When I was in ninth grade I had to have minor surgery on the ball of my foot. Typically, if I injure myself in any way I will milk the injury for as much attention as I can. When I was in college, I sprained my ankle and based on the weeks that followed, you’d think I had broken my foot in five places. While most sprains don’t require crutches, I used mine for two weeks then limped around for an additional month. You get more pampering if your injuries are more evident.
So when the doctor offered me some crutches to use while my foot healed after my surgery and to alleviate the pressure that came from walking on it I was pretty stoked.
The crutches meant I could get out of class five minutes early, could have a friend carry my books to my next class, I could cut in front of the lunch-line, I could use the handicapped elevator that required a special key, and I could potentially get as much attention from my peers as Lady Diana got when she shopped at our local JCPenney that one time.
The day after my surgery, I arrived at school with my best friend who carried my books. As we made our way through the halls, kids moved to the sides, forming a kind of Soul Train Line, to let me swing through. If I had felt better I might have spun around. They called out questions. What happened? Are you okay? I soaked up the attention like Cher on the red carpet…except I was wearing more than a fish net and I had left the giant fluffy black mane at home.
Why are you on crutches? Did you sprain your ankle? I pushed through my fans, unable to stop as the crutch pads were beginning to chafe my armpits.
I loved the attention…until my first period class.
Someone asked again, “Why are you on crutches?”
This is where I made the biggest mistake of the day.
I answered truthfully.
“I had a plantar wart removed.”
“A what? Did you say a wart? That’s naaaaasty.”
Shrinking back, I said, “Yeah, but I had it removed.”
She continued, “Did you kiss a frog?” Then yelling to another girl, “Sabrina! Did you know she had a wart cut off? Ain’t that naaaaasty?”
Sabrina walked over, “Is it contagious? Cuz I don’t want no foot fungus.”
Cringing and shrinking more, “It’s not foot fungus. It was just a wart. And it’s gone now.”
Sabrina said, “Mm-hmm.”
Throughout the rest of the day kids asked me what had happened to my foot. And since I had already told the truth I felt like I couldn’t lie without it being obvious. I wished I had Cher’s giant fluffy black mane to hide my face. And I couldn’t wait to get off those stupid crutches.
Epilogue: Years later the wart came back. I had it surgically removed again in my mid-twenties. It came back again two years later. I used Compound W that time. And like an old reliable friend, it has come back every two years ever since. I know, I’m too sexy for my…shoes.
This post is part of Finish The Sentence Friday.