Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage

As I banged away on my keyboard this week, I looked at my left wrist and saw a spot. I did what my mother always did to me when I was a kid and had dirt on my face, a common occurrence. She licked her thumb and rubbed off the dirt, taking a bit of skin with it, I swear.

So, I tackled the spot on my wrist the same way. I rubbed the brown spot—nothing. I licked my thumb and rubbed it even harder. The spot, about the size of a little toenail, remained. I realized this spot wasn’t going anywhere.

Is this my first age spot? Makes sense because I will be sixty-seven this year. Also, I started doing aqua Zumba and other water classes at the new YMCA that just opened down the street. I feel like a kid, playing in the pool again, but I understand sun exposure can cause age or liver spots. What do they have to do with the liver anyway?

Having a brown spot is nothing new for me. I was born with a brown birthmark on the front of my right thigh that looks like a thumbprint. It was the bane of my existence as a teenager because my mother used it to measure the length of my miniskirts. I couldn’t even get away with an extra half-inch.

So, I guess this new brown spot is here to stay. Some of the women in aqua classes wear rash guard shirts as protection from the sun, but I like having a bit of color and not looking like I’ve lived in a cave all my life.

I realize I won’t receive much pity from this post, but that’s okay. I look at my new brown spot as a rite of passage.

What rites of passage do you remember experiencing? Were they joyful or dreaded initiations into another era? Write a short piece and tell us about one of these transition times.

Remember, the only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all.

Until next time, happy writing.

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Please note: All grammatical and typographical errors have been put in this article for
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Orah Zamir
1 year ago

Patricia, as someone who is not looking forward to surgery for cancer on my eyelid, I gently and lovingly request that you to protect yourself from the sun. Sunspots are benign. Skin cancer is not. My most powerful and most challenging rite of passage was breaking away from my family of origin, now labeled a scapegoating family system in which I was the scapegoat. I was on the verge of being committed to a mental hospital, but I moved to New York instead and found a life there. I had been told I was to live a miserable life, and… Read more »

Etya Krichmar
1 year ago

Nice story, Patricia. I wear the age spots and the scars from my multiple surgeries like a bad epve of honor. When I look at them I always think of what the alternative would look like were I not for me surviving the ordeals. .

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