The Stories Behind the Scars

It’s said that chicks dig scars. Well, I don’t, not on guys and especially not on myself.  Still, every scar I have tells a story, of accidents survived or lessons learned.

I think the first scar I ever got was a particularly gnarly one on the inside of my left thigh, acquired when I fell over a metal milk box. (If that sounds strange, let me enlighten you. Back in the day, actual people delivered milk to houses. The custom was to leave empty milk bottles in an aluminum box by the back door, to be exchanged for fresh, full ones. Yes, I’m old. But I digress.)

The sharp edge of the aluminum box ripped a hole several inches long in the tender flesh of my inner thigh. Since this was, after all, back in the day and there wasn’t an emergency room nearby, my parents patched up the injury on their own. It left quite a ragged-looking scar, as opposed to a nice, straight, sutured one that might have faded gracefully. Instead, I have this fat, white, meandering reminder that, fortunately, hardly anyone ever sees, since I don’t tend to go swimming.

I don’t actually remember getting that scar, though I’m sure it was traumatic at the time. The next one I do remember is when I was about seven and I dropped a bottle of Coca Cola on my right foot and it shattered (the bottle, not my foot). (Yes, Coke came in glass bottles back then. Yes, I’m old. We’ve already established that.) The scar that time was a lot less gruesome, being only about 3/4 of an inch and very thin. It healed quickly. I was not left with any great fear of Coca Cola, a beverage I enjoy to this day, now that it comes in aluminum cans.

My next scar came when I was playing with a friend, Lauren, when we bumped heads. My glasses (I’ve worn them since I was four) were pushed back into my eyebrow. I still have one eyebrow that is missing the entire middle section, lengthwise, which makes eyebrow pencil both necessary and problematic. Fortunately, I still wear glasses, which hide my eyebrow and the scar.

Another time, I was playing with some cousins when we accidentally broke a window. I helpfully picked up one of the broken pieces, which I proceeded to rip open my right knee with. No stitches this time, so again the scar is fat and somewhat jagged.

The next scar was a bit more traumatic. Some children were throwing rocks at my feet and I was jumping over them. Call it jump-rock instead of jump-rope. One of them missed rather badly and hit me rather badly, in the forehead near my hairline. The kids scattered and my mother was called. By then stitches were more common and I was hauled away to a doctor’s office, where I found the numbing shot and the repeated puncturing more painful than the actual injury. I joke about this now. I say it was the time I got stoned in third grade.

I suppose I learned some lessons from all these scars:

  1. Watch out for milk boxes (not much of a problem anymore).
  2. Hold onto that Coke bottle. (I recently dropped a full aluminum can of Coke on my toe. No scar.)
  3. Don’t head-butt your friends. (Haven’t had to in years.)
  4. If you break a window, leave the pieces alone. (Call someone to fix it.)
  5. Rocks do not make good sports equipment. (Duh.)

Scars aside, I have had more than my fair share of bumps, bruises, lumps, cuts, and scrapes. And it wasn’t because I led all that adventurous a life. It’s why my childhood nickname was “SuperKlutz,” you know, back before self-esteem was a thing.

My husband has his own collection of scars, which are quite as gnarly as mine. Rest assured, I don’t dig them. He has many other, finer qualities.

Comments always welcome!

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