I Coulda Been a Contender!

Have you ever wanted to leave a different impression on folks around you than you actually do?

Yeah, me too.

In high school, boys found me cute.  Now to all you high school age boys reading this, please note that the way to a girl’s ummm, heart, is not via the word “cute.”  By the end of my senior year, I had had it with that word.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my older sister, Judy, was seriously sexy.  Nope.  Nothing to do with that.

As I entered English class one day, my friend Jonathan was still chuckling over something adorably cute I had said or done in the class we had together earlier in the day.

“Elyse,” he said, chuckling, “you are so cute!”

“Really?” I responded.  “Damn it, I always wanted to be voluptuous.

Jonathan’s mouth, no doubt, is still hanging open.

Years later when I played basketball for a law school team (I was an honorary student at the time with gym privileges), I wanted to be tall.  Very tall.  Sadly, tallness is something you cannot fake.  Especially if you are 5 foot 2.  Damn.  And did I mention that I’m slow, too?  Yeah.  Molasses.

But I’m resourceful, so when my opposing guard, all 12 feet of her, hovered over me whenever I got down court towards my basket, I improvised.  I shot the ball from center court.  Of course I made the shot.  Alas it was before you got 3 points for such skill.

Shooting hoops is a skill that has helped me throughout my lifetime.  I am never, ever, out of reach of the trash basket.  Yes, I am that good.

As I’ve aged, though, I reluctantly accepted the fact that I would never be either voluptuous or tall.  So I wanted to be intimidating.  Physically intimidating.  At 5’2″.  You got a problem with that?

You’ll be pleased to know that now, and for the near future, I could scare the hell out of you.  Or anybody.  If only I’d remember to.

Where I live, the guys who design the roads like to pretend that we are waaaaay out in the country.  They do this by insisting on putting one lane bridges over bridges that cross streams connecting two pieces of major roads.  These road designers either have bizarre senses of humor or a sadistic streak.  Maybe both.

As you drive towards the one lane bridge, you note a white line and a “yield to oncoming traffic” sign.

(Google Image)

(Google Image)

It’s terribly quaint.  You are expected to take turns.

But this is 2014, and there are lots of overachievers around here who flunked only one course on the way to their advanced degrees:  Turn Taking.

On Sunday, I approached one of these bridges, slowed down, and stopped at the white line.  It was the oncoming car’s turn.  After the driver of the oncoming car went, I started forward to take my turn.

Flying down the hill towards me and the one lane bridge I hadn’t yet reached, was someone who didn’t know how to take turns.  And she wasn’t going to stop her Mercedes SUV for me.

My mouth ran on with some choice words, but my foot wisely pressed the brake, and the collision that would have otherwise occurred, didn’t.  But I was, pissed.  And swearing.  And really wishing that I was a frightening, imposing looking person so that I could chase after the asshole and confront her.  Yell at her.  Threaten her.  Teach her how to wait for her bloomin’ turn.

A mile down the road I stopped short and pulled over.

“SHIT!” I shouted as I realized that I had missed my chance.  My chance to stand in front of someone and scare them.  To make them wonder just what I am capable of.  To wonder if they would be able to survive an encounter with me.  All 5’2″ of me.

Because you see, these days I’m a wee bit scary looking.  I look like I’ve been in a knife fight.  Like an abused wife.  But like someone likely gave way more than she got.

Yup.  You can call me Scarface.

Remember last month when I told you about the Valentine’s gift I got? You remember, don’t you — I got melanoma!  (Although, I would have preferred flowers.)

In the intervening weeks, I’ve de-melanoma’d.  Yup, I’ve had it taken out by a plastic surgeon.  And while I will look just fine in two shakes of a dog’s tail, right now I look a bit intimidating.

OK, So I have no makeup on.  Sue me.  Just Don't Mess with Me!

OK, So I have no makeup on. Sue me. Just Don’t Mess with Me!

