The other day a young co-worker arrived at the office sporting a "hicky" on his neck. "Nice tattoo" I commented as I handed him his daily task list. "It's only temporary" he replied. As I walked away, I mused,"that's what you think!" My mind quickly ran back in time when I received my first hicky.
It was a summer long ago, I was 14. In the apartment building I lived in, there was a group of us who spent our summer days as if we were cloned . We'd all get up early, watch re-runs of "I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith Show, Leave It To Beaver and Father Knows Best" . By 12 noon we would all meet by the swimming pool and spend the next 5 hours having splash fights,holding your breath underwater contests, perfecting our cannonball dives off the board, and taking siestas inbetween the laughter and the chat. At 5 P.M. we'd all head back to our apts and have our dinners, shower up, and by 7 we'd all reassemble, squeaky clean, in the courtyard.
The courtyard was the hangout for all the residents of the building. Our small group, needing its privacy had a small corner that was exclusive to us, we called it, the "Chit Chat Corner".
On one such evening, just as I was approaching the sacred ground, Lovely Laurie, walked up to me and with her reassuring smile said, "Marc, tilt your head a little". Her wish was always my command, I would have jumped off a building for her, so this seemed rather simple. Without a chance to comprehend her wish, she quickly leaned over, and nibbled on my neck for a mere 3 seconds. She pulled away and her friends who were flanking her right and left shoulder immediately commented. "Nice Laurie, very Nice". Then, my freinds joined in with their observations, "wow Marc, nice looking Hicky".
"Hicky?" I asked in puzzlement, "what is a hicky?"
They all laughed at my naivety. "You don't know what a Hicky is?" they chimed. My level of wisdom was challanged, but these were my friends, so I felt fine in pleading to my innocense. "When you suck on your skin for a few seconds, you break the blood vessels and a mark appears." Somehow, this did not make much sense to me, so I paid no further attention to it.
We disassembled for the evening, I returned home, greeted by my older sister (she was 18 at the time, and the "rebel" amongst the 3 of us) "Wow Bro, nice Hicky you have there!" She looked examining the mark. "Who gave that to you?" .....Justthen my other older Sister appeared on the scene (16 at the time and she inherited the "Mom" side) . "Oh my, Mom is gonna be real mad when she sees that on your neck!" she admonished.I tried defending myself explaining that Laurie was just practicing but it was met with a several disbelieving "uh hums". The commotion brought the attention of my Mom and Step Dad (my step dad was a Lee Marvin look alike and soundalike...tall with a deep husky voice) My mother came into the kitchen, "what's going on here? Did I hear something about a Hicky?" My Step dad moved right in, peered closely at my neck, pressed his finger down hard on it...and looking me in the eye, he said aloud, "Nah, it's a bug bite, go put some calamine lotion on it now!"
I moved quickly past the crowd, into the bathroom and doused cottonballs with the pink lotion and then painted my neck. Yes, that did the trick. As I admired this "bite" on my neck,with all the attention it garnered, I began to understand its significance!
It wasn't till a few years later till I received my next Hicky, and not only understood, but deeply appreciated its significance! My level of wisdom elevated....the next few days I wore a turtleneck sweater!
Yes, the Hicky only lasts a few days on the skin...but in the heart....it lasts much longer!