I am suspicious of people who don't have any visible scars. Even though I have never been involved in contact sports or intravenous drugs, I have my fair share of scars, and I think other people should, too. One of my very favorite things about having sex with someone new (back when having sex with someone new was a possibility, that is), was to find the scars on his/her body and ask for the stories that go with them. I maintain that you can learn a lot about people from their scars, and from the way in which they talk about them. I try to wear mine proudly.
So, since the liklihood of my sleeping with any of you anytime soon is pretty slim, here are a few stories about my scars.
The scars on my face aren't very noticeable until I point them out. The most noticeable ones are the faint, slightly jagged vertical scar between my eyes and the two little lines of scar underneath my bottom lip. I don't remember obtaining the scars under my lip, but apparently I did a face plant off a swing as a toddler and put my teeth through my lip. The one between my eyes, though, I remember with great embarrassment. I was probably 15 or 16 when I got it. My mom and my stepdad were target shooting in front of our house, and I decided I wanted to try. I had done it before, but only with a .22 caliber rifle with no scope. This time they were using bigger rifles with scopes. Nobody warned me about the "kick." The scope split me open between the eyes. My mom insisted on taking me to the emergency room (due to not taking me for two previous injuries that I should have gone for, but I'll get to that). So we drove 45 minutes and then sat in the waiting room for an hour, only to be told it didn't require stitches. So there you go.
The other facial scar I have is about 3/4 inch long and horizontal, underneath my chin. This is an even more humiliating story than the last one. In my high school, the stage where we had plays and stuff was in the gym. So one day my first year in high school, during gym class, I was up on the stage doing something, and I stepped down onto a little red bench on the gym floor. Unfortunately, I stepped on one end of the bench, rather than the middle. The bench flipped up and I landed on the gym floor, caught by my chin and one arm. I sprained my wrist and split my chin open. That afternoon were the Homecoming football and volleyball games, and that evening was the Homecoming Dance--my first big high school dance. No way I was going to miss all that for a trip to the emergency room. So we put a butterfly bandage on it and I kept right on trucking. Now it grows long black hairs out of it that I have to pluck with tweezers.
After my face, the next scar-filled body area is my hands. The really amazing one is the piece of pencil lead that is permanently embedded in the bottom of my right palm, right where my hand meets my wrist. It was my sophomore year in high school, and we were taking some sort of standardized test. I reached back without looking to get a pencil from the person behind me, who very stupidly handed it to me tip first. The tip broke off in the bottom of my hand and I never dug it out. The skin grew in around it and now I have a little lead bump there for all time. I also have a thick jagged scar and bit of crimped skin on the side of my little finger on that hand, which is a pretty good scar, but I honestly can't remember what it is from.
There is a scar of a couple of inches on the side of my left elbow, which is a result of putting up shelves in the closet of the last house where Mark and I lived in Portland--with Erica. I caught my elbow on the end of a screw, I think. It left a much worse scar than I would have expected. Both elbows have the prerequisite "I was never very good at riding a bike" scars, as do my knees.
The only real scar I have on my torso is inside and above my belly button, from my first navel piercing. It was a terribly done piercing (which I had done at a surf shop, when I was underage, using a fake note of permission from my mother), too shallow and not straight, and it was infected for pretty much the entire two or three years I had it. It is covered up by navel piercing number two, though, so it's not at all noticeable. Navel piercing number two, incidentally, is a wonderful piercing that has given me no trouble at all in the three+ years it has been there.
My legs are odes to scaring. Besides my knees, which I think were permanently torn up from ages 2-12 and look like it, the most noticeable scars are my rather intense stretch marks. I have both the vertical and the horizontal kind, particularly in my inner thighs. The source of those is obvious. I have had horiztonal ones since my early teens (I grew very quickly), but the vertical ones are from the last few years. Ahh, filling out.
The biggest scar I have is on my inner left calf, just below the knee. It's apparent that a chunk was taken out of my leg, which it was. I was taking the garbage out one summer night at Tomaselli's, the restuarant where I worked in high school, and there was a broken Torani bottle in the trash bag. A big piece of glass came out of the side of the bag and stuck into my leg (I was wearing shorts or a skirt). When I pulled it out, there was a little blood gyser and it took forever to heal up. It was one that definitely could have used some stitches, but for some reason I didn't go get any. It's only about an inch long, but it's probably 1/2 inch wide and shiny white. I also have various leg scars from shaving mishaps, particularly around my knees and on the backs of my ankles.
The last scar that comes to mind is a light scar across the top of my left foot. The scar itself isn't impressive--in fact, it's barely visible. However, the incident it came from was impressive, at least in gore-factor. I hit the top of my foot with a garden hoe, right across one of the big blood vessels, and blood shot up at least two feet. Nobody believes that when I tell them, but it happened, I swear. I also have a mangled big toe on my right foot, due to that incident with the handtruck of bricks last summer, which I have related here before. That might still correct itself, though.
None of my scars are particularly impressive. Mark (appendectomy), my mom (multiple back surgeries), my aunt Lisa (knee surgery), my aunt Kathy (hand through a window), and my ex, Simon (various skateboarding accidents, including one in which a bamboo shoot went through his cheek) all have much more impressive ones. But they are mine, and the stories behind them are pieces of my past (most of which, upon reading them over, make me look like a pretty clumsy moron, but hey, if the shoe fits...). Don't you feel like you know me better now?