Wednesday, August 11, 2004 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

My nose knows

Have I ever told you about my nose? No? Well, if you’ve ever spent more than a couple hours in my company, you already know about my nose. But if not, I will tell you.

My nose has a life of its own. It has sensitivities not even measureable. It can smell a molecule of mold or stinky foot germs a half-a-house away. Not only that, it does not like certain things.

It does not like dust. If there is one speck, one molecule of dust a-floating on the air, well, my nose will shoo it out forcefully. I’m not talking a dainty little girly sneeze here, folks. I’m talking about if my nose was the arm of a pitcher, we’d be signed up for the major leagues already.

My nose also does not like fur. Did I mention my mom has two long-haired cats? I have a threshold of 3 hours, tops, at Mom’s house before my nose goes ballistic and shoos us all out the door. Really, if we could only figure out how to harness its power, we wouldn’t need gas for the trip home.

Scent is another no-nose. When Mom took the girls to see the Garfield movie last week, they came home reeking of perfume from the patron behind them. It tickled my nose until I sneezed my mom out the door.

Any other chemical smell will send my nose into conniptions, including but not limited to the mineral spirits we had been using to scrape gunk off the bedroom floor.

Yes, I stopped doing it myself after the first couple hours in which it also sent me running for my asthma inhaler, and yes, the boys took over, keeping the door shut and the windows open but, no it didn’t really help. I’ll talk more about the floor later because this part is about my nose.

There’s one more odd thing: the cold. Sure, it’s August and it shouldn’t really be cold, just a blessed relief from the heat, but try telling that to my nose. The nights cool off so deliciously our windows are flung open to embrace it. Somewhere around 4or 5 am I awaken to the increasing sounds of traffic – and my nose.

I feel the cold on my face. I’m not cold anywhere else, just the spot on my face where my sinuses are, under the eyes and on either side of my nose. The skin is even cold. Inside my head, the back of my throat feels raw. My nose is stuffed. If I give it any thought, even a fleeting one, it’ll happen.

The sneezing & running begins. It begins with a fury and a remarkable suddeness that is spectacular both in strength and volume. This morning it was so bad, it reminded me of that time I was on vacation, and sharing a room with my aunt (in England – so posh!). After the morning’s absolutions with my nose, my aunt’s voice came from her bed across the room, “Do you know you just sneezed fourteen times in a row?”

I wonder if there’s a Guiness record?

When I sneeze or blow my nose, the bigger kids are used to it, but not Emma. I’m not sure she’ll ever be used to it. I have to give her warnings. When she sees me reach for the ever-present tissue box, bought in bulk packages, she runs away and sticks her fingers in her ears.

I have to go now, I think I smell something. Plus I’m out of tissues.


  1. Wow, I thought I had a pretty touchy nose. You are in a new league. Maybe you should work in a nose industry, like fragrance. How does your nose feel about fabric softeners? I think my whole family gets cranky from the smell of it.