Love in the time of acne

by Hilton Dresden / Beacon Correspondent • February 11, 2015

If I had a successful interaction with a boy every time I got a zit on my chin, I would have so many fun conversations that I wouldn’t be able to remember them all.

Each time I slip into the bathroom between classes and notice a new little pimple calling out for attention, I pray as I pop it that a beautiful, blind young man is waiting for me on the other side of the bathroom door.

It seems every time I’m ready to step out there and show the world I’m more than just a sparkling personality, a new, big, red friend finds it opportune to blossom on my face. Allow me to give an example. Or five.

The scene is senior year homecoming in Milwaukee, a time for freshly post-pubescent teens to show the world what they’re really made of. My friends and I went as Scooby-Doo and the Gang, and I wore a pair of heinous blue rubber pants that were meant to conjure up an image of Freddy. It might have, too, were it not for the bulbous red orb stuck to my nose that made me look more like an acne-prone Rudolph than the hottest member of the Scooby clan.

At the time, I was still trying to convince the world that I shared Freddy’s lust for Daphne, rather than my real hunger for Shaggy—if Shaggy shaved and packed on some muscle. Nevertheless, that night, as I danced, I knew I was being watched by a sea of sweaty suitors—suitors who might have fallen for my coarse, pube-like hair or my long, skeletal frame, were it not for the honking red sphere throbbing on the tip of my nose. It’s safe to say all chances of stolen kisses and sexy smirks that night were obliterated.

There was also the time in high-school that I took a week off and went to Mexico with my dad. It was great at first, until I got the clever idea to let the sun kill off some of my pesky chin zits. I spent the next two months walking down the halls with a giant, scabbing burn on my chin that oozed yellow pus. Talk about a sexy schoolboy.

And, of course, there’s the time my mom insisted on popping a whopper of a nose zit the night before my senior pictures. I bet I was more airbrushed  than all the Kardashians combined.

Still don’t believe zits have ruined my love life? Fast forward a few years to a gayer and even zittier college time.

Poor, sweet Hilt had finally found himself in the situation of his dreams: He was in bed next to a slumbering boy, and it was the morning. Unfortunately, time had done nothing to clear up his pestering chin acne. Little Hilt slunk out of bed and put cover-up on his chin before the boy woke up. But lo! As the powder puff dabbed at Hilty’s chin, his man-friend woke and saw the whole thing, sighing with disappointment as he discovered his lover’s fatal imperfection.

In an effort to end my acne-ridden youth, I began taking Accutane, a powerful drug that kills zits and makes you have freaky babies if you get pregnant while using it. Though the pills have been working pretty well so far, they’ve also left a nasty rash on the rest of my body that’s given me skin more similar to a Komodo dragon than to a young, fresh-faced homosexual. Suffice it to say there haven’t been many young bucks sharing my bed of late.

I could go on and on about how zits have tried to ruin me as a person and as a flaming tour de force. I could tell you about the time I couldn’t kiss a boy who wanted to kiss me because a lip zit was throbbing with pain. I could talk about the times I’ve compared newly popped zits to angry, post-eruption volcanoes, because if you took close-up photos of both, I doubt you’d be able to tell the difference. Or I could discuss my loathing for my self-esteem-destructive epidermis, which has, at times, all but consumed me.

Instead I’ll tell you this: I have zits. You have zits. If you don’t, I have nothing to say to you. I dealt with it, and now I’m making eye contact with boys all the time. And I bet someday, the eye contact will lead to kissing—or at the very least free food. Keep your acne-prone chin up.