Limes Are Dangerous
I returned Tuesday from my trip to Hawaii. I know, I know. I’m a little slow. Return Tuesday and don’t get a blog post up until Friday. You have to understand, it’s been a crazy couple of days. First of all, I have been super jet lagged. This was sort of a surprise to me. I always thought jet lag was a lie rich people told to brag about their amazing trips.
“I’m so jet lagged from my trip to Tahiti,” they’d say.
“You just want to brag about your trip to Tahiti,” I’d think. Insert a silent “bitch” at the end of that sentence, if you’d like.
Well, I am soooo jet lagged from my trip to Hawaii. AKA: I can’t wait to tell you about my trip. Which I plan to do next week, once the official vacation photographer (my sister, Natasha) shares all the pictures with me.
I’ve also been super busy worrying about a nice little skin condition I picked up in Hawaii. Let me tell you, WebMD is not your friend when you have an unidentified rash. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about – just about everyone with access to the Internets has decided an innocuous headache is a brain tumor and held a tearful goodbye with their loved ones. I know I’m not alone here.
I had these random patches of darker skin: one on my forehead and three on my legs. They didn’t hurt or itch or anything, but since being diagnosed with psoriasis, I’m trying to take better care of my skin, so I headed to the dermatologist. I know you are just begging for a picture (you weirdo), so here it is:
I waited anxiously at the dermatologist’s office, wondering what terrible Hawaiian disease I had come down with. Am I going to live? Okay, let’s not be silly. Of course I’m not going to live. How long do I have?
The dermatologist took one look at the mysterious spots and asked, “Did you happen to handle any limes while you were in Hawaii?”
Well, yes … yes, I did. One day, I was making a mixed drink on the beach, and realized I didn’t have a knife to cut my lime. Well, a lime is a citrus, like an orange, right? So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to peel a lime, like you would an orange.
Okay, I know you are wondering what a peeled lime looks like. You’re welcome.
Trust me, I would not suggest peeling a lime. The lime juice got all under my nails and stung something terrible. And, my fingers were all sticky. At which point, I must have rubbed my hands on my thighs and touched my forehead.
Apparently getting lime juice on your skin and then sitting out in the sun is a no-no. It causes something called phytophotodermatitis, or Margarita Dermatitis. Totally safe, and it will go away on its own, but no fun and definitely not cute when you are trying to show off your tan to all your pale friends.
Because Simply Solo is a purely educational blog (ha!), I felt the need to share this compelling information about Margarita Dermatitis with you. Together, we can fight this epidemic. Will you please do your part to ensure not another person has to needlessly suffer the terrible effects of eating limes on the beach?
Anyway, some big things happened while I was in Hawaii:
- I spent more time with my dad, step mom and two sisters than I have since middle school.
- Addendum to the above: We spent all this time together, and didn’t kill each other. (We actually had a TON of fun!)
- Chef took down my Christmas tree. (For the record: It is January 27 and my neighbor’s tree is still up. I admire their bravery.)
- Based on a bunch of your suggestions, I started reading The Hunger Games series. So far, loving it.
- Thanks to all of your help, I won the Rioja Wines contest!**
Okay, so that last bullet has a little ** next to it, which indicates fine print that you really don’t want to read, but it’s suggested you do. It’s kind of like that miracle diet pill that will make you lose four pounds a week**, and the fine print details how you’ll be throwing up constantly and lose all the hair on your head, but grow it back on your butt. So if you are the kind of person who would rather avoid the fine print, CONGRATS! Together, we won the Rioja Wines contest and I am now $250 richer! The end.
Now, here’s the fine print (and back story). If you remember (if not, read this post), I was up against some really competitive coworkers to get the most entries for the contest. I
begged encouraged you all to enter and tell everyone you know. I also enlisted the help of a few blogging buddies, clients, friends and coworkers (BIG shout outs to Rosalie, Samantha and Jennifer!) to get entries. At the height of the competition, I resorted to asking complete strangers in Hawaii to enter. Key learning here? Ask people after they’ve had a few drinks. It makes a huge difference.
But I was up against a very worthy competitor. Toward the end, it was down to my coworker Pia and me for the grand prize. Pia happens to be the most gloriously competitive person I’ve ever met. She’s also pregnant, and she totally milked (pun NOT intended) her need for baby items to get entries for the contest.
Luckily, I had two secret weapons: A chance encounter on the plane with the hilarious TV producer Don Luciano and my wonderful family. Let’s start with Don. (Like how I think we are on first name basis?)
I met Don on the flight from Atlanta to LA. He told me about his fabulous projects, including the upcoming reality show on OWN, Beverly’s Full House, featuring the supermodel Beverly Johnson. I told him about my blog, and then quickly realized he would probably never read it, and took a nap.
When I woke up, Don had subscribed to the blog and followed me on Twitter. And, he agreed to help me win the contest. He got some of his famous friends – including Taylor Dayne (Twitter handle @taylor_dayne) and Beverly Johnson (Twitter handle @BeverlyJohnson1) – to tweet about the contest. Not only did that help secure some entries, but it was super fun to have famous folk tweet about my little old contest.
My other secret weapon, my family, literally brought a tear to my eye. My mom, stepdad and two sisters spent hours texting, calling and begging everyone they know to enter the contest. Their friends seriously stepped up too. Between my mom and my step dad, I got at least 175 entries!
After my sister and I spent hours (literally) on the beach inputting entries with our cell phones, I was ahead. And my parents had about 50 additional entries that we were going to save for the last minutes of the contest, to catch my unsuspecting opponent off guard.
Here’s where the fine print begins.
There was a little confusion over when the contest actually ended. Pia and I were under the assumption that the contest ended on different days, but we didn’t realize it. We were both right; we were both wrong. We just received conflicting information. Problem is, Pia thought the contest ended 24 hours before I did. So just like I was strategically saving entries for the last minute, so was she. Right before midnight (the day before I thought the contest ended), she entered a bunch of entries and took the lead. I thought I had another 24 hours to sweep in and win. Because of the confusion, the third place winner very generously gave up his winnings so that both Pia and I would win the grand prize money.
For the record, I still entered the entries I’d been saving for the next day and ultimately took the lead by about 45 entries. Not that I’m competitive, or anything. I apologize for all the fine print – but after all of your very generous help with this contest, I wanted to let you know how it turned out.
I absolutely could not have won without you. You are the best readers a girl could ever ask for. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And the little detail of the prize money? Don’t think I forgot about that! I promised you I would spend it very irresponsibly and do something fun. And I did. Which I’ll tell you about next time.
Now, will you join my crusade to eradicate Margarita Dermatitis? I’m already training for the first annual 10K. Who’s in?
Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.