I pick my nose


Even if the world isn't, my nose is straight.

I am a small woman, no taller than 5’3″, of slight build but wide in the hips. At the end of my torso, as you would expect, I have two legs, each one divided by an odd, lumpy knee.

My hair always liked being brown, until recently. My forehead needs a lot of space to think and furrow, so it told my hair quite emphatically, “Thus far, and no more.” Because so much skin is showing and I am modest, I wear bangs. Along the edges of my ears and forehead, the hair is experimenting with gray.

My eyes wear green, flecked with gold and brown. They don’t like make up because when they cry, they don’t like to make a mess on my cheeks. I admire anyone who considers those around them and tries to keep things tidy. No one has shown me as much of the world as they have, so I try to be kind to them and wipe their tears when they are having a bad day.

My jaw looks determined because it is. It has a lot to say if people would just listen. They don’t, so it is determined to keep shut unless someone really wants to know. We’ve enjoyed a lot of chocolate together.

My two front teeth are close, even though one is almost a year older. Some of the others arrived later and never learned to stand straight in a line. I’ve never held it against them. I’m attached to all of them and had a hard time two years ago when one them cracked under pressure. We couldn’t save it.

But my best feature is my small, straight nose. It is the leader of my face, breaking through the air like the prow of a small ship, the first to feel the cold, the first to bear the heat of the sun, and willing to help hold my sunglasses, all day if need be. My nose always gets there first, but it’s never proud. Day after day it brings me gifts; just yesterday it was the aroma of roses. And when I least expect it, it surprises me with brightly wrapped memories of my days as a child when I came home to the smell of freshly baked bread or broke through the surface of the water to see my mother beside the pool, lathering on lotion under the hot, summer sun.

I like all the parts of me, but if I had to choose my favorite, you can understand why I would say, “I pick my nose.”

51 thoughts on “I pick my nose

    • For me, the best thinking times are in the early morning or when I am driving a distance by myself. I didn’t start out to write this post; I was writing something different but related. While I was writing, I thought about a description I had written a long time ago, erased most of what I had written and went this direction. I’m sure you do this same kind of thinking on paper.

  1. When I was in high school I had the honor of being chosen to write a weekly “our school” column in the area newspaper. I read what other high school reps were writing, and it all seemed pretty dull: “This week the marching band…”; “Congratulations to Sue Smith, who won the cookie contest in home ec class…” No quarrel with publishing these achievements—everyone who shines deserves the recognition. But the columns were so BORING. The second one I wrote started out “Sorry for the Perth Amboy football team if they have their noses out of joint, but Woodbridge WON on Saturday, and we’re holding our own noses high.” Oy. I went on like that, noses all the way. If there had been a cookie bake-off, you can be sure I would have started that sentence “Noses in the hallway that passes the home ec rooms were certainly thrilled when….” What happened next was that some readers who were friends of my parents, or even of me, asked, “What part of the body will next week’s column be about?” The editor of the newspaper even called my house to say that he had heard some compliments about the “clever” column. So EVERY WEEK, ALL YEAR, I had to be “clever” with some other body part. Well, it did get me through, although the puns and stretches for puns were sometimes pretty embarrassing even at the time, and I dredged up some body parts toward year’s end that don’t usually show up in the newspaper…. So, thanks for your itemized inventory. I did use all those parts in my column. Newsworthy!

    • I suspected that you were always a wordsmith. I love how you write, and I’m sure I would have relished reading your column. You piqued my curiosity with “body parts…that don’t usually show up in the newspaper.”

      One of the delights of language is that we can use the same ideas, tweak them, and come up with something “new.”

      • Those body parts did not, alas, include any naughty bits. I was carefully raised (as were so many of my generation). But I think I did get tonsils in there one week, ankles, ear lobes…. I don’t believe I used the philtrum, which has become one of my favorites.

        • I was pretty sure you were discreet. I love the others and I had to look up “philtrum.” Now I know, thanks. I looked it up Trum as a last name; there are quite a few in Florida. So it’s likely that somewhere there is a man named Phil Trum. Not too many people would get that one.

  2. *Gorgeous* photo of you! I love it. And your self-description makes me surer than ever that you’re “all that and a bag of chips”. Or chocolate chips, for those of us who so prefer.

    My only cavil is that given how you look, I’m more than a little dubious when you say you’re Year-struck. Pulling our legs about your age, are you? Or at least, tweaking our noses.

    Unless you’ve taken up the technique I’ve said I was going to adopt if anyone started being mean about my supposed age, and telling them that I’m at least 20 years older than I really am so that they can be impressed with how astoundingly youthful I seem for such an old bat. For now, though, I’m quite pleased with being 51 (and acting about 15), so everybody’s just stuck with the truth.

    • The farther away I am from the camera, the better I look. And large sunglasses cover a multitude of wrinkles. I have a decade on you and if you get close enough and ask me to remove the glasses, you will believe it and then some.

  3. Okay, after thinking about it, I also like my nose, but I wouldn’t pick it. I like my lips better. Food passes through them!! And my eyes are certainly in the running, but the need for glasses takes them out of first place. Enjoy always, T

  4. Lots of fun, and it reminded me of a favorite boss of mine who once confided it me “my children make fun of me because I pick my nose.” He was handing me a piece of paper as he said that. Oh my. He is a doctor.

    Me, I pick the eye and the eyebrow that gives me the evil eye in the picture on your gravitar!

    • I think your doctor’s remark would be a case of too much information.

      I never considered that my gravatar looks like it’s giving the evil eye; I just considered it dorky looking.

  5. Oh my golly…I laugh every time I read one of your posts! You’re awesome. And Phil Trum? I laughed out loud. Perfect. He’s kind of a pretender though, looking like he holds your nose up all day, but not really.

  6. Dawn Wilson

    I’ve just been introduced to your posts, and I love your mind. I wouldn’t mind having a mind like your mind. And I love that you love dark chocolate. I am sure that dark chocolate flows freely through my veins.

  7. I love how you’ve chosen to view your body, and even more than that, I appreciate that you have decided to share this personal view with us, your readers. (Your writing, as always, is exquisite and rhythmic.)

    What thrills me even more than all the ideas and language you’ve given us here, is that you do so with such affection and kindness that it’s joyfully infectious. So happy I read this essay today!

  8. I confess, I read the second one first, and then came back to this one to see if it would offer the same laugh relief for my now stopped up nose (it refuses to run any more after seeing the shoes your nose had, until I get it some like that or better).

    I always read the comments, because they are often as good as the post for follow up laughter, and I was right.
    Thanks, Again, for the laughter.

  9. a marvelous post… though I hesitate to add anything after such a row of raves that you’ve already received. Still, I had to tell you that it was very sweet to get to know you better… and the humor went a long way in describing the mind behind that charming body.

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