28 November 2013

The One That Got Away

Recently I was sitting at my friend’s kitchen table. There were three of us girls, and as the conversation started to wander (kids, money) I turned it back to me.

It’s been a while since the world revolved around my surgery, and people rarely bring it up. I can’t go too long without thinking about it though, because he reminders are always there.

Firstly, there’s the 17” scar that affects the way I dress, and the way I move. I wear low riding pants and tuck in my T-shirts in to protect myself from the back of the metal button on the waistband. Also, anything more than a brisk walk and I can feel the tightness. Short bursts of running are okay, but I still feel like someone hit me in the stomach with a pie plate (I like pie). And then there are the weird Barbie boobs, that are starting to look less weird by the day. Still, I’d be an oddity in a woman’s changing room, and you can forget about a nude beach.

So friend # 1 was talking about something that was not about me. I broke in and said, ‘Does anyone want to see my scar?’ They both looked at me. ‘Sure?’ said #1 tentatively. Friend # 2 was more enthusiastic, ‘Yeah! I kinda do.' So I hiked my shirt and watched their faces.

I told ya so
‘Holy shit!’ they said in unison. With my belly exposed I watched their eyes widen and their mouths fall open. ‘It’s HUGE’, they said, ‘It looks like you were bitten by a shark!’ Their reaction was immensely satisfying.

But I was also curious about what they’d expected. Hadn’t I said it looked like I was sawed in half by a bad magician? I could have sworn I said it went from hip to hip and looked like jagged red teeth. 

So I asked, ‘What did you think it would look like?’
Friend #2 looked up at me over her glasses, ‘Well…not like this. I thought it was one of your exaggerations. You know.’

No! I did not know. ‘You thought I was exaggerating about all this?’
My friend cocked her head, ‘Well…yeah.’

Hmph. I wasn’t aware that I was an exaggerator. Interestingly, I thought that I toned things down in an attempt to make everything sound normal. Could it be that I pepper my adventures with anecdotes that are somewhat embellished? And could this be a desperate cry for attention because of my upbringing as a middle child? Perhaps I should lift up my shirt more often  - though it will be a while before I display my breasts.

So for the record, my scar really is a mother. No word of a lie.  And in the world of bites it looks like I was half eaten by a hungry Tiger Shark that was at least 12’ in length  And you should have seen the one that got away.

1 comment:

  1. ya, i wouldn't characterize you as an embellisher..at all..in fact, I've always thought you've 'peppered' with humour to , well , give the faint of heart or the "whing-ey" (yes, i'm adding an ey to soften the blow) amongst us a chance to catch up to the brutal reality of what you have and are going through..i think if you actually want to embrace the exaggerating theme you ought to come up with a grand mother of a story where-in; captain Ahab- like you slay some monster whale/shark and your scar is your legacy of survival?!..oh wait, it IS your legacy of survival! ..Nevermind. Hike that shirt up ...