My body just punked itself.

Last night, I was jolted awake from a nerve-racking dream of my boyfriend (yes, I have one of those…more on that later) screaming bloody murder over and over, only for the screaming to continue in its evil counted rhythm. I held my breath to get a better listen, and the screaming stopped. Hm. I let out an apprehensive stream of air through my nose, and there it was. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my nose was the one screaming. My nostril had just punked my brain. Traitor Body, you are NOT humorous. Stop that shit right now.

The Day I Almost Lost My Nipples (or: I Know Why the Caged Nipple Cries)

Sometimes, I’m really amazed at my genius. Sometimes, I have to stand back in wonder at the things I come up with. And then sometimes, I look back on my choices and can only mutter a disillusioned What the hell… before rolling my eyes and fixing them on the front page of reddit for a few hours.

The day I almost lost my nipples started out normally enough, but the disaster in store for me had been kicked off days before. Let me explain…

First and foremost, a secret. Well, a secret of which most people who know me in real life are privy. I do not wear bras. Ever. I gave them up about two years ago. Having given them a real chance to prove themselves (about 16 years), they always ended up in the “Things I wish were never invented and that make me resent my life” category. So one day, I had finally had enough. And off they came for good. Now, I feel like I must say something here. I’m not braless in a 50-year-old, stare-inducing way. It’s not even noticeable that my boobs are uncaged. Most of the time.

See, because of my braless, free-boob state of being, I have encountered a new problem. Nipplage. Any sheer blouse or thin shirt will do the trick. My nipples will become a public thermometer for the entire world to see, and it can be rather embarrassing.

So I turned to the little stick-on nipple covers that department stores sell. And they worked beautifully. They were a breeze to use and completely comfortable. That is, until I took them off. And that’s when my sensitive, angel-soft skin reared its ugly head and broke out in an itchy rash that lasted for a week. Have you ever had the incessant need to scratch your boobs in public? If you haven’t, let me tell you — it freaking sucks. My nips stayed covered in Benadryl and Cortaid for days, creating a sticky, gooey mess and not much relief.

It was the adhesive. It had to be. So now what? And then it occurred to me — the medical aisle! If I found something in the medical aisle, perhaps the adhesive would be gentler. Safer. More accommodating of someone with the skin of a fetus. The choice was pretty obvious, too. Dot Bandaids.

Dot Bandaids have always made me sad. Dot Bandaids are like cranberry dish of the Bandaid Christmas dinner. They’re a staple, so you have to have ’em, but nobody really wants ’em. They sit there in the mixed box of Bandaid sizes and watch as every other Bandaid imaginable is chosen over them (even the super giant Bandaids for serious wounds that should probably send you to the ER, but screw it, that costs too much).

So I felt rather commendable when I came up with a job just for Dot Bandaids. Dot Bandaids, I thought, you shall serve a purpose higher than box-filler! So that night, I went to Walmart and bought an entire box of Dot Bandaids. Not a mix. All Dots.

The next morning, I got ready for work as usual. Shower, hair, a little makeup. But this time, when it came time to choose an outfit, I threw caution to the wind and picked out a thin, cotton shirt. I had backup this time. I peeled the backing off my two little Dots and centered them on my boobs. Press and stick on the left. Press and stick on the right. Done. On the shirt went and, lo and behold, no nipplage!

At work that day, I whispered my clever solution to my co-worker Amber. I had regaled her of my nipple issues before (and she’d probably caught me scratching my boobs during the week after the nipple covers). I was proud that I’d found a solution.

“I hope they don’t do something weird,” she said. “Like melt into your nipples or something.”

“Ha!” I laughed her off. “I seriously doubt a medical-grade Bandaid would do that.”

Things were fine most of the day, but by evening, my poor boobs had started to itch. Badly. By the time I got to my evening class, they were driving me nuts. When my professor turned on a documentary, I seized the opportunity the dark classroom afforded me. I reached up into my shirt to pull off the Dots. But they were stuck. The damn Dots were stuck. I finally wedged a fingernail between the sticky plastic circles and my baby-soft areolas and pulled. Ahh. Relief.

