So Hidden B did something evil. Not only did she go away for a five-day-four-night trip to a conference in Denver (thus leaving me to deal with the kids) but she signed them up for swimming lessons AT THE SAME TIME on Saturday mornings, which means (because she works Sats) I have to take them both. Oh boy what chaos. No parking at the pool so we have to park in the neighborhood and schlep over; then the changing room is full and there's no place to put anything down; Shmoop ends up in the wrong class, and Voov is in tears because her new flipflops are pinching her toes.
Of course neither of them is actually going to learn to swim. (Voov is only two, so I have to get in the pool with her and try to convince her to blow bubbles. That would count as an achievement.)
And afterward--moisturizing Voov or myself? In that situation, with Shmoop tearing around investigating the urinals and lying on the floor and pulling all the lockers open? Forget it.
One benefit of the chaos is that I could care less whether people notice that I have eczema. I just want to get out of there with both kids alive and all the crap we came in with, and they don't know me anyway.
I've never been keen on the water. Maybe it's because I was born on the prairies. It took me forever to learn to swim. These days I would like to swim because it's great exercise but, ironically, I found out that swimming is bad for my back. Should have done it while I had the chance!
And then there's the eczema. Ever since high school I've avoided letting other people see me anything but fully clothed. Most of my friends and coworkers probably don't know I have eczema, although they must have noticed that I'm twitchy and scratchy. I would prefer that they not find out, because there's no benefit to me. Their reaction would range somewhere from "so what" to "that's disgusting."
That too is a shame, because I would like to connect with people like myself--on Facebook for example. I know the NEA has a Facebook page and I check it out every once in a while. I see that people have problems like my own and children like my own. (Some of them ALSO TYPE IN ALL CAPS FOR SOME REASON and some of them are selling quack remedies, but fortunately not all.) But, because most of my Facebook friends don't know I have eczema--I have about 175 "friends" and apart from my wife and brother and sister none of them are clued in--I am not about to participate on the NEA page, because I don't want my Facebook friends to see comments that I write on the NEA page. That would be too much information for them. Just as it would be for me if someone was writing comments about their inflammatory bowel disease.
So I wonder whether there's a social-media way for the NEA to connect with patients and to enable them to support each other. I can't be the only one who feels uncomfortable writing openly about my eczema under my real name in a world where everybody can see everything all the time. It's like being naked in a public place like a swimming pool.