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.