AND I DIDN’T USE IT!  I didn’t chase after her and make her fear for her life!  I didn’t teach her how to take turns!  Damn it!  I coulda been a contender!

*     *     *

This was just a little ditty to let you know that I had my surgery, that I am now cancer free and just fine, thank you very much.

But what about you?  Did you do what I told you? (No comments from you, Guap!)

Save your skin.  Right now.  Listen to me, and follow my instructions precisely:

  1. Go into your bathroom
  2. Take off all of your clothes
  3. Examine your skin
  4. Check spots, moles and discolorations carefully
  5. If anything doesn’t look right, if you have a bad feeling, if something is bigger or darker or just different, go to a dermatologist and have it checked out.

Even though I look pretty scary now, I won’t for long.  But I won’t forget to use what I have — I will intimidate assholes for several weeks until my scar fades.

But you know what?  The real way I’ll get back at folks who don’t know how to take turns is to take away their sunscreen.  That’ll fix ’em!


Filed under Cancer, Driving, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Humor, Melanoma, Out Damn Spot!, Stupidity, Traffic

66 responses to “I Coulda Been a Contender!

  1. Cancer free….the most beautiful words to read.


  2. So happy you are cancer free! So sorry you missed your chance to be scary! Maybe you could take a pic, then have a mask made, so you can put it on every time you want to be intimidating? I know it’s hard to do when you’re only 5’2″ – but you could tell people you got the scar in a knife fight & they should see the other guy!


    • I really do plan to come up with an assortment of lies about how I got this scar. I’m going to have sooooooo much fun with it. But it is still hard to really laugh and smile — perhaps they added Botox? — so I have to wait!

      But, Benze, worst of all, is I have to wait on a dog — I can’t lift and bend for a while and I will not not be a part of the puppyhood!


  3. So glad to hear that you are cancer free. Here in S. Florida the sun can be a killer, even if you never go near the beach. Most of the fishing guides that I know in the Keys are wearing long sleeves these days as protection from the UVs. As far as confronting a__hole drivers, I dunno. Better off to avoid the confrontation if possible I say. Half of the people down here are packing hardware and they aren’t afraid to use it. I tend to play it safe and just let go of stuff.


    • Thanks, WE! I will be wearing long sleeves for ever, too. And hats!

      As for the driver, no, I wouldn’t ever really chase someone down, except perhaps in my fantasies! And guns are way too prevalent here in Virginia, too. Ridiculously so.


  4. Glad to hear that all went well and that you found the cancer in time.


  5. Adorable may be annoying, but it beats being “interesting” … you can only hear “you have an interesting face” so many times before you kind of want to scream out loud (or at least, that’s what my sister says). LOL

    Your ouchy looks really ouchy, and it’s too bad it had to be planted right smack dab in the middle of your cheek (couldn’t be hidden on the back of your neck just below the hairline, or some other inconspicuous place?), but am really glad to know the surgery is behind you and you are cancer free today. By the way, yes, I did the mirror inspection thing, and the only oddity that I discovered was that one of my tattoos has grown longer. 🙂

    As for the intimidation factor, fear not. Perhaps you will still get another chance to put your present scary self to good use. Here’s hoping your recovery speeds right along, and you can move on to happier things soon.


    • Thanks, 99. I think we all have comments made about our appearance that sets our teeth on edge! But I am way less selective than I used to be.

      My face feels relatively fine, actually. It hurt the day of the surgery, but otherwise not. It still feels odd, but it will be fine. Stitches come out tomorrow.

      And isn’t it annoying that it is right smack there in the middle of my cheek? Grrrr. Of course, if it were better hidden it might still be there, which would not be good at all. So I’ll take what I have. It was removed by a plastic surgeon, so hopefully I will heal well enough. C’est la vie.

      Glad you did the check!


