Saturday, August 30, 2008

I beat myself up, I don't need anyone else to do it for me

I bruise pretty easily, and I always have. Unfortunately I also have a terrible memory, so when I get a really ugly, looks-like-it-came-from-a-fight bruise, I can very rarely tell people what happened. My senior year of college, my bedroom was set up so that I was constantly knocking my shins into my bedposts, so those bruises were easy to account for. But for about two months last year I had perpetual bruises on my forearms, and to this day I haven't figured out where they came from. The steering wheel of my car? My desk at work? Flailing around wildly in my sleep? I am wondering just as much as the people who asked me about them.

Working at Target has done two things. First, I am way more bruised than I have ever been in my entire life. I run my ankles and shins into shopping carts. I bang my arms on boxes and doors. I drop things and am just generally clumsy. It's just not pretty. But second, I have learned to mentally take note when I hurt myself so I can recount the event later. For example: last week at work I misjudged a corner and ran into it while opening a door. I said to myself, "aha! THIS will be a bruise, and I will know where it came from."

And I am so glad I have learned to do that, and so glad that I made that specific mental note, because last night I was at a bar, and I was waiting to pay for my drink when a guy turned to me and said, "what happened to your arm?"

I have to admit, I swelled with pride because I knew the answer. "I ran into a door at work," I said. "I'm pretty clumsy."

He looked at me skeptically. "A door."

"Yes!" I cried. "I guess it sort of looks like I got knocked around, doesn't it."

He eyed my roommate and his brother, who I happened to be standing with. "Yeah, it does."

I reassured him, but I'm sure it's hard to believe my story (a door? REALLY?) if you don't know that I am constantly hurting myself. And I guess it didn't help that I had just been play-fighting with my roommate about 30 seconds before our conversation started.

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