In high school, when we were learning SAT vocabulary, one of my teachers told the class that to remember what “macabre” means, “just think of Rachel.” To this day I’m not sure if I should be proud of or offended by that. But I can’t say it isn’t accurate. I’ve always had a thing for blood and death. Now don’t get me wrong, I HATE gross gory movies. I’m not interested in guts. But I do love suspense and tasteful use of blood. In other words, I won’t watch Saw movies, but I’m in love with Alfred Hitchcock.
I was that kid that never broke a bone but always wanted to. I read Poe to my sisters every Halloween. In the Theater Magnet School I attended as a teen, I excelled at makeup and after I graduated I was still called in to help brew up some fake blood for the yearly haunted house. I don’t like to be gross, but I’ve always thought blood was beautiful, and scars were tiny portrayals of the most epic times of people’s lives. I’m quite fond of most of the scars I’ve got. Seeing all this written out, I guess my teacher was right. Macabre? Think Rachel.
I thought it’d be fun to whip up a little meme that people could fill out to show all of their scars. Invisible illness usually wins you a few, and childhood usually leaves a few marks on you. If you think about it, your life story is spelled out in scars. And of course, as a writer, I thought this might be a fun tool for fictional characters, too. So, without further ado, here’s my scar meme (I’ll post a blank version at the end for you to fill out)!
1. I have my ears pierced, which sounds dull but it’s a big deal to me. I got them pierced last year for the first time ever. Yes, at 23, I got my first earrings. I’ve always been scared to get my ears pierced, and without being stranded at a mall and loosened up by pain meds, I might have gone my whole life without ever experiencing it.
2. I have a little scar on my jaw where I had my emergency oral surgery. My throat had swollen up with a tooth infection and was in danger of closing completely. When I was put under, I was under the impression we’d just pull that sucker out. As I slowly came to, I felt my face and it was all bandaged up! From checking out, to the car ride home, to being settled on the couch, I asked my husband over and over “What’s on my face?” He says he answered the first 12 times before just saying “shh shh, lay down” until the meds wore off and my brain was braining again. A couple hours later, I was given a mirror and hubby explained that they had to put a drain through my jaw to get all the fluid out so I could breathe. I didn’t take it well.
3. This really needs to be it’s own blog post, but as a teen I struggled with self harm. I never wanted pain, in particular, just the control over myself when I had control over little else. The endorphins made me feel better and, as aforementioned, I loved the sight of blood anyway. The scars are very light and trivial, and I no longer struggle with this problem today. But it is ironic that as much as I love scars, my self-inflicted ones are my least favorite. They’re a reminder of weakness and dark times. There is no good story behind them, there’s not even really a story behind them period. It was just my response to what lots of teens go through – depression, confusion, and disillusionment. I sometimes still think of cutting, but I’m very aware that it’s not a mature answer to whatever the real problem is. And of course I know it’s easy to say this in retrospect, at the time it was all very difficult… but I digress.
4. Endosisters will recognize this scar – it’s my laparoscopy scar! I’ve so far had two. I used to think this scar was quite cute after my first surgery. I thought it looked like this emoticon: =I which a friend suggested looks like a psyduck’s face.
My second surgery cut the incision in the same place, so now it’s a big lumpy ugly scar. But I might just feel that way because of the emotions behind the two surgeries – the first made me feel much better, while the second didn’t seem to help at all.
5. This is the second incision from the two laparoscopies. In contrast to the first, though, I never liked this one. It’s always been a dull purple color, very poofed up, it’s always hurt more than the other, and it’s in such an intimate place! I guess I’m glad no one else’s eyes are ever assaulted by it since hubby is the only one who ever sees it. But he’s also the only person I really care about looking nice for.
6. This might be my favorite scar and I actually almost forgot to include it! It’s very hard to see because it’s not lines, it’s these freeform blotches. You’d probably only ever notice them because they’re slightly shiner than the rest of my skin. I got these while I was in CATS in high school. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have never been a part of anything more fun or rewarding.
I got together with my now husband, who was playing Skimbleshanks –
And of course, I got to dance, wear fun costumes, and sing with all my best friends. This was one of the happiest times of my life. And I’ve got a great scar and story to commemorate it. Now, this show was prone to accidents. I fell off of a twelve-foot ladder but that left me unscathed (other than getting the attention of a boy who would one day marry me). No, I got these scars doing one of my favorite parts of the show. At the very beginning, we recite “The Naming of Cats,” and about 1/4 of the cast actually crawled over the audience. OVER the audience. Everyone else stayed onstage or in the aisles, while we learned to walk on the arm rests and chair backs without stepping on humans or accidentally straddling their heads. Being a little slip of a thing, I was on the crawl crew. Our director was very strict with us, and said that if any of us fell or stepped on the human part of the chairs even in rehearsal, we would be immediately removed from this number and never allowed to perform it again – they would take no risks.
So one day we were running through the number in dress rehearsal and I was catting along. Usually I stayed in the middle of the section, but this time I happened to travel to the edge of the chairs along the row. I stepped on an armrest and it snapped right off! Since I’d just shifted all my weight to that foot, I went tumbling down and caught my hand on the jagged metal remains of the arm rest. I was HORRIFIED, not because my hand was now gushing blood onto the carpet, but because I was sure to be kicked out of the routine! I peeked over the chairs and spotted our director looking in another direction. He hadn’t seen me fall! I could lay low and play it cool and he’d never find out. It’s not like I’d actually made a mistake, the thing broke! I knew I wouldn’t fall again.
Of course, I’d fallen almost on top of the girl playing Grizzabella and she was scared to death. She wordlessly pawed at me (staying in cat character) and I just gave her a quick smile before cat-hobbling away. Backstage I casually acted like “What? Bleeding? Oh it’s fine, don’t worry.” Until the stage manager got a hold of me and demanded I get bandaged up. I was sad to miss part of rehearsal, but the director never found out and I got to stay on the climbing team. I also hit my elbow and know it was bleeding too, but if it has a scar I can’t see it. If it’s there, it’s in my weird little elbow blind spot.
7. This scar is my coolest one. This is from this time I was IMPALED. Oh yeah, I was impaled. Not many people can say that, you know. I was probably 8 or 9 years old and running around the yard with my childhood dog Merry.
I tripped and fell onto a stick. A sharp stick that was half-burried in the ground. I remember rolling over and seeing this thing embedded in my knee, along with a lot of mud and dirt. I honestly can’t remember it hurting. I do remember pulling it out of my knee. For some reason I also remember being afraid I’d get in trouble for this. I don’t know why, maybe I wasn’t supposed to be outside or something. Anyway I went in with my tail between my legs to tell mom. I don’t think she was mad. She cleaned it up and got a bandaid on. Once she uncaked all the mud it started bleeding and that made me cry – I guess before that I didn’t really think I was hurt that bad. It’s a big, grizzly scar now. I probably really should have gotten stitches, but I was walking, not crying, and only shed a few tears during clean up, so at the time it didn’t occur to me. I also didn’t tell mom I got impaled, I just mumbled something about falling down. Ah, childhood.
8. Mom always said not to scratch my mosquito bites until they bled, but they were soooo itchy! Plus who cares if you have a few dots on your ankles for life? Not me. Until I got married and got the shoe pictures. Probably shouldn’t have scratched so hard.
I want to see your scar meme! Below you’ll find a blank version that you can fill in using photoshop, MS paint, or even word! Just download it and draw on the little marks, and if you’d like to share your stories be sure to number them! If you do fill it out, send me a link so I can like and comment!