I walked through my front door about two hours later and, like always, went straight into the bathroom for a shower. I took off my glasses and peeled off my shirt, and that’s when I saw them. My nipples. My poor, sad nipples. I put my glasses back on to make sure my eyesight wasn’t making it seem worse than it was. But no, it was that bad. The left one had two blood-crusted cuts in it and looked like it could be a Dexter victim. The right one was worse. It had bloody cuts, too. But in addition, it sported a half-inch blister, making it look like a Freddy Krueger double.

I couldn’t believe it. Those damn Dot Bandaids, who I’d given a chance that others hadn’t, had actually melted into my freaking nipples. How does that even chemically happen? Why is there not a warning on the box?

Suffice it to say, the next week was spent with Neosporin-laden nips and cotton undershirts worn under everything. I have still yet to find a solution to my nipplage.

Oh, and if anyone needs an almost-full box of Dot Bandaids, lemme know.

Jane Protip – SCREAMING MAKES ME IMPORTANT!

Dear high school kids having a debate tournament in the GAB,

Screaming your points doesn’t make them right. You’re in a classroom that’s smaller than my first apartment, which was the barely big enough for my full-sized bed, TV and ego. Everyone can hear you. And I mean EVERYONE. And everyone hates you.

Jane Protip – I see nipple.

Hey, clothing designers. Not every woman likes to wear seven shirts at a time. And we shouldn’t have to buy them. Try making tops that aren’t completely see-through. I should be able to wear one shirt at a time and not get arrested. Everyone hates you.

Jane Protips – Moving to the blog stream!

So I normally keep my Jane Protips in a list to your right. But I’m going to start posting them as blog posts. Why? So you will see them, of course!

Here are all current Protips, with a couple brand new ones at the top! Enjoy. And remember, everyone hates you.

Jane Protips – Uplifting Life Lessons to Live By

9/28/12

Jane Protip: Guys, we know it’s hard out there. Look at you – you’re funny, smart, amazing looking, make literally tens of dollars a day, and yet it’s still hard to find a woman. But when you’re out at the bar, plopping your ass down at a table full of ladies and muttering a pathetic “hey” will not get you laid. It won’t even get you a quick grope in the bar bathroom. If you’re still intent on trying this miserable method, be prepared for the consequences and don’t push your luck. My friend Amber’s been there. “Even though you give him numerous awkward looks, he just doesn’t leave,” she says. Guys, just leave. Everyone hates you.

Jane Protip: Look, we know Loop 288 in Denton has a lot to offer – Target, Walmart, questionable sushi places. But for the love of all that’s holy, grow some goddamn driving balls before venturing out there. See that never-ending stream of cars coming the opposite way while you sit stagnant, your left blinker counting down the seconds of my fleeting life as I sit behind you? Yah, it’s not going anywhere. Find an opening and go. You have car insurance, right? Use it! Everyone hates you.

9/18/12

Jane Protip: Hey, gals. If you wanna gab about your boyfriends and all the reasons you totally hate them but could never, ever leave them, take that shit to the mall. This is a university computer lab. I’m here to study, not listen to 90210 conversations. Everyone hates you.

2/20/12

Jane Protip: Hey, ladies. The women’s restrooms at UNT (or any public place) aren’t your personal salons. Quit spraying half a can of Aqua Net in the 10′ by 10′ place I go to pee, blow my nose, and reflect on what’s become of my life. It smells like a middle school bathroom circa 1994, and my lungs are collapsing. Everyone hates you.

1/31/12

Jane Protip: If you’re in an enclosed, public space, tuna probably isn’t the best hot meal to bust out for dinner. You stink, and now everything around you stinks. Everyone hates you.

