Enough about Death; Let’s Talk about Snot

I hate snot. Thick wet gray green globs at the edge of, or protruding from, a nose will make me gag or heave far before poop or blood or bad beans in the fridge. If there is a tongue inching toward said globs, or making contact, I will, without a doubt, lose my groceries.

Granted, when I was pregnant with Bridget, and Riana was barely nine months old, her stinkiest diapers would force me over the diaper pail to puke. One hand holding onto her, one holding on to my abdomen (or Bridget as the case may be), and one foot firmly holding open the lid of the diaper pail. But that, even that, does not compare to the feeling I get when I see snot. Those puking incidents could be chalked up to morning sickness, which came to an end after a few months. The booger aversion has lasted a lifetime.


I preferred wiping baby butts over wiping their noses. I’d even quite gladly offer to wipe someone else’s baby’s butt over taking a Kleenex to the mound on the middle of their face. Ew.

It isn’t the wiping, actually, that churns my stomach acid, it is the visual.  I distinctly remember one day while driving, I fear the girls remember, too. Probably with horror and nightmares. The girls were mere toddlers in the back seat, and when I looked in the rear view mirror, I noticed Bridget’s gelatinous nose. Thoroughly donned with awful green globs; it looked as if slime aliens had landed at the opening of her nostrils and were headed quickly toward her lip. And then, no, no, no! I saw her little tongue reach up to, well, lick it. “NO!” I screamed so loudly the girls nearly jumped out of their side by side car seats. “No!” I shouted. “Don’t lick it!  Leave it! Leave it!”

Yes, this could be compared to the worst road rage. I am not proud.

“I’ll get it off your face!” As if it was a leach, a scorpion, her sister’s fist. Oh, God, it was worse in my mind. Luckily we were soon stopped by a red light, and although my lunch was in my throat, I still managed–quite determined to save her from the misery she bore, –to turn around and wipe her perfect button nose. “Blow!” I demanded.

Ugh. There were only a few things about mothering young children that took me over this edge. This terror. I am duly embarrassed. But snot was one of those things. Okay, maybe it was the only one. Okay, it is. It still takes me over the edge. To this day.

Richard is currently getting over a cold. It seems half the population is getting over something they contracted during the holidays. The other night, he and I were watching a movie in bed (A Man Called Ove, which I highly recommend.) He must have blown a quart of mucus out of his nose a dozen different times. “Good, God,” I asked, thick throated. “Where the heck is all of that stored before you transfer it to the hanky?” And, don’t get me started on hankies.

“You put that back in your pocket after you fill it?” I’ve asked many a friend, many a time. Even the thought of it. Of people roaming around. On streets. In offices. Clerks at the grocery store. Tellers at the bank. The likelihood that all of them may have a white cotton piece of cloth, keenly stored in their pocket, damp, sopped, full of globs of green gelatin-like body fluid. I can’t think about it. Please, stop.

Well, things could be worse. There is life beyond boogers. I know this. The girls grew up and are totally able to blow their own noses. I no longer have to pick them up at daycare centers or schools where there were easily, I’m certain, hundreds of noses overflowing with green sludge, through which I had to wade in order to find my own little darlings who would soon have the driest and cleanest noses of the bunch. I promise.

Writing this makes me just a little nauseous. Okay, a lot. And I promise, I will never write about picking noses. Nope. Nope. Seeing someone in the car next to me. Going at it. Digging to find brain matter? Why weren’t our fingers made bigger?


Life Beyond

Start fresh. Here. Clean. Begin again. New rain.
Don’t distract yourself with fishing. Or Ibuprofen.

There is life beyond the dog who barks at squirrels on Saturday morning.
He will never catch them.

Life beyond the woman posing in her wedding dress a week early.
Whatever happened to bad luck myths?

Life beyond the differing opinions of managers at Walgreen’s.
Liquid band aids go fast in July. Not as fast as sparklers.

Life beyond victory. Or loss. Or fear.
Your mustache could win a contest. It stretches beyond your ears.

There is life beyond a hot evening. Barometric pressure dances in the desert.
Pushing down on lizard skulls and ocotillo pins.

Award yourself the silver badge, stamp yourself a hero. There is no one smarter.
Life beyond each moment expanding like an air bag.

Hang on to a doorway. Stretch your spine.
Listen to the centipede bride. Life beyond.


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