Author Topic: Where Did The Scar Come From?  (Read 9707 times)

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Kimblee

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2013, 12:35:36 PM »
I had major surgery just over two months ago.  I have a very noticeable scar across the front of my neck.  I assume it will dissipate in time, but right now, it is very visible. 


I can't count the number of times people have asked me how I got it.  I hate the scar enough, I know it is there without people reminding me of it and rudely asking how I got it.


I have just answered truthfully about the surgery I had (double neck fusion), but honestly, I am getting tired of answering people who rudely ask this question. 


Any suggestions for polite comebacks to shut them up?
"Bar fight."

"What scar?"

"Well, there I was, the only one who could save the plane full of orphaned babies and nuns from the terrorists..."

"I fell into some bean dip."

"Cylons."

"I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you."  (Related:  "Oh, just my past as a sleeper agent catching up with me.")

"Oh, comes with the territory when you wrestle gators."

"You tell me how you got yours first!"

"I... I don't want to talk about it.  Just never let me near a mango again."

"I'm auditioning for the next Batman movie, and I'm a method actor."

"What, this old thing?  (touch scar) It's just something I threw on."

Nothing.  Just stare at them with a quizzical expression, like you don't know what they're talking about.

And my personal favorite... "Cut myself shaving.  Have you tried the bean dip?"

A friend's daughter has something similar. (She was exposed to her allergen and her throat closed and swelled until the paramedics couldn't get a "feel" for a tracheotomy. So the sliced the skin from one side to the other so they could see what they were doing. :o She wears a lot of thick ribbon necklaces these days.)

Her hands down favorite reply is; "I couldn't stop asking dumb questions so they took out my voice box." (This only works if you now have a soft whispery voice. Or can fake one.)
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Amara

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2013, 01:14:05 PM »
Another thing just occured to me based on Minmom3's post. Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver, always wore a pearl necklace and the reason was a a scar she had. If you google "why did june cleaver always wear a pearl necklace?" you'll find, among other returns, a short video interview with her that addresses the wardrobe and jewelry of the character.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2013, 01:20:11 PM »
Her hands down favorite reply is; "I couldn't stop asking dumb questions so they took out my voice box." (This only works if you now have a soft whispery voice. Or can fake one.)

*snort*  I love this one.

I think if I was asked where I got my scar and I didn't feel like telling them, I'd ask, 'Why do you want to know?'  And let them splutter a bit.  Then, 'How about that local sports team?' to change the subject.

(I have a long scar on the side of my neck from a melanoma removal surgery in 1999.  It fades into the crease now, so that people don't notice it unless I point it out.  But I was kind of ticked and tickled at the same time when my brother saw it for the first time, about 5 months after my surgery.  'What the hell happened to you?'  Ticked, because he was pretty rude, tickled because it was cool that he'd forgotten that I'd had cancer.  My Mom gave him what for.  He was suitably abashed but overall, the entire episode was pretty funny.)
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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2013, 01:27:37 PM »
I quite like the idea of just saying "Why?"

Seems to me that it would bring home to them what a dumb question it was. I think the problem with "I don't want to talk about it" is that it's just bound to arouse curiosity and probably make people imagine much more lurid explanations than a surgical procedure.  I would not want people imagining or gossiping that, for example, I'd been a victim of domestic violence, or a street attack, or an attempt at self harm etc etc. Surgery is really about the most tame reason why you'd have a scar, but people love to jump to the most melodramatic and juicy conclusions.

TootsNYC

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2013, 02:11:04 PM »
I had my thyroid removed and had a nice red scar for a year before it faded. 

I used the following:
-- the truth
-- Neck surgery
-- bar fight
-- I can't talk about it (said with eyes cast downward)

No one really cares.  Make something up or tell the truth.

I had thyroid surgery on Friday, the 13th of June.

I told people that I'd been an extra in the movie "Friday the 13th Part II," which had been filmed that summer (nowhere near me), and there was an accident.

I told people that I'd been riding a snowmobile on summer break and we hit a barb wire fence.

Or I said, "Oh, thyroid surgery." I didn't mention the cancer.

