In hindsight, the pediatrician I saw as a kid wasn’t the kind of guy that instilled confidence or comfort in people, especially when it came to diagnosing them with medical concerns. He looked and acted like a lead character from Revenge of the Nerds. Sure, we all want a doctor who has a strong grasp on medical knowledge, but we also want somebody who looks old enough to shave and who could handle himself in a fisticuffs match with a ten year old girl. It was also blatantly obvious that somewhere along the way he’d clearly been told to work on his bedside manner. As a result, his attempts at small talk and calming banter were always over the top and uneasy. I’m not sure when I experienced my first awkward silence as a kid, but if I was a gambling man, I’d sure as hell pick his office as my best guess.
The story I got from him was always the same. He’d walk in, always fumbling with my chart as if it were made of butter, and break into a smile as he saw me. You could practically hear his brain talking and reassuring him that this would be an easy one. “Hell yes! He has a birthmark on his face! Phew, I can just mention that my brother has one and then get on with the examination!” How many times did I hear the story that his brother had a birthmark that covered half of his face? Beats me, but years later, I can’t remember his name or what his office looked like or even the sickest I might have been when I saw. But damn if I don’t still remember his brother had a birthmark that covered half of his face and it was the same color as mine and there were procedures to remove them if I wanted and did I mention it was the same color as mine and that it was on his brother, but not him because he wasn’t his brother and that ;lkjsdfk
Sorry, I slipped out of consciousness there from boredom.
I never notice my birthmark. Ever. I look in the mirror and either see nothing, since I’m not wearing my contacts, or I see a stunningly, amazing body that is ripped to perfection. Every few weeks I even notice that it’s time to shave! And anybody who has actually seen my body may now commence in shutting the hell up. But my birthmark? I literally don’t see it anymore. Which is why it took me a few paragraphs before I realized this article telling people how to live with a birthmark wasn’t satirical. Somebody actually took the time to write an article about living with a birthmark. Like it’s the same as living with autism or diabetes!
Hell, let me save you the trouble of reading the stupid thing. I can tell you how I live with a birthmark quite easily. I wake up, get dressed (I even wear pants if it’s a special occasion), go about my day, continue to be awesome no matter what, and then go to bed. How might I live if I didn’t have a birthmark? Um…I’d, um…yeah, I’m gonna have to get back to you on that one.
It’s weird too, because every time my pediatrician would launch into his speed rant, I’d hold up a hand and cut him short. Thanks, but no thanks. I loved my birthmark and I didn’t need any brochures about removing it. Yet here on Shyzer, spanning over 700 plus posts, I’ve mentioned my birthmark a whopping one time and even then it was a simple throwaway line to a bigger story. I’ve struggled to come up with posts for more than five years and settled on things from my brother commenting on the bubbles I make while peeing to the eating habits of Australians, but somehow my birthmark fell through the cracks. Yet you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming if you tried to forcibly remove it. Huh, go figure.
I didn’t even think there were any stories in my past where my birthmark played a central role, yet as I thought about it today, one by one a memory would flicker back into focus. I remember a bully in preschool, in a weak attempt to make fun of and embarrass me, once asked if it was where a tiger tried to kill me. I kinda threw him for a loop when I answered, “yes. That’s the scar from when I almost died.” Ten minutes later, I finished telling a harrowing tale of where a baby tiger escaped from his pen and almost mauled me to death. After that, the kids always gave me first dibs at playing with the blocks. Hahaha, even as a kid I was a sarcastic dick. There’s the story of the chick who once asked me if she could kiss and make out with my birthmark. Yeah, that was pretty much the end of that date. I almost wish I’d stuck with her just to see what other stories I might have gained from her clinical craziness. I even have a running gag with some of my friends where every time they see me, they point to my face and say I have something on it and we go through a much longer than needed process that is only funny to us where I try to wipe it off. Good times.
I guess I can understand the aforementioned article though. It’s not even that bad of an article. I guess the aura of a birthmark comes from the fact that 99% of people don’t have one. I can dig and understand that. More than 50% of people have boobs and yet I’m still mesmerized by them, so how can I be one to judge somebody who has questions about a simple birthmark?
For me, it’s pretty damn simple. It’s mine and only mine. The odds of me coming across somebody with the same colored eyes or haircut or shirt are astronomically higher than coming across somebody with the same red splotch on the same part of their face and being the same size. It’s part of my trademark, something that nobody can take from me, but that which is one of the few things I can proudly wear on my sleeve – er, face – for all to see. Even if I don’t see it myself anymore. Maybe this article was worth stumbling across after all.