In my never ending journey to cut the fat and garbage from my life (and to notarize it as well), I found an old large yellow piece of paper which noted my “research” to poke at my Mother about a little pet peeve she had: Double Dipping. You know, like chips and the sort? Sometime between 2002-2005 (don’t quote me bro), my Mother voiced a concern about spreading germs through a mutually shared dip, even going as far to point out a recent Ann Lander’s article (or did I bring that forward? Doesn’t matter much anymore, but I feel a distinction needs to be made). And being who I was at that time (or so I think), I sought to challenge her.
It’s a questionable situation though, especially given that it happened in the past, and I’ve already voiced how deeply I’m connected to those memories. I’m not even sure if Double Dipping was something that upset my Mom either, and I think it was in fact something I blew out of proportion (coincidentally enough something I excuse her a lot of as well). I could be wrong, if only because I’m so disconnected from my previous self, but I believe I simply noted something which got on my Mother’s nerves and continued to press it for the sake of entertainment. More so, I probably didn’t really see the big deal in either direction, because I was the kind of ass that played devil’s advocate. I was a shit like that.
So after speaking heatedly with Mother about the silliness that is Double Dipping, I contacted the local health department about questions I had, all written out on this old large yellow piece of paper found in my belongings. Not only was the Ann Lander’s article brought up, but the woman on the line pretty much went over the same points brought up with my Mother: it’s like eating from someones mouth, you’ll get a cold, just put a spoon into the dip, it’s not life threatening, etc. And when asked if there were any studies done to test the beliefs and risks of Double Dipping, she claimed to have no idea and to check the Internet, clearly displaying how much a waste of time the conversation was.
And really, it was a waste of time. Not just the petty quest I gave myself, but who would be silly enough to spend the time and money on a series of tests to conclude Double Dipping was hazardous to your health? At least I thought that was the case at the time, until a professor in 2008 did just that. And a Mythbusters episode, where they concluded it was a busted myth. But really, why go through all that trouble? I’m all for George’s way of thinking, where in you rely on the responsible nature people have for themselves and the welfare of everyone around. Which is why I tend to get hurt more often than not.
But there is plenty of irony to be gained from all of this. I have eventually turned into one of those folk with a sense of responsibility which has inevitably refrained me from Double Dipping (even though I never did to begin with). Not only that, I pretty much keep my mouth out of all physical affairs with others. There’s even a joke I’ve been saying for years, that whatever was in my mouth becomes my property. And I was doing all that years before I found out I had herpes (aka cold sores), so that makes it even more the case.
…Yeah, I got herpes, or at least I believe that to be the case (more on that later). About two years ago, I had come to the realization I didn’t know for certain if I had it or not, either because I relied on vague information from friends/family/doctors/etc. or didn’t bother to research the information at my fingertips via the Internet. See, this was one of those turning points in my life, when I was coming to understand what responsibility meant (at least to me), and that I didn’t know if I had herpes or not scared the hell out of me. Who knows if I could have spread it to other people, given how private people usually keep it?
So I got myself a blood test, and it was shown I have antibodies which only get produced when herpes is introduced to one’s system. And given the symptoms I had in conjunction with this finding (sores appearing now and then in my mouth), it was pretty certain I had herpes. Since that point I have been pretty careful about who I share food and drink with, and always inform others of the facts should the matter be pressed. Other than that, however, I’ve been pretty private on the matter and kept it to myself. Till now that is, because this here is my public outing of the matter that I have herpes.
I’m sure plenty would say it’s a bad move to openly out yourself of certain diseases, traits, disorders, etc. but again, this is something I openly share whenever the situation arises. Sharing was hard at first, but the more I did it the easier it got, and I’ve since gotten very comfortable with the facts. The thought of any type of sharing when I first found out scared to hell out of me, and I found myself stammering with an erratic heartbeat when I had to speak of it with a potential love interest. Now it doesn’t really bother me as much, as made apparent in the now. Sure there will be a lot more anxiety to deal with and rejection with being so open, but being open and actually coming to terms with the world is better than living in fear of people finding out. And what’s to find out? That I have something which is incredibly common around the world and is therefore not that huge a deal, save the fact I have to deal with a little discomfort now and then?
Mind you, that I have herpes or not is…complicated. I’ve seen a few doctors and read a lot of text, eventually discovering that even if you get sores and have the antibodies in your system, you could still be clean of the virus. I’ve been told my family is prone to canker sores and similar sores that could be confused with those from herpes, and the presence of antibodies could just mean I fought off the virus like a boss and it never took root. The only for certain way to know I have herpes is if I get to a proper doctor before one of the sores appear so that it can be tested for 100% accuracy.
Am I going to bother doing this? Probably not, and I’m quite fine with telling everyone around me I have herpes, period. It will likely set people off as it certainly set me off in the past, but with a little bit of research and understanding, I’m sure they will come to be just as confused and annoyed as I am. But again, my hope in people has ever hurt me, so I take it with a lot of salt. Enough to make fries delicious. And on that note, time to get some potato wedges.
Oh, and as long as we are on the subject outing myself, I suppose I consider myself to be a pansexual if only because I’ve come to understand sexuality has more to do with what you’re attracted to than what you’re supposed to be attracted to. I’ve voiced that opinion all the way back in 2007, though I’ve changed a lot since then as well. It’s a given I’m chasing after that which we define as feminine, but I could honestly care less what your organs are as long as I find you to be wanting. If anything, do yourself a favor and test yourself by looking at Bailey Jay and Buck Angel as examples, and figure out what your limits of attraction are. You will be surprised what just a little realization can do to you.
Alright, potato wedges for real this time. Yes, I intend to end this talk with potato wedges. Like a boss.