Ask the grumpies: scar, mole, or tattoo?

Leah asks:

Scar, mole, or tattoo?  Any cool stories surrounding those?

#1 has a lot of scars (mostly on my hands) and a lot of moles and no tattoos.  I keep meaning to write up a thing about why I will never have a tattoo or get my ears pierced or really do any sort of body ornamentation.  I suspect in another society it would be considered a psychological disorder.  Fortunately in this society nobody notices the absence.

I don’t know that I have any cool stories.  My moles were merely one of the reasons I was teased as a child.  One scar is from dropping a brick on my finger at swimming (we had to bring bricks up off the pool floor).  Another scar is from breaking a glass with my wrist when play-wrestling one of my college almost-boyfriends (I think he found me smart, physically attractive, but annoying).  My largest scar is from when I got a linoleum carving set for Christmas and the carver slipped and cut my left palm open from edge to edge.  I probably should have gotten stitches, but my grandma was a nurse and just bandaged it up.  I think could see my tendons.  I almost passed out–maybe I did.  I still used the set later and made some pretty nice Christmas and Birthday cards, just with heavy duty gloves.  I have a lot of memories from childhood that probably should have been traumatic but I was very good at dissociating.

#2:  I have no cool stories. Sorry.


11 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: scar, mole, or tattoo?”

  1. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    The only scar I really remember the origin of is that time I stupidly (and still don’t know why I did it in the first place which is what frightens me about children and their moments of lack of reason or judgment) set a piece of a plastic bag on fire, and a dollop of flame separated from the larger flame as you would expect it to do and fell on my knee. Oddly I don’t have a scar from the time I slashed my palm open trying to open a clamshell with my Swiss Army knife.

    I am curious about your reasons for no body ornamentation.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Just skeeves me out. Like, why would I put a hole in my ears? I just don’t get it. (I know they can close up, but they can also leave scars when closing and closing is different for different people.) I also have control issues, and something permanent feels like I’m losing control. (Temporary tattoos don’t skeeve me out, but I also don’t see the need for one for myself. But I don’t have a visceral reaction to the idea. Also, I don’t have negative reactions to other people’s bodily ornamentation except for some of the more out-there stuff (ex. anything that connects a gentleman’s member to another part of his body))

  2. accm Says:

    I have a scar on my knee that is a daily reminder to look ahead when biking. (There was a speed bump involved, and there may be a piece of gravel lodged near my kneecap forever.) I wasn’t brave enough to get my ears pierced until my 30s. Once it was actually done, I was much less weirded out by the idea of having holes in my body.

  3. Dame Eleanor Hull Says:

    My mother was so opposed to my getting my ears pierced that actually having that done was my huge act of rebellion, and once it was over, I mainly adopted her views on further piercings and tattoos (which are similar to yours—however, she did get her ears pierced a couple of years after I did! Her objections had a lot to do with her mother thinking piercings were low-class). I hate seeing those huge ear plugs that “kids these days” are getting, though I don’t mind extra ear piercings. I think my problem is that I think too much about pain and possibilities for infection, because I also hate the idea of surgery for anything but the most strictly medically necessary procedures. I admire people who will donate kidneys, for example, but I don’t think I could bring myself to it for anyone but my husband.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I will say that it wasn’t until a teenager that I started feeling squicked about pierced ears– prior I’d assumed I’d get them and a lot of girls started getting permission in their early teens. And I saw so much infection and one girl in my PE class had her earlobe ripped in two. After that I wasn’t particularly interested. But that only got me thinking about piercings and other body modification in general… I’m not sure by itself it would have been enough to keep me from getting pierced ears.

      One thing about not having pierced ears– nobody notices. I got earrings as birthday presents throughout my pre-teen/teen years. As an adult that’s just one more thing I don’t want to have to keep track of. My wedding ring is enough! So even without the squick factor I wouldn’t do it.

      If I couldn’t wear a wedding ring or if it were more common, I would get a wedding ring tattoo. Apparently I’m ok with some permanent body modification.

  4. Leigh Says:

    I have no tattoos. I did get my ears pierced when I was a kid, but I only briefly cared about earrings. I’m so good at losing them because I forgot I was even wearing them that I finally stopped wearing them last fall and it is very freeing. I’m glad my parents let it be my choice to have my ears pierced. I don’t think parents should make body modification decisions like that for their children. I do have hundreds upon hundreds of moles. So far, I’ve never had any removed, but I go to the dermatologist annually and she takes pictures of them for my file.

    Oh! I have a scar from opening non-frustration-free packaging of an electronic gadget back in college. It’s still there more than 10 years later… I clearly no longer have the device though.

  5. First Gen American Says:

    I have a scar on my hand that I got as a baby. My dad who was supposed to be watching me while my mom was at work was so drunk that he burned me with his cigarette without even noticing. I have lots of scars on my legs and knees from my tomboy days.

    I call my younger son ax leg because I let him use a hatchet to chop away at an old stump. He loved it, til he missed and chopped his shin. Bad mom. The not so funny part is I did the exact same thing to myself with a bigger ax about 10 years ago so I should have known better. Shins are incredibly tough though.

    What a cringeworthy post. Are there ever good scar stories?

    I would get a tattoo if I could think of something I’d still want on my body at 80.

    • Debbie M Says:

      I have a scar on my knee from roller skating. My best friend had fallen directly in front of me, and I made the valiant choice to leap over her rather than slam into her. So I think that’s a good story, except for the part about not sticking the landing at all. Also, my mom bandaged it instead of bringing me to get stitches (maybe 2 would have been ideal), and it totally worked, so she was my hero for that (among many other reasons).

      I had a friend who slipped in the shower as a teen, breaking the shower door, which cut up his back. When asked, he tells a story about a bear attack.

      Less great stories: scars from getting half my thyroid removed and three bits of skin cancer removed.

      And now y’all have me thinking of tattoos that would compliment moles. Like tattoo petals around a mole.

      I do have moles but have no interest in tattoos.

      As for piercings, my mom said I had to wait until I was 18. I had no interest in getting stabbed on purpose just for earrings–until I was 18, ha ha. I do love wearing sparkly stud earrings, and they hurt less than earrings for unpierced ears (now that my ears have healed). This was not a gateway piercing for me, though. Like Dame Eleanor Hull, my mom thought pierced ears were low-class, but got hers pierced a few years after I did.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        My sister got her ears pierced in her mid to late 20s. I don’t know why she put it off so long– it’s not like we had any family rules against it, I don’t think, and our mom didn’t ever say they were low-class.

  6. Zenmoo Says:

    One of my friends has a lovely tattoo of her cat on her back.

    Me, I’ve got a scar on my knee from falling over when was about 7 (and then I fell over again and broke the stitches)

  7. chacha1 Says:

    I’ve got a pretty good scar on the outside of my left knee, from surgery to remove a bone cyst when I was 13. It is not as impressive as the shoulder-surgery scar (from repairing dislocation) that my husband has.

    One day I think I might like to get a tattoo. Slowly narrowing down the possible locations and designs.

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