1/7/12

Jane Protip: Unless you work security or hauling equipment, etc., there’s no need to use your phone as a walky talky. The beeping and saying “over” does not make you important. Everyone hates you.

12/15/11

Jane Protip: If you are at the library yelling, laughing, and generally acting like you are “at da club,” everyone hates you.

11/29/11

Jane Protip: If you randomly stop in the middle of a walkway to chat, everyone hates you.

Personal Trainer

Looking at my posts here, it’s obvious I’m struggling with the extra weight I’ve put on. In the last five years, I gained 25% of my body weight. That’s…not good. Sitting is uncomfortable. Laying down is uncomfortable. Breathing is uncomfortable (and when breathing is uncomfortable, that’s a scary thing). I’ve noticed that whenever I sit down, I cup the fat roll on my stomach with my left arm. Cup it. Like a baby.

So I have decided that as soon as my student fees kick in again, which give me access to UNT’s rec center, I’m going to plant my fat roll baby in that gym and work this weight off. But I’ll need a trainer. Someone to answer to. If left to my own devices, I’m worthless. I will give up as soon as I get tired. There is no way the sperm that made me was the fastest. It must have won on a technicality.

So now the question is, do I want a Bob or a Jillian? If that doesn’t make any sense to you, those are the names of personal trainers from the show The Biggest Loser. Both give you a great workout, both beat you down, but in different ways. Bob is a bit more patient, more sympathetic to your almost guaranteed sudden death by elliptical. Jillian, on the other hand, could give a shit that you’re crying blood. Put on your big-girl panties and deal with it, she might say.

So who do I choose? Which way do I go? It’s truly Tough Love vs. Love? Tough! And as I sit here, sipping a Coke and smacking on salt water taffy, I guess anything would be an improvement.

When squeezing a sponge causes wincing, perhaps it’s time to admit you have a problem.

Everyone knows that having family members with useful careers (read: something you can take advantage of) is pretty much hitting the jackpot. Personally, I aim to marry a plastic surgeon or a massage therapist. I’ll either have everything lifted up to my eyeballs and tacked into place, or I’ll just have it all rubbed long enough so I’ll be too relaxed to care how droopy it is.

So a couple of years ago, I noticed something about my wrists. They were popping and crackling like that crappy kids’ cereal (Really, can that stuff stay crunchy for more than .5 seconds?), and sharp pains appeared whenever they carried any weight. I shrugged it off as Carpal Tunnel and just assumed I would get by. I was in my 20s for crying out loud!

Yah, well…this shit hurts. And when squeezing the water out of a sponge causes wincing, it’s really time to get a professional opinion. So I hit up my Aunt Jenny, who is a nurse (score!). This is the same aunt who, when I cut my cheek open as a toddler, played with me all day once I got home and painted my face with pretty makeup colors to distract me from the stitches. What a sweet person. No wonder she went into nursing.

She quickly confirmed my suspicions – Carpal Tunnel. And then she added this uplifting after-thought:

“You can try the wrist support braces, they do help. But usually everyone eventually gets surgery, which is a sure fix. :)”

What the hell, Aunt Jenny? You think that little happy face makes it all okay? Surgery?! For once, I am NOT happy to be right.

When did my hobby habit obsession with all things digital become so overwhelming that I now need surgery? Breaking down my typical day, there’s basic typing on a computer for several hours. Add to that texting and all smart phone-related activities, plus basic web surfing with a trackpad. For several more hours. Okay, that’s my entire waking life. And I mean ENTIRE. I use my iPhone in the shower. I need help. I’m addicted.

But wait, didn’t Aunt Jenny say that surgery is a “sure fix?” Does that mean after surgery I can indulge my internet obsession for as long as I please, throwing all cares to the wind (not that I’m every outside long enough to feel it)? Now I know what the happy face means!

Thanks, Aunt Jenny. 🙂

Afterword:

I have popped my wrists approximately five times during the writing of this post.