the pinch

Let’s talk about scars for a second, shall we?

I am pretty sure that every mark on our bodies has a story behind it, even if we don’t know the story. And I could probably go into the emotional scars we all carry, the marks on our soul, but today something tells me that would be just too precious and I will spare you the drama. I have lots of scars, inside and out, because I’m a clumsy girl both physically and emotionally, and I get bumped a lot, and many of my bumps leave marks. I know people, like my sister Sammi, who mark more easily than I do. For Sammi it seems like every time she has even a tiny impact with the world around her, it leaves a mark that she’ll carry forever. My skin’s a tad thicker, but not by much.

I have this scar on my right forearm, this little shiny white spot that is in size and shape just a bit bigger than a grain of rice. That scar is Dawn’s fault.

Dawn moved to Windsor from somewhere else when we were in middle school. 90210 was new and very big at the time, and Dawn looked just like Kelly Taylor. She was really pretty and just bitchy enough to skyrocket herself into instant popularity. I figured I was smarter than she was, but she was just so pretty and so well-dressed. I hated her guts, I wanted to beat her at everything, and I wanted her to like me.

I don’t know that I’d say we were ever friends. It was a long time ago, but right now I remember almost nothing about her. I don’t know if we played volleyball together or if she was in band. I don’t think she ever came to my house after school, and I know I never went to hers. I do know that she sang soprano in choir with me in seventh grade, because I remember that she sat immediately to my right in class.

For some reason, one day Dawn and I found ourselves in a pinchfight during choir. This was not a popular activity at my school or anything, and I honestly don’t remember why it started. I just remember that we kept pinching each other, progressively harder, and we had so far done it without attracting any attention from the teacher. There was definitely an element of cruelty in the whole thing, as demonstrated when Dawn decided she was bored with the pinchfight and proceeded to pinch me as hard as she could, until I was bleeding rather profusely and trying not to make any noise. I was not about to risk my spot as choir director’s pet, or worse, make myself the target of open mocking from Dawn and her cool friends, so I kept my mouth shut and excused myself to the bathroom to clean up my arm.

It took forever to heal and left a scar that is still there today. If not for the pinch, Dawn is probably someone I would have forgotten soon after moving away from Colorado, but instead, I have this physical connection to her. It’s a reminder, I guess, of how perilous it can be to mess with the mean girls. Every time I notice that scar I think of Dawn.

So, what’s one of your scars with a good story?

9 Replies to “the pinch”

  1. Have you done a Google Image search for “Dawn”? Please do.

    Lo, I have two college degrees. Hence, I’m an idiot. Exhibit A: I have a scar on my forehead from cracking my head (while drunk, of course) on my own driver’s side mirror while ducking beneath a bush outside a party. It was 1 a.m. Everyone was gathered outside in a circle. They were sitting in lawn chairs and sipping brew. I went to my car for a copy of a story I’d been working on–it was a writerly party–and on the way back cut my head open.

    So I stood there puzzling over the flap of skin and the unfortunately copious blood that accompanies a head cut. I was in shadow. My friends were in shadow. “Something wrong?” one of them called out. “No,” I said. “I just realized that I’m going to go.” And I left. Forty-five minutes later, blood was still forming and the skin wouldn’t stay in place (gross) so I went and got four stitches.

    Giggling in the hospital, I wrote on the insurance form (I’m not joking): “Hit head on car ducking bush.” It took 9 months for the insurance to pay their share of the $496 hospital bill.

  2. I have a scar on my chin. I went to a skating party in elementary school and the laces on one of my skates came untied. Some kid rolled over the laces as I was making my way off the rink, causeing me to fall forward and bust my chin open on the floor. It was really disgusting. Lots of blood. I can remember feeling my exposed chin bone. I went to the emergency room for stitches, and the skating rink gave me a free pass to come back.

  3. 1) I love Hodgee, a lot.

    2) It’s true, I bruise and/or scar if someone looks at me funny….

  4. I have a very very very faint scar that runs the entire length of the front of my calf. It came from the time I was in 4th grade and shaving my legs, and my mom didn’t know I was shaving yet, and I was using her dull old disposable razor. When I peeled off the layer of skin, I felt an odd little tingle, but didn’t think much of it (not knowing proper shaving technique, I had used nothing to moisturize). Then I noticed a little white something in the razor. I picked at it, and it just kept on coming out. It was a 1/4″ wide strip of skin that was probably a foot long. I almost passed out. That’s when I noticed the blood everywhere. My parents were out and my sister and I had had a fight and she refused to help me. Good times.

  5. OMG Sandy! I was going to write about the scar on my wrist from when I poked a deep hole in it on a broken wine glass while I was pressing down the garbage to take it out to the curb. BUT! Now I want to tell you all that I did the same thing Sandy did – except it was my first Prom and I was in 9th grade. Okay, so in Canada it was Grade 9 and it was Grad night (my boyfriend was older). I was getting ready and almost to the letter, I did the same thing – used an old disposable razor and took off about a foot of my right shin. I looked stupidly at the foreign white strip on my carefully tanned legs (tanning weather was at a premium up there). What the…? I thought to myself, little red dots appearing in the white strip. Then the gush came. I realized with horror what I’d done and ran for a towel, hoping that I could quell the bleeding and miraculously heal in an hour before I had to put on my pearly light pink hose (I was wearing a pink trumpet skirt with a matching bolero jacket – I aspired to be Pretty in Pink Molly Ringwald back then). I waited til the last minute to get dressed, but there was no hope for the hose, I smeared them on the first try. I ended up with, like, nine bandaids running a ladder up my leg and to top it off, I smeared mud on my trumpet skirt getting into my date’s white van. Never has a garment been whipped off, wash-clothed, and ironed dry so quickly. Regardless, we were late for Grad night. I think my date regretted taking such a mess to his one and only big night. Boo hoo me.

  6. Three actual scars.

    1) As a toddler, I tripped and fell face-first onto a coffee table. Apparently, the one lower tooth I had popped right through the skin about half an inch below my lower lip. Bled like a geyser (as do all neck-and-up wounds), and it never healed properly. Someone once asked me if I use facial hair specifically to cover up this scar. Since I go back and forth among clean-shaven, goatee’d and bearded pretty regularly, I found this to be a dumb question.

    2) I had moderately serious back surgery 11 years ago. There’s a three-inch surgical scar on the small of my back.

    3) Five or six years ago, my elbow accidentally knocked my very expensive, very sharp carving knife off of the counter. It landed (blade down, of course) on that right angle of sorts where my shin stops and my foot starts. The path from the kitchen to the bathtub looked like a crime scene for a minute there.

    Emotional scars? Oh, let’s not even go there.

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