  6. Congratulations on riding yourswelf of the melanoma. Scary stuff I’m sure. I have to tell you how much I abhor the word cute. As far as the guy running you off the bridge, we have a law down here called stand your ground. You would have been in your rights to get out of your car, stand on the bridge and aim your magnum .45 and blow him away just before he reaches you. No court in Florida would have convicted you. After all, it was self ddefense. You could have even said, “You made my day’ sucker.”


    • Thanks, Don, for the congrats and for being on my side about cute. Although as I age, I am willing to take compliments that I used to hate! It gets harder with time to be selective.

      You have hit on one of the main reasons I am against personal ownership of guns. Even though the woman in the Benz was a total asshole, I wouldn’t shoot her. I didn’t even chase her down to terrorize her with my new face. And I wouldn’t. It really isn’t my job — or anyone’s — to rid the world of assholes.

      That said, I get mad. As do other people. I think that the Stand Your Ground Laws, combined with easy and protected access to guns are abominable. They aren’t going to make the world safer. They aren’t making the people of Florida safer. They aren’t doing anything except permitting killers like George Zimmerman to go free — and become a celebrity.

      The world will not be rid of assholes by making more of them and putting guns in their hands.


  7. Elyse, you’re like me: if it;s not one thing, it’s three! Glad you’re okay and you’ll always be cute in that “has a lot of character” kind of way!


    • I know! It sucks. No offense, Lorna, but I wanna be like someone else!

      And I long since made my peace with being cute. It was when my mother was in her late 60s — she was adorable. I want to be a cute little old lady some day. You get away with sooooo much!


  8. Ouch, that looks painful. I am so happy you had it done and you are now free.

    I am fortunate. First that I have darker skin, second that because of an odd upbringing I tended to stay out of the sun (though I love it) to avoid tanning and thus setting myself even further outside of the family ‘look’. Now days I simply slather on the sunscreen. I also see a dermatologist once a year (nearly nekkid) and get checked, I had three bad sunburns in my life.

    Contender Elyse? Nah, these types aren’t worth it.


    • True. But it is so rare that I can look threatening. Or do. And I didn’t even think of it until after. Apparently I am not the intimidating sort!


    • And actually, Val, it doesn’t hurt at all. My face feels a bit heavy, but that will ease up in the next days and weeks. I’m glad it’s over, though!

      Glad you’re not likely a contender for melanoma — but that you check anyway. Because folks who are not day-glow like me can get it too.


  9. Good to hear you’re cancer free. I’ve been scared of skin cancer for some time now. (There is no real cause for it. It doesn’t run in my family or anything) My wife makes fun of how I cover myself in towels and blankets while at the beach, but hey, you only get one skin, right?


    • Thanks Cutter. I’m trying to figure out how to be smart and not neurotic at the same time. It’s a delicate balance. It was a nice day out today and, since I forgot my hat (my new fashion statement) I didn’t go for a walk. I really need to figure out how to balance this.

      I don’t have any relatives with melanoma — I think that unlike many cancers, family history is not that predictive. It comes from sun/skin damage. Skin type is important, too. I am fluorescent white — but folks with dark skin can get melanoma, too.

      Bottom line is sunscreen and skin checks!


  10. That’s some interesting stitchery you have there. Glad to hear you are cancer free… that fool woman may end up in a wreck one of these days. I’m thrilled it won’t be with you!


    • Thanks, Mae! Yes, the stitches are still in — for a few more days, anyway. I am pretty sure it won’t look too bad. Right after the surgery, my lip was pulled up into a sneer. I mentioned to the doctor that a smirk was much more in line with my personality.

      The sneer is now gone ..


  11. Great to hear that you’re cancer free!!!
    And your eye is much more intimidating than Sauron’s silly old peeper.

    In fact, the only thing I can say is…Awww! That’s ADORABLE!!!

    *runs like hell*


  12. Awww, it’ll leave such a cute scar!


  13. I am doing the skin doctor appointments now… and just so you know, I have been ‘faking’ tall for my whole life!


  14. That scar is pretty intimidating. I’m scared!!!

    And yay for being cancer free!


