Nose to Nose
Shortly after I woke up Sunday morning, I had a slight nosebleed. This seems to be a side effect of having a central air, gas burning furnace.
By the end of a steamy shower, all seemed well with my sinuses.
Until mid-morning when I sneezed a couple times in the church kitchen.
It didn’t seem healthy to do a big nose blow while standing next to a couple trays of brownies, so off I went to the Ladies Room. It also didn’t seem polite to hole up taking space in a stall, so I stood off in the corner with my tissue in hands, and a finger in my left nostril.
In walks a young mother, and her daughter about 3 years old.
Apparently, instructions had been given, because mother entered center stall and child went to lean against the far wall.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been so close to a girl her age.
I watched expressions cross her face. She was doing what her mother told her to do, but neither had anticipated that another person would be in the room. I could tell she knows to not talk to strangers, but she sees me every Sunday, so it might be okay. It was really bothering her that I was doing something quite obviously improper in public.
Finally, being such a little girl, and very, very curious, she had to ask or she might very well explode.
“What are you doing?” she asked, just as I completed another foghorn blowing.
It was now her turn to watch my twitchings. Several politically correct sentences bubbled up in my mind. Perhaps this was a ‘teachable moment’ for positive reinforcement, such as I learned in the Edu Psyche class.
Or I could be a grump and tell her to mind her own business.
We were in a rest room, for pete’s sake!
I walked closer, dropped the tissue into the trash bin, all the while looking at her, really trying to find the best words to reply.
Then my dilemma seemed like it could be settled.
“Clearing out my dance hall,” I said.
“The boogers were having a hoedown.”
She looked a bit surprised that I said anything. Then she looked confused, not quite understanding if she was in trouble. Maybe not knowing the meaning of a couple words I mentioned.
From the stall came her mother’s snort, then a soft giggle.
Upon hearing that, the child looked relieved, then more confused.
I turned to the sink and washed my hands.
As I put the paper towel into the trash, the mother emerged.
I gave her a half smile by raising only one side of my lips.
As I walked out the door, I heard the girl say
“Mom, she said boogers”.
I didn’t wait to listen to the response.
During my youth, I heard my dad and my grandma say some of the darndest things. Maybe it doesn’t seem so crazy that I should hear them coming from my own mouth in similar situations.
~~love and Huggs, Diane