My Thirty-Six This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 24, 2012
“What happened? Where’d you get that?” And my personal favorite, “What’s on your forehead?” I’ve been plagued with these questions since I can remember. “Something fell on my head”, I respond, entirely unenthusiastic. The inquirer always looks eager, like I’m not telling them enough. It’s nothing personal; I just get bored repeating the same story over and over again. Sometimes I reply with “it was a shark attack” or, “I got branded by my parents” to see the reactions. But no, I didn’t get a scar from an animal attack or from cruel punishment. So, I will reveal how I actually got my scar, to finally set the story straight.

I was at Duck Beach in North Carolina, doing what a normal 18-month-old child would do. Sitting in a high chair, drooling, and wanting more attention. My infant sister, Meg, however, was in my family’s spotlight. Immediately, I began to cry. My tactic briefly worked, until my mom tricked me into eating Spaghettio’s, automatically calming me. Realizing her trick, I cried louder and pumped my legs to emphasize my disapproval. Now, I was in full on tantrum mode.

Things spiraled downhill from there. The force of my powerful thunder thighs along with a cheap high chair combined to loosen the chair’s grip from the counter. To make things worse, I remained fixated on the joy found within my circular pasta. I gripped the bowl, and pumped my legs as fast as I could. Disaster struck when I finally kicked hard enough to unclip the high chair from the table. I tumbled down, taking my Spaghettio’s with me. As I crashed to the ground, however, my beloved Spaghettio’s took its separate course, landing safely on my left temple.

I don’t know if you have ever heard a head crack open, but I cannot imagine it is a pleasant sound. I also cannot imagine my mother’s face upon seeing her 18-month-old baby, lying on the ground, bleeding from her head, covered in Spaghettio’s. I was rushed off to the hospital, riding in the ambulance with my mom, who was lucky enough to see my precious skull. When I got to the hospital, doctors stopped the bleeding and I received a whopping thirty-six stitches.

I grew up wearing my scar, sometimes proudly and other times wishing it would disappear. I’d see commercials for Mederma, a cream to fade scars, and considered buying some. Then I’d realize there was no way any lotion could hide thirty-six stitches, and I’d forget about it. Numerous times my dad has offered to arrange plastic surgery to make my scar less noticeable, but I always decline. First, because I am too scared of surgery, but also because I don’t see why I should get my scar removed. There’s nothing wrong with it, and a lot of times my hair covers it anyways.

So people can continue asking me questions about my scar, I just hope they don’t expect to hear the same answer every time.

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