cruisin’ for a bruisin’

When I misbehaved, my father threatened, "Keep it up, Stephanie.  Keep it up.  You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin.’"  Then he’d smack his fist against his hand implying I was going to get punished if I didn’t stop whatever I was doing immediately.  He never once hit me, so I was never actually scared of being hit.  Punishment involved chores or forbade me from watching television.  I like to imagine it involved taking my dessert away too, but my parents never used food to punish or reward us.  So I’m afraid I can’t attribute my obsession with food to their parenting.  Darn.

I have a mirror in my shower.  The package it came in claimed, “fogless.”  I haven’t the foggiest idea how that claim pushed its way through the legal department. Still, I keep it there because I’m too lazy to get a new one.  To deal with having to try to make those suction cups work, again.  It does still serve a purpose; it has a groove to house my razor, and when I remove eye makeup, I can wipe the steam and water off the mirror to ensure the black makeup remnants get removed from my leaky eyes.

“I don’t go to clubs” isn’t really accurate.  I would never choose to go to a club, but I’ll show up if it’s where my friends want to go.  I hate the smoke, hate that it’s all the same music, hate the pushing and spilling of drinks, hate that I have to scream conversations.  Hate that every single guy there is all about his watch and shirt.  I have no concept of time in clubs (or anywhere else actually), so I end up staying way later than I think it is.  It’s like hanging out in a casino.  Everything is so lively; it can’t be time to sleep.  Then you leave at 4am and spend your weekend days in bed, hung over, smelling like an ashtray, watching porn. 

At 2pm, I hit the shower to rid myself of smoke hair and mascara.  That’s when it happened. I leaned in closer, squinting at the mirror.  Had Linus scratched me?  Wait, what the… no, it can’t… Jesus.  Was it just my skin reacting to the hot water?  No.  I’m 29 years old, and I have a hickey on my neck. 

Hickeys are so middle school.  Back then, it was something you wanted, to show everyone you were getting some action, to show everyone that someone of the opposite seex actually liked you.  It was as cool as a six pack.  Then you’d fret and ask your friend for a comb.  But a hickey at 29 is lameass.  A hickey at 29 in the summer is retarded.   In the winter is one thing.  There are yummy cream turtlenecks and scarves to aid in concealment.  What the hell can you do in the summer?  Then, upon further inspection, I realized I had bruises everywhere.  My forearm, hip flexor, calves. Clubs don’t do a body good, at least not mine.  You’re out there cruisin’ the club for something resembling a new exciting story and all you end up to show for it is a bruisin.’  Keep it up, Stephanie.  Keep it up.



  1. I fully sympathize–once while staying at my parents' house (at 25 years old), I had a date that ended up with some high school-style parked-car making out. My mom was awake when I got home from the date and asked how it went. We chatted in the hall light for about 10 minutes before I brushed my teeth in the dark bathroom and went to bed. It wasn't until the next morning I realized she had been staring at a fresh hickey throughout our conversation. She teased me about it the next day in front of an aunt. It was priceless.

    One concealment tip is to ice it, but that works better when it's fresh. Perhaps an oh-so-fetching silk scarf or neck brace?

  2. One of the very few times I remember having a hickey, I was about 15 and dating a boy named Tony. The next morning after the "hickey inducing activities" my mother was appalled. She gave me a stern lecture about how I shouldn't let a boy "brand" me that way. My neck bruises pretty easily, after that I wouldn't ever let anyone near my neck, because I just don't care for how hickeys look. Whenever I see a hickey on a grownup (anyone over the age of 25), I always think, "I wonder if they at least live in a doublewide".

  3. Seriously!!! The other day we saw an adult customer with a hickey with sparked numerous at work conversations. We all agreed they were totally middle school, I even remember a girl who faked herself some hickeys using a hoover!!


  4. With a title like cruisin' for a bruisin' maybe you could maybe say your hickey was from Kenike? Remember the quote from Grease? "A hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card. We only care enough to send the very best".

    Lots of heavy duty concealer otherwise I guess!

  5. I think a hickey would be fun. Kind of retro.

    ps: isn't it great to have a Dad that you were never afraid of? Now, there is no man to be afraid of.

  6. If you bruise so easily you should have your doctor check you for anemia. A simple blood test called a CBC can check to see if you're anemic. Lot's of women bruise easily though. Getting bumped in a club shouldn't get you bruised all over. Just my $0.02

  7. Ditto to what the above gentleman said, I'm a bit concerned about your easy bruising too. Normally I only bruise from falling.

    Oh, and hickeys may be ugly, but it's nice to have someone's mouth your neck, sometimes (when done right)

  8. Put a metal spoon in the freezer for a few hours then touch it to the hickey.

    Taught that in junior high by a friend's onder, make-out savvy sister.

  9. Good lord, some people just bruise easier than others. I really don't think you need to jump the gun and say she's anemic. Clubs can get pretty fucking rowdy and I have come home bruised from them. I have always hated hickies though…there's no need to advertise to anyone that someone would rather suck on your neck than kiss you…

  10. I was checked for anemia when I was younger. I didn't have it. Though when I was asked to give blood, I'd lie and tell them I was anemic. I now give blood. I faint, but I give it.

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