“What the heck happened to your nose?”
In Calgary, people don’t mess around. They’re friendly, forthright and I don’t want to bum them out by waxing medical. Especially when it’s that burly guy leaning out the window of his F-350. Suddenly, there’s an Opening For Smalltalk. So why get all serious?
“You should see the other guy,” I say.
Telling the truth would be a downer. People aren’t expecting to hear the real reason. Just like I never expected it to happen to me.
Sometimes, when I’m trapped in an elevator, a stranger will get the party going first. “How’s the other guy look?” And I oblige by saying, “Worse than me!”
When my bandage was bigger, someone pointed out to me that if I was a victim of domestic abuse, this type of chit-chat would be a uncool. It all kind of is, but what can you do?
It’s been an experience in human reaction. After surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma and a skin graft to cover the wound, when I had huge, white bandages on my nose and ear, I tried not to leave my house, but sometimes I had to. Children stared and didn’t return my smile. Adults averted their eyes. For the most part, I tried to scurry by people without connecting.
One question gets under my skin, so to speak. Because I loved my nose. I even doubled for Sharon Stone in Beautiful Joe (straight to video, if you’re wondering) who is extremely particular about her profile. Which I can totally understand.
So when people ask me, “Did you get a nose job?”
– and someone does, almost every day –
I’m usually pretty blunt: “No, I had skin cancer.”This limited edition collection of Mickey Mouse Band-Aids has a good selection for these type of scenarios, like the one I’m wearing in the top photo, with Ms. Mouse socking it to the Mister. Because that Minnie, she doesn’t take shit from anyone.