Over the past few weeks, I have seen countless examples of gratitude and goodwill towards those we most appreciate. I think it is wonderful. I like that some people are comfortable enough with their emotions to publicly display them, a feat I have yet to accomplish. I suppose it is just difficult for me to be sincere on the Internet. I choose not to publicize my relationship, family, or anything I care about at the risk of mocking them and devaluing their place in my life. Even though I use social media somewhat effectively, I speak truthfully when I say I am an extremely private person.

Having said that, it is important for me to regard one of my oldest friends in the spirit of giving thanks. That’s right—here, now, for all to see. It is the holidays, after all, and if I don’t do this now, who knows when I will want to again. You deserve this, my dear friend.

To the zit on my chin,

Hey you.

I see you haven’t left yet.

According to the photo albums I made as an awkward middle schooler, you’ve been around since circa 2003. I can tell because the brackets of my braces matched the color of my Vans. That’s a decade, my friend. You were there through the seemingly endless barrage of Paul Frank graphic t-shirts; you were there through the late night Degrassi marathons, that only lasted because I wanted to hear Bluesides during the commercial break; and you were there as a prominent presence in every single one of my senior prom pictures. Memories, indeed. And now, at 24-years old, I still get to see you more often than not. For this, I am truly blessed.

I have talked to numerous people who have complained about their friends’ inability to stay in touch. Not you, chin zit. Your communication is persistent—sometimes aggressive—and you have never let me forget you. I have gotten other zits in the last 10 years; I shouldn’t lie to you about that. They are in the no-man’s land I call my forehead, or they come to sharp, opaque points on my upper lip. Sometimes they even pop up on my cheek like a Cindy Crawford beauty mark, and I find myself pimping them when I look in a mirror. But these are fickle blemishes; they come and go as they please.

You have been in the same place since 2003 and it means the world to me. It’s hard to find anything in this life that loves unconditionally—how lucky I am to know it is my own skin! Even when I think I don’t want you around anymore, you prove again and again that you really do know me better than I know myself. Because there you are.

You know, it’s funny, chin zit. Whenever I go home for holidays, I am inevitably thrust into a variety of social situations that center around my high school friends, many of whom have skinny arms and smooth faces. It’s like their bodies…are also adults now? Like. Their bodies grew up, too? It’s the WEIRDEST thing, you should see it! My point is this: No matter how much we have all changed, and no matter how many different paths we have ventured upon, I find peace in the knowledge that you remind them of the place from which they come. I am happy that my face has literally not changed since I started high school, save for the part where, yeah, it’s kind of fatter. You represent so very much for these people, chin zit, and also for me. Don’t ever change.

In closing, I want to thank you again for your presence in my life. I think of you—and all of your brothers and sisters—as little dermal pearls of wisdom. And if nothing else, you have certainly taught me how to have a sense of humor.

Peace and face grease,


Katherine Markovich lives, works, writes, and eats in Chicago. Follow her at @markovichsays to read about what she’s eating and watching. And thinking, too, I guess.

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