July 24, 2008

Dog scars

I showed the jeweler’s wife my dog scars. Several years ago in Southern France, I was attacked by a neighborhood dog right in front of my home and the doctor had to put 14 stitches into my leg to staple it back together. Unlike the U.S., in France the amount you can receive as compensation for any resulting “pain and suffering” is mandated by law. If you are female, young, unmarried, and use your legs as part of your work (as a model, say, or an actress), you can ask for the maximum amount. If you are a women over 40, married, and your income potential is unrelated to the beauty of your extremities,  then you get the minimum. Over 40 means over the hill in the eyes of the law, in the teeth of a dog.

I explained to the jewelers that the experience hadn’t made me afraid of dogs, but that for a year or so, the sight of a large, black, furry dog had made me nervous.  “Still, you have to keep going,” I said. “You have no choice.”