Monday, May 28, 2007

Maggie Mason wrote a book...


Ahem. Anywho, sometime before Christmas 2006, Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl and Mighty Goods put out a book about blogging called Nobody Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog. I bought a signed copy straight from her site. Once it got here, I set it aside to read later and promptly got swept up in Christmas preparations. I just found it this past Friday while I was cleaning my desk. I've been reading it ever since. There are a lot of good ideas in there. Looking at my own blog, I see that I'm already doing some of the things she suggests. There are a few others that I'm going to attempt to employ. Like posting more often, for example (she writes, after leaving things silent for four days).

How about this, for instance:
Show some skin.

How did you get those scars? The one on your thumb is from when you were three and you wondered whether scissors could cut skin. The one on your stomach is from your emergency appendectomy. Your boss figured you had to be in the hospital, because it was the only reason you'd ever be late for work without calling.

Your scars indicate what type of life you've lived. Whether you're athletic, fighting for your health, or just occasionally clumsy, let each scar remind you of the story behind it.

When I first read that I thought, "Scars? I don't have any...wait. There's that one. And that one. And the one from...hmm." So here we go, starting with the head:

On the left side of my forehead, a very small thin scar right at my hairline. I got this when I was around ten years old, from Brian, the five-year-old brother of my playmate Janet. Brian used to have some sort of crush on me and this was how he announced he was over it, by smacking me in the head with a small spade. I ran home screaming, more from fear than pain--it bled a frightening amount. Headwounds do, I'm told. After I was cleaned up, Mom showed me how very tiny it was. She said I didn't need stitches, probably just a butterfly bandage. And I didn't need a tetanus shot because I'd had one the previous summer before I went to that horrible Girl Scout camp. Ugh. But that's a story for another post.

At the right eye, following (and mostly hidden by) the brow bone, a scar from an operation I had when I was just a few months old. It was to remove a cyst, a large one. If it hadn't been removed pronto I might be blind in that eye right now. Mom said the doctors didn't tell them that until after the operation was over. Didn't want them to "worry unnecessarily."

On my midsection, a trio of scars: a small one in my bellybutton, another small one on my right side, and one about two inches long on the right side of my belly. They are souvenirs of a laparoscopic surgery to remove my gall bladder. My gall bladder attacked me one spring, during a long-planned visit to my great uncle Bill at the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home down in D.C. It finally got taken out that July.

On my left knee, a faded scar from my falling on the gravel driveway of my grandparents' home in Iowa. I was seven, I think. On my right knee, a much larger, newer scar from the gravel in the parking lot of a local supermarket. They throw down gravel on top of the snow and ice around here in the winter time. It helps with traction. That is, until the ice and snow leaves. Then it's a hazard in its own right, at least to me. I skidded, landed on my right knee and cut it up, ruining my favorite pair of pants in the process. I went into the grocery store, asked for a band-aid at the customer service desk, and told them that the lot was dangerous. They gave me some song and dance about how the parking lot wasn't theirs, it belonged to the landlord. They almost wouldn't give me a band-aid until I asked them if they'd rather I bled on their floor. "Biohazard," it's a magic word.

On my left heel, an almost circular scar from a broken piece of china. I was washing dishes in my bare feet and dropped a bowl. The cat came to investigate (of course) and while I was trying to simultaneously clean up and chase her away, I stepped back onto a very large shard. Took a taxi to the emergency room, sure that I'd need stitches. Nope. They used superglue, and gave me a tetanus shot. This happened a week before Christmas 2005. I had to spend a few weeks in thermal socks and backless shoes, hoping there wouldn't be any more snow. I could just see myself losing a shoe in a snow drift.

And that's it, at least for now. Here's hoping I don't get any more.


Amy said...

Very funny.

My most embarrassing scar is about a half inch long, running along the orbit bone of my left eye socket. It looks like a Picasso crow's foot (or toe?).

One blistering hot Sunday in August, George and I drove to church and parked in our usual spot by the pine trees. George and I are yakking, I got out of the car, and felt/heard something buzzy-tickly in my right ear. YIKES!!!!!!!

As an evasive maneuver to get away from the yellowjacket about to dive into my ear canal and sting my brains, I jerked downward to the left - WHAM - into the corner edge of the still-open car door.

Immediately after the impact, I grabbed my eye and continued my downward motion, bending at the waist to avoid passing out. It was more an instinctive thing than a conscious action.

As I stood there, bent over in the lot, it took George a second or two to stop talking and ask if I was okay. I told him what happened, and bless his heart, he asked if I was bleeding. "Bless his heart" because blood and guts make him utterly nauseous.

After that, we went home, I patched myself up. We had no butterflies handy, had to cut up my own while George held paper towels to my eye. Two Advil later, we were back at mass in time for the Eucharistic prayers (communion portion).

First, I'm amazed that I didn't hit my eye. Thank you, Lord, for that.

Second, I actually bent the door frame of the car.

The worst bit, though, was starting my new job at the police station later that week, and forever memorializing the resulting shiner from this incident in my employee photo. All of the officers kept asking if my husband did that to me.

Oh. The yellowjacket was nothing more than a pine-tree branch, so I injured myself from nothing more than paranoia.

How 'bout them apples?

--V said...

Ow. Ow, ow, ow.

Hey, you really should try blogging, y'know? And before you tell me you can't, that was a blog entry right there.

Amy B said...

Yeah, okay, so maybe that's good enough for a blog entry, but I don't believe I have enough interesting material for daily entries, let alone the discipline to update the thing every day or every other day.

I am amazed that PW manages to keep her entries fresh in addition to everything else she does. She should be sainted or something.