Marlena or that time Hope was buried alive in a coffin equipped with a camera and an oxygen tank but no place to go to the bathroom.
|While Marlena was being taken over by the Succubus,|
I was being taken over by the drama of Days...
For a young child to watch a show of this nature, it’s only a matter of time before he or she begins to believe it’s normal for people to constantly be confronting each other, creating drama, and never backing down from an awkward situation. So while other kids were learning life lessons from Tale Spin and Duck Tales after school, I was becoming entrenched into the evil of Stefano DiMera or the “Salem Strangler.” While kids were wondering whether Zack and Kelly would get together on Saved by the Bell I was wondering whether John Black would ever discover his true identity. Who can blame me for my personality when for an hour every day I was subjected to some of the most petulant and precarious people around? Sure they were fictitious, but an 8-year old doesn’t know the difference. No wonder I work in reality TV!
|Harmless or Herpes? Catch it this Fall on VH1!|
Hosted by Mike Sorrentino. "Now that's a situation!"
So yeah, maybe I was wrong for confronting the nice girl at the club. My aim wasn’t to embarrass her, but was only to figure out if her lips were harmless or herpes (that sounds like an awesome new game show, btw). Maybe it was a little dramatic but that’s how I know to handle those situations. Sure it may have been awkward and uncomfortable for the two of us, but that’s life. Or more poetically: like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives…