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New week, new outlook and new clients, I thought innocently on Monday morning.

 

NEW FUCKING COLD SORE!

Herpes labialis

Herpes labialis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Is there anything as damaging to what self-esteem you have left than a fresh, newly- hatched cold sore on a Monday morning?

 

I’m not vain (much), but I’m sure that most people still associate the common cold sore with promiscuity. So I felt like Mrs Trailer Trash when I woke up on Monday morning with that tell-tale throbbing on my upper lip.

 

I’d hoped that the tingling of the previous few days was a minor case of sun burn. But nothing is that straightforward in my life.

 

My timing was as perfect as ever – it was inevitable that I would be meeting new, young and trendy clients yesterday, who were probably asking themselves how they ended up with the middle-aged Herpes Trollop for a consultant.

 

Little did they know that my cold sore was not triggered by an orgy of hot and rampant middle-aged sex, but a dose of too much western sun, post my job in Orange last week when I miscalculated what ‘no ozone’ actually means. It always sounds glam when you mention that you style properties, but in truth I spent two days lifting and unpacking boxes between five houses in 35 degrees heat.

 

Cold sores are like penises, where the male perception of their size is so much bigger than they actually are.

 

What NC kindly describes as ‘a minor collagen lip injection gone wrong’, actually feels like as though I have a golf ball attached to my top lip. It makes it hard to talk, eat and look in any form, human or attractive. There is also a blossoming blister forming, which is hard to pass off as a lip pout.

 

I was waiting outside the pharmacy at opening time; Kurt’s bike helmet in place. The pharmacist recognised my desperation and smiled pityingly at me and then blew her lying cover by insisting she could hardly see the football attached to my lip.

 

Cold sores are like zits – they are the shit young people have to deal with because they lead fun and exciting, sexual lives. Middle-aged people get back-ache, indigestion and 24hr tiredness – not the symptoms of shagging anyone they can.

 

For the record, I still get zits too.

 

My clients sat next to me at our lunch table, rather than opposite me. My cold sore obviously didn’t compliment their Pesto Salad with Fresh Parmesan.

 

And I realized just how hard it must be for people with a facial disfigurement – me with my pathetic little lump on my top lip, that made me feel like a leper.

 

I am obviously as shallow as I feared.

 

The old man laughed when he saw it this morning. Big Mistake! I gave the rim of his juice glass a huge lick before I passed it to him.

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