Love Me, Love My Scar
Remember my monkey bite? And how I visually chronicled the miraculous healing of the 1.5-cm deep, unstitched wound? Well, after 4 months, one cortizone shot, nightly applications of Kelo-cote and lots of massaging per my doctor's orders, it has settled into a nice, flat, 1/2-inch long, pinkish-red linear scar. And you know what? It has grown on me (so to speak) - to the point where I'm no longer seriously considering having a laser treatment next month to reduce the redness. I figure, minimizing this beauty of a blemish would be like deleting the pics I took on my Thailand trip, or burning some of the glorious goods I scored at Chiang Mai's night market. Why would I want to destroy such a unique memento of a story I will be telling for the rest of my life? If I intentionally fade out the scar, what would I have to show my grandkids as a visual aid? Who knows whether internet video will still be around 50 years from now.
Perhaps more significantly, the thin red line on my left bicep is a loud, proud
reminder of the pluck and prowess it took for me to fully seize a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and venture into foreign territory
overrun by wild monkeys. It also represents the same gusto with which I
have spontaneously performed at a burlesque club, slapped a frat boy
and fibbed my way to fourth row at a Rolling Stones concert. It's my
mark of moxie, my badge of courage, my symbol of spunk. Minimizing it
would be an act of self-negation.
On my brunch date this past weekend (the same one where the guy let me pay for my half - go
figure), I noticed, as I do with everyone else who is seeing my scar
for the first time, that he kept glancing down at my arm. Noting the
obvious curiosity, as I usually do, I verbally called attention to the
mark and how it has progressed in recent months. When I got to the part
where my dermatologist said I could have it reduced, he nodded
emphatically, and agreed (a little too excitedly), "Yeah, yeah!" Then I
told him how I considered the scar a part of me, and explained why I
was probably not going to go the laser route. His face fell somewhat
and eventually he said, "Oh, I guess I see what you mean." Yeah, buddy.
It's MY arm, MY scar, and I'M ok with it.
my battle mark should be a sort of dating litmus test. The way a guy
reacts to both it and the story behind it could be, after all, pretty
revealing about him as both a person and a potential boyfriend. Is he
too into my physical appearance? If he is repelled by this "fault" on
my body, what happens when my legs become laced with spider veins, my
hands dappled with age spots (that is, if I were to actually let him
go the distance with me)? Or is he fascinated by my story, my sense of
adventure and bravado? Overcome with awe and respect at the way I shun
physical "perfection" in favor of individuality, authenticity - in
short, my penchant for "being real"? Guess which type of guy I will deem worthy of a second date!
The other type? Can kiss my keloid.