Monday, March 28, 2011

RE: Humor about sniffing (sniff!) of all things...


I come from a sniffly people. My grandmother sniffed, my mother sniffs and I sniff. Not in that snooty way with derisive overtones, but rather in that, “Oh, for the love of all that’s holy. Really? Allergies in all twelve months, including December! Please hand me a tissue,” way.

It’s this genetic legacy that led me to an addiction that’s difficult to talk about, but I feel the need to unburden myself. Perhaps there are others out there jonesing for the kind of fix I crave, so it is for you that I will share this most hush-hush of truths. After all, I’m a giver, besides which I’m a columnist who also joneses for the opportunity to write about goofy things. I am addicted to tissues.

Yes, I have issues with tissues and here’s the thing with tissues. It’s all about placement because I need them all over the place. Location, location, location. I blame my pockets, or a lack thereof, for how I got started with this whole thing.

One day I casually attempted to stow a tissue in my pocket and after I got done patting myself down as though I was initiating a citizen’s self-arrest, I realized I had nowhere to store this very innocuous necessity.

I desperately searched for a compartmental alternative and I thought I had one too, but it got pretty cumbersome wearing my purse daily like a bandoleer. I needed a new plan or a new wardrobe that would net me more pouches than a kangaroo. I opted for a new plan since the purchase of all new clothes would have been a bit too expensive for my pocketbook.

It started innocently enough with the gateway drug that is those small, portable tissue packs. I could have stopped at the soothing relief provided by my happily-festooned travel-sized packet picturing Snoopy of “Peanuts” fame, determinedly striding across the plastic cover on his way to helping me with my snuffly nose.

But it wasn’t enough. Let’s be honest, it rarely is, whatever the “it” is – or was. You know what I mean.

In no time at all I had lotion-infused absorbent papers stashed everywhere. They were tucked into cushions, pockets, the dog’s collar and then the final place that I never thought I would go – up my sleeve.

This made it doubly difficult for me to continue with my imaginary magic act where I would proudly proclaim, after a particularly magical moment, “Nothing up my sleeve!” Oh, I know what you’re thinking. “Ew! I hate magic.” Well, please put aside your judgments for one second and let me continue delivering my cautionary tale, lest what happened to me happens to you; however, this will require a bit of back story. I adore my grandmother and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and look at her beautiful, sweet, smiling photograph where she will be forever captured as the epitome of a charming and saucy flapper.

Everything, everyday made my grandmother smile and her pictures reflect that. She always made me laugh with her darling antics, zest for life and cute characteristics. I used to tease her about her stylish tissue-in-the-sleeve panache and this is an important piece of my allegory and what we call the wrap-up.

Be careful when you make fun of people for their quirky behavior, if for no other reason than it sets up some type of future kismet, imbuing you with the same behavior or characteristics. In point of fact, particularly in the case of a relative with whom you have dogpaddled in the gene pool, you will be much worse than they ever thought of being.

This often translates to the over-adoption of down-on-their-luck cats, obsessively scrubbing floors causing hospitals to call you for your cleaning secrets, or stuffing items that may or may not be tissues into your clothing. It’s just karmic law.

Thankfully, I don’t remember ever teasing my mom about her barking laugh. Har, har, arf, arf! Uh-oh.

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