January 1, 2018

snorks and blows

I've already admitted that I'm bi-polar, gay, and atheist, and will in future posts delve into general insanity of various types, so I might as well go ahead and admit another way in which I border on freakhood:

I can't blow my nose.

I was pretty much left to figure all of this out on my own as a kid, presumably because my parents weren't terribly into snot, or maybe because I was the fourth and youngest.  They figured I'd work it out for myself.  But I didn't, and I became instead one of those ... sniffers.  The ones that drive people mental so that they're always just on the verge of losing control and letting an outburst slip of, "For the love of fuck, would you just go get a tissue and blow!?"

I'm a sniffer.

My wife always says, "It's easy.  You just-- "

I hold up my hands and cut her off.  "No, there's no 'just' in it.  I don't 'just' anything.  I can't do it.  I'll be happy to go in another room if I need to snork.  I know it grosses you out because all of that stuff stays in there, but you know what?  I think I've proven beyond a reasonable degree of medical certainty that my stomach acid can handle anything, and nothing is surviving in there, trust me."

She gives up.  For the moment.  But she won't.  There will be another 'just' at some point.  She believes in me.

When she's not looking, when I'm somewhere else in the house, I try.  I've tried and tried.  I've gotten a high-quality Kleenex and attempted to do the things she's described, where you squeeze in the right place or push in the right place and hold the tissue just-so and make the appropriate exhalations in the correct places.  And what happens is that either nothing comes out, or else it comes out all over the place and there's always this one string of snot that tries to get away and I have to catch it before it reaches my mouth and then I end up smearing stuff on my upper lip and there isn't enough dry tissue left to clean that up, so I have to get another one, and meanwhile my head is filling up again, so I have to snork and sniff multiple times just to deal with that situation, and I've yet to blow my nose properly.

It never, ever goes well.

We sniffers and snorkers develop skills, though.  I work in a row of cubicles with people well within earshot.  I've learned the Stealth Snork, where you do it really quietly and gently so that no one can hear you.  You have to do that one 27.3 times in order for it to work, but it keeps you within the realms of social acceptability.  There's also going out to your car at lunch time, or running an errand so that you have some privacy, during which you can snork to your heart's content and return to work having bought at least a good hour of snork-free, sniff-free time, sinuses clear and breathing restored.

Do not leave tips on how to blow my nose in the comments.  Sniff.

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