  15. You poor baby! Except that “cancer free” part is great. Hope you continue to recover well.

    You should have chased that rude driver down and rammed her with your car. No jury on earth would convict you.


    • Believe it or not, I’m not really that kind of a girl, except in my fantasies! I may have to do a part two post — my vehicular fantasies of mayhem. I often wish I weren’t so damn law-abiding because there are sooooo many people who deserve to get “ASSHOLE” keyed into the back of their cars!

      I’m doing fine, thanks for asking, Peg. Glad it’s behind me.


  16. Yeah! Cancer free. Those are wonderful words to read. I’m really pleased for you, Elyse. As far as I am concerned you are a contender by the way you went after that melanoma and conquered it. Have some fun with being intimidating because soon you will be back to your gorgeous self with makeup and all.


    • Thanks, Michelle. Normally, I am all into procrastination, but in this case, ummmm, no. Wishing just doesn’t help make you better, alas. So now hopefully it is behind me. But I will always have to be checked carefully frequently. Pain in the butt, but whatever. It beats the alternative!


  17. Hooray you’re now cancer-free and ready to kick anyone’s ass that dares cross you! We just went over melanoma yesterday in my clinicals class. I know the ABCDEs, what to look for in changes in skin. My professor (a doctor so I take it he’s reliable) said if you have had merely 2 sunburns in your life, you have a risk of getting melanoma. Another place people forget to check is on the scalp because the hair covers moles but doesn’t block out the sun.


    • Thanks, Darla. I knew I was at risk, so I have been checking for years. It was just a matter of time.

      Did your prof/doc tell you how to put sunblock on your scalp? I was just trying to figure that out! I have very thick hair and am now a hat wearer, but still …

      My spot did not look like the ones in the picture. It was just a sunspot. And then it wasn’t. It was there for about 4 or 5 years, through several annual dermatology check ups. Sigh.


  18. Great post. Not cute. Fierce. Thank you.


  19. Eva

    I’m so happy to read you’re in the clear, my friend. And you’ll be around for much too long and become a pain in the ass. Here — let me give you a shiner underneath your other eye… for symmetry… because you’re worth it. (smiling)


  20. Near where I live, we don’t have a one-way bridge; however, we DO have a 4-way stop. I’m forever amazed at how many drivers don’t know how to use it. Some hesitate and let everyone else go, and then they still hesitate. Procrastinators! Fearful! Then, there are the ones who push ahead and go even if it isn’t their turn. Best of all, there are the ones that don’t stop; just come barreling across the intersection as if they never saw the stop sign and really didn’t care if they did! I almost got smashed to kingdom come one time, as it was my “turn” and I started to cross the intersection. Wow, good thing I had good brakes. So, I’m trying to figure out which is the more terrifying: the one-way bridge or the 4-way stop? Anyway, I’m so glad that your melanoma is gone. You are so lucky. I’ve had cancer surgeries on my nose, and it’s not fun. So glad for you that you got to the doctor in time.


    • Thanks, Sunshine! I am incredibly lucky that the melanoma was caught so early — so it was still just a nuisance.

      But these assholic drivers? Lord don’t you just want to throttle them all? Jerks across the board!


  21. Yay for you being melanoma free. I did the check. Nothing bizarre. We have a f*cking ass in an SUV who proceeds to cut everyone off as the lanes converge into a 2 lane road. Her left turn is a quarter of a mile past the convergence. So every morning, she leaves a line of furiousity behind her. I punched my window and gave her the finger. What the f…


    • Thanks, and I’m glad you checked. It is an easy preventative!

      Isn’t it amazing just how many assholes there are? And sometimes you can tell just by the make and model!


  22. So glad to hear you’re cancer-free! Hope everything heals up for you well. As for those one-way bridges, it comes down to a game of chicken, doesn’t it? I drive a small car, so I’ll never win (nor would I be so foolish to try). I can’t compete with those big SUVs that come barreling down the road, and they know it. Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy…


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