And I once told an acquaintance, " I really don't want to answer your question--please stop prying. And no, don't make assumptions about how emotionally upset I am by your questions."

Among them can be, "I'm sorry--do we know each other personally?"

cheyne

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2013, 02:58:12 PM »
sparksals, I am sorry that you hate the scar so much.  I promise it will fade in time.  I also promise that it doesn't detract from your looks, personality, humor, warmth or anything about you. 

Some people are just curious and have no filter.  They will ask anyone personal questions and expect answers.  I would go with the humorous responses offered by PP's.  Said in a deadpan voice with a serious expression, a humorous response will stop the Nosy Nellies in their tracks.


sparksals

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2013, 03:01:23 PM »
Like previous posters, I'm a fan of humor. The fact of the matter is that people are probably going to ask. Unless you start wearing scarves or turtlenecks (not very seasonal), they'll see it.

I do enjoy the idea of pretending you don't know what they are talking about. I might also explain how I got a different scar. "Oh, this?" (pointing to the faint scar on my finger) "I cut myself in the kitchen."

I might also say, very seriously, "There can be only one."


This is what I am wondering.  Isn't it rude for them to ask?  I would NEVER comment on a visible scar on someone's face/neck, especially on someone I don't know.  My friends obviously know about the surgery.  Some have mentioned the scar, others haven't. I actually prefer the ones who don't, but  I don't really mind if other friends mention it because they knew about the surgery and tell me they  notice it is healing up etc.


The problem I have is complete strangers asking.  I just wouldn't do it. 

sparksals

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2013, 03:02:06 PM »
I too have a scar that people ask about.  By now though I can honestly just say "it's old."  No one presses any further.

For now, something like "it's just a scar" would indicate that the person asking was heard but that you don't plan on answering the question.

I do understand finding people rude to ask about the scar.  The question makes sense from a good friend but I know that too often I am asked by people who don't really know me or who completely do not know me.


Yes!  I don't get it. 

MrTango

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2013, 03:07:14 PM »
For friends/family, I'd say "It's a surgical scar.  Please do not mention it again."

For anyone else, I'd give a 1-word answer, "No."

sparksals

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2013, 03:07:19 PM »
I too have throat scaring. I hope sharing my experience helps you a bit, OP...

I got mine from an extensive accident at age 15, a rather delicate point of life when it comes to personal looks, let me assure you! First, I'd like to say that yes it does fade a lot eventually.  Second, most people genuinely don't mean anything by it, and will often offer their own stories or condolences for your experience. I condensed my story into a one liner and said it often enough it wasn't painful anymore. For anyone who pushed about "what a shame about your looks" (yes they did and yes I thought it hogwash even then) I'd cheerfully mention that they never better see me in a bikini as the damage was fairly extensive. Then excuse myself. ( Happy story, most of it is hidden by baby stretch marks now.)

Out of all the prying strangers, one became exceedingly disgusted, you could see the look on her face change as she realized the scarring was real. She asked me if I could cover with a scarf (no, I was in a work uniform), or makeup (no, the scars were new enough all makeup attempts resulted in pain). I joked I was going to tattoo barbed wire on my throat when I turned 18. She shut her mouth and never came through my grocery line again. I did see her speaking animatedly to a supervisor and gesturing at me, but the supe never said anything to me and I knew the store didn't hire us for our looks so I guess her complaint was found without merit.

I did start wearing a lot more turtlenecks to school though.


Thank you for your story Jones.  Such a delicate age for you to go through that.   


You are right.  One of the people who asked was the lady at Ulta.  Turns out her daughter has a similar, but larger scar from Thyroid surgery.  She asked if mine was from that... so I can see how hers was from personal experience and I was in Ulta, so she made suggestions on products to help minimize it.  I didn't mind her asking t b/c I was in a beauty store, she was being helpful and had great suggestions to help it. 


I'm not a turtleneck or scarf person... I do wear them in the winter, it is summer now, so not realistic.  I shouldn't have to cover them to shut people up b/c I believe they shouldn't be asking. 

sparksals

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #40 on: June 04, 2013, 03:08:28 PM »
Out of all the prying strangers, one became exceedingly disgusted, you could see the look on her face change as she realized the scarring was real.

