Monday, March 7, 2011

I think I caught it before the gangrene set in

Are you ever plagued by embarrassing memories of your past?  I am.  All the time.  I will be walking along, minding my own business, when all of a sudden my brain switches on the reel of My Most Embarrassing Moments.  I will then re-live, in excruciating detail, an event from when I was 7, or 20, or just last week.

One such embarrassing moment occurred when I was in 7th grade.  I was at that age when you discover things like how you need to wear deodorant all the time (according to mom) and how not to shave your legs (the answer is dry or with minimal soap lather.)  By some means or another, I learned that my belly button was a little stinky.  I asked my mom what could be the cause, and she told me that it was due to bacteria.  (She also probably told me to clean it out better when I took a shower, but I don't remember that.)  For some reason, I was fascinated by this information.  I think perhaps I was under the incorrect assumption that belly buttons provide a unique microcosm that under certain situations, can house a colony of rather unusual bacteria.  A microcosm that is found nowhere else.  In any case, I was in possession of what I thought was Really Interesting Information.   "Did you know that I can grow bacteria?  On myself!?"

The next day at school, I went to homeroom and shared with my teacher My Latest Discovery.  He thought it was interesting enough to share with the entire class.  However, having the whole class know that you have a stinky, bacteria-filled belly button now seemed to fall into the category of Really Embarrassing Moments rather than Greatest Scientific Discoveries of All Time.  What is worse was that the teacher went on to tell a story about how his belly button became severely infected with green-tinged pus to the point that it fell off, and he no longer had a belly button.  (Although he did refuse to show proof of this.)  So now, not only did my classmates know that I had a stinky belly button, but my teacher had pretty much linked my stinky belly button to his gangrene, pus-filled monstrosity.  In fact, I am pretty sure every one thought that it was only a matter of time before my belly button fell off too.

Note to self: do not share strange phenomenon occurring on one's person. 

Only I can't seem to follow my own advice.

Finn is at that stage where belly buttons are fascinating.  One of his favorite games to play is to lift the shirt and find the belly button.  Even better if he can blow a zerbert on that exposed belly too. 

So the other day, Finn was pulling up my shirt in search of that elusive belly button.  It was one of those moments when I had a chance to really look at my belly button.  I was even playing around with it a bit (pushing my belly in and out) for Finn's benefit.  "Hey look, I can have a really big belly!  Wait! Where did it go?"  However, the game was cut pretty short when I saw the state of my belly button.  In fact, it required immediate intervention right then and there. 

I think I should state that the landscape of my stomach has changed since having a baby.  I thought that I had a pretty decent belly button hygiene plan down.  However, I guess I wasn't accounting for the extra folds and deeper crevasses brought about by having your stomach stretched a foot in front of you and then suddenly released to slowly shrink back.  Obviously, a little bit more diligent care is required.

It was NOT, for the record, green and pus-filled.  Nor was it in any danger of falling off.  As to whether or not the conditions were apt for a happy little colony of uniquely odoriferous bacteria?  I am pretty sure I have no idea what you are talking about.


Anonymous said...

This may or may not make you feel any better: I have no memory of this episode. On the other hand, I remember very well the time you accidentally asked your German teacher about his sex life - and I wasn't even in that class....

Janssen said...

Oh man, my embarrassing moment reel never stops playing in my mind. You'd think something that happened fifteen or twenty years ago would lose its sting. Not so!

Glad I'm not the only person who is perhaps not as serious about belly button cleaning as I apparently ought to be.

Jaimee said...

Haha! I do this all the time! For some reason it makes me hum to myself- as if that would cover up the sound of the thoughts in my head.


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