I’m not entirely sure if this is even a faux pas, but I really need some advice on how to handle this. First, a little background: When I was a child, I had a necessary surgery done on my face that left a rather large and noticeable scar. I’ve lived with it for almost my entire life, so I and the rest of my family are used to it, and, consequently, I didn’t realize how noticeable it actually is until I took a job in customer service. Random people comment on it all the time now. They range from the clueless: “You know, I support and donate money to X charity. They specialize in helping people with X condition.” He meant well, but I did not have the condition he specified, though my scar does look similar to one that someone with X condition would have, so I can see how he could make that mistake. To the somewhat rude: “I know a plastic surgeon that could fix that for you. Here is his business card.” (Believe me lady, if I could fix it, I would’ve already.) Most people, however, just want to know how I got it. It’s really embarrassing. I don’t feel like I should have to divulge my life story to them, but I don’t know how to politely avoid answering such questions. Please help me! I know it’s impossible to keep people from commenting on something I’d rather forget, but I would really like to go a day without explaining myself to random strangers. 0809-13
My husband has a rather obvious surgery scar in the middle of his chest from a childhood operation. It looks like his heart was cut out of his chest and then sewn back together with crude stitches. When random strangers at the pool or beach ask him what happened to cause that epic scar, he responds, “Shark attack”. It is obviously not a shark bite so what he has done is somewhat humorously and gently sent the message that it’s really none of their business how that scar got there. There can be a kind, even gentle way of rebuffing people who ask impertinent questions. People obtuse enough to not catch the subtle hint and continue asking are met with silence.