As she realised it was real? What the heck did she /think/ it was, bodypainted  decoration?

Re the whole topic:
I sort of like the humoristic responses, though if I'm in a cranky/serious mood I might go with "Did you really just ask for details from my medical history? That is rather private!"

For everyone who has scars or who wants to become less awkward and avoid accidental rudeness regarding other people's scars: may I recommend a website/community that has many stories of how people deal(t) with their disfigurements? It's mostly about facial disfigurement but all the advice can also be useful for other scars, in my opinion. It has a lot of good advice on how to deal with your own scars and also how (not) to react to other people's scars.
It's called Changing Faces. https://www.changingfaces.org.uk/Home


What a great source for help and info!  Thanks so much, Amava!


m2kbug

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #41 on: June 04, 2013, 03:17:32 PM »
I haven't seen this one yet:  "I'd lose my head if it wasn't sewn on."

sparksals

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2013, 03:23:26 PM »
Her hands down favorite reply is; "I couldn't stop asking dumb questions so they took out my voice box." (This only works if you now have a soft whispery voice. Or can fake one.)

*snort*  I love this one.

I think if I was asked where I got my scar and I didn't feel like telling them, I'd ask, 'Why do you want to know?'  And let them splutter a bit.  Then, 'How about that local sports team?' to change the subject.

(I have a long scar on the side of my neck from a melanoma removal surgery in 1999.  It fades into the crease now, so that people don't notice it unless I point it out.  But I was kind of ticked and tickled at the same time when my brother saw it for the first time, about 5 months after my surgery.  'What the hell happened to you?'  Ticked, because he was pretty rude, tickled because it was cool that he'd forgotten that I'd had cancer.  My Mom gave him what for.  He was suitably abashed but overall, the entire episode was pretty funny.)


I was told about the crease thing prior to the surgery, but mine isn't in a crease area.  I guess he cut me where he needed.. I have a rather short neck.  To me, the scar sticks out like a sore thumb.   I never thought a scar would bother me so much - I feel like I'm being vain when others have so many other worse scars or conditions. 




sparksals

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #43 on: June 04, 2013, 03:24:00 PM »
I quite like the idea of just saying "Why?"

Seems to me that it would bring home to them what a dumb question it was. I think the problem with "I don't want to talk about it" is that it's just bound to arouse curiosity and probably make people imagine much more lurid explanations than a surgical procedure.  I would not want people imagining or gossiping that, for example, I'd been a victim of domestic violence, or a street attack, or an attempt at self harm etc etc. Surgery is really about the most tame reason why you'd have a scar, but people love to jump to the most melodramatic and juicy conclusions.


Such a simple and easy response. 

sparksals

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Re: Where Did The Scar Come From?
« Reply #44 on: June 04, 2013, 03:26:19 PM »
I had my thyroid removed and had a nice red scar for a year before it faded. 

I used the following:
-- the truth
-- Neck surgery
-- bar fight
-- I can't talk about it (said with eyes cast downward)

No one really cares.  Make something up or tell the truth.

I had thyroid surgery on Friday, the 13th of June.

I told people that I'd been an extra in the movie "Friday the 13th Part II," which had been filmed that summer (nowhere near me), and there was an accident.

I told people that I'd been riding a snowmobile on summer break and we hit a barb wire fence.

Or I said, "Oh, thyroid surgery." I didn't mention the cancer.

And I once told an acquaintance, " I really don't want to answer your question--please stop prying. And no, don't make assumptions about how emotionally upset I am by your questions."

Among them can be, "I'm sorry--do we know each other personally?"


Funny you mention Friday the 13th.  My surgery was originally schedules for Friday, March 8.  They called and said the surgeon had a conflict and asked if I could do it on Wed the 13th.  I told them I am very superstitious about the number 13.  I won't get on an airplane on any 13 date, I certainly won't have surgery.  Luckily, Friday the 15th was also open and that is when I had it.


I like the 'do we know each other personally' comeback too.