Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Friend the Stretchmark

Frankly, I was insulted.  “Go away,” I said, “you don’t belong here.”  But my squiggly little stretchmark just stared back at me from the inside of my right thigh as if to say, “Someday you’ll learn to love me because, you know, you and I are in this together.”  Yeah right, I thought back.  But from that moment on, I’ve got to admit, we were inseparable. 

My friend the stretchmark has seen me through some rough times.  Like the time we discovered back fat together in a three way mirror at a Target.  “We can get back fat too???”  I asked annoyed.  “I know right?” said my stretch mark, “I didn’t even know that was a thing!” 

As I got older, squiggly little strangers began to appear on my bum and although I’m not quite as friendly with them, I rarely have to see them and we almost never speak except the occasional, “how’s the weather down there?” sort of chit chat.  My butt happens to be pretty great, so a few thin white lines were to be expected.  I mean really, what self-respecting stretchmark wouldn’t want to live there? 

Then came the little brown spot on my face.  People always ask me if it is a bruise but  really it is just a collection of cute little freckles.  I tried to kill it with creams, and we had unkind words with each other, and then we both just moved on and let each other exist.  “I forgive you,” my freckle collection said.  “I forgive you too,” I responded. 

Then came the surgery scars, and I was really mad at them for ruining my flat little tummy, but they assured me they were only there to help me.  In fact, they did kind of, you know, save my life.  But what they really meant was that they would help me except my body as I got older and it continues to change.  They were right of course, and nothing really fazes me now.  The truth is it actually was kind of a relief to get to give up the responsibility of trying to be perfect, because those scars were a reminder that not only was that not possible, it wasn’t necessary.   I think I saw my little scar smile right through where it had warped my belly button when I finally figured that one out.

My friend the stretchmark has a little sister now, just as squiggly and white and still only on my right thigh.  She’s okay, but they must like having each other for company because I rarely hear my old friend anymore at all.  I mean, we'll always be friends, but she’s just not on my mind as much anymore, and I think that’s fine because I’ll never forget what she taught me.  The best kind of friends are the ones you learn from.  

Even though we don’t talk, my stretchmark and I still go everywhere together.  In the summer, I even let her out in the sun from time to time.  We especially enjoy swimming together in the ocean because the water makes us feel free.  We spend a lot of time feeling free these days, and that’s a wonderful feeling for us both.  My friend the stretchmark, and me. 

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