Friday, March 22, 2013

How About a Little Solidarity, Sister!

by  Lisa Collins Kight
     I had a most unfortunate thing happen to me recently. I had been traveling and decided,  finally, to succumb to my desire for “fast food. ”  My longing for a Big Mac, fries and a vanilla shake had been eating at me for months. I decided that at the next exit I was going to stop and quench my insatiable appetite for the toxicity of fast food done as only McDonalds can.
     I pulled into the McDonalds at the Metter, GA exit.  I decided to stop at the ladies room to “powder” my nose before I ordered.  I finished washing my hands, keeping my paper towel to open the germ infested door of the ladies room. As I was leaving the ladies room I almost collided with an attractive middle aged woman who was entering the exact moment I was leaving. Her eyes widened as we passed each other. I extended a “pardon me” and proceeded to the lobby to order my food.

     I walked toward the counter, and as I took about my third step, I brushed the end of my nose to satisfy an itch. I stopped dead in my tracks as I realized that I had something on the end of my nose.
     Inside I screamed, “AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!”  
     I gasped, covered my face with my hand and rushed back to the ladies room. The kicker was the same woman who had entered as I left stood there with the most ashamed look on her face. I flashed to the moment we first crossed paths, and I knew the reason her eyes had widened.
     I walked over, took a paper towel, removed the booger from my nose, and politely said, “How could you let me walk out into public with a booger on my nose?   Durn, how about a little solidarity, sister!” 
     I laughed and walked out of the ladies room, but at the same time I was thinking, “What a witch”. What kind of woman who witnessed such a thing could or would possibly not bring this to my attention?  As I waited to place my order, I noticed her walking up behind me, but I refused to acknowledge her. What would be the point?  I would never have had the nerve to stand behind someone that I had encountered under these circumstances. I don’t know…perhaps, she had the same hankering for a Big Mac.
     Unfortunately, this was not the only time my hyper-sensitive mucous membrane has given me cause for humiliation. I had hoped this sort of thing was behind me. Especially, after the incident. . .
     The “Booger from Hell”, as it is known in the folklore of our family, reared its ugly head at the most unfortunate time. I was at a graveside service for the burial of my longtime neighbor, Mr. Thom. We had been neighbors more than a decade.
     He was a jolly man who not only devoted his time since retiring from the Navy as a volunteer fireman, but he was a sweetheart and a really great neighbor. My children were the only grandchildren he would ever know, because his sons never saw fit to give him any. Mr. Thom loved all of my children, especially my son Ty, “Homer” to him.  Every time we would visit, he would have a treat for each of them.
     Last summer I had noticed a change in his usual jovial self, when he fussed at the kids one day. I attributed it to him getting older.  Less than two weeks later, he went to see his doctor complaining of headaches. After a CT scan, he was found to have numerous brain tumors. He fell and hit his head ten days later and died as a result. Everyone who knew him was devastated, especially my son, Ty.
     Back to my story…My mother, brother Linc, and I were at the cemetery standing slightly away from the tent where the family was sitting. I had been crying and had just finished blowing my nose.
     My mom looked over and mouthed the words “your nose…” 
     Immediately, I gave my nose a really good going over and turned to look at her. Her face was priceless.
     She said, in the same silent words, “It is still there!”
     I kind of chuckled and proceeded to go all “Silkwood” on my proboscis, meaning I scrubbed it so hard, there was little skin left. Only after being quite certain that I had rid myself of this pestilence did I present my face to my mother for inspection.
     Again, she mouthed the words, “Lisa Jo…IT IS STILL THERE!!!!” 
     Well, that was all it took, and she and I erupted into such hilarity that we were unable to stop laughing, despite the solemn circumstance.  We simply couldn’t stop.
     My brother looked over with disgust and said, “Dear God, Lisa Jo!” 
     I said, “I can’t help it. ”   By this time the laughter was out of control. All I could say was, “It’s the booger from hell!”  
     Linc failed to see the humor in the moment, but my mom and I did.  It is one of my personality traits. Some may say flaw, but I prefer to say one of my more unique qualities. Anytime I am overly tired or really sad, at the most inopportune moment I burst into laughter. I’ll admit that it really can be inconvenient at times, but I feel laughter is so cathartic…really good for your soul.  So, I embrace my contagious laughter and no longer fight it.
     When one of us would regain our composure, the other would begin to giggle. When we realized that it would only be a matter of time before the family noticed us giggling like fools and unable to stop, we very slowly eased ourselves away from the gravesite. 
     I was heartbroken that day, and missed Mr. Thom so very much, but the laughter had taken the heaviness away. Despite the infamy of the “booger from Hell”,   I still find the story hilarious. 
     So, if you see your mother-n-law with half a patch of collard greens between her front teeth, you tell her even though you know your husband will be offended that you could say such a thing to his “momma. ”  You say “Mable, you might want to check your dentures. There seems to be a crop growing between your front teeth. ” 
     Hey, I didn’t say I didn’t enjoy bringing this information to her attention. The important thing is I said it. When your uncle Phil comes out of the restroom with his pants unzipped, you say, “Hey don’t let your horse get away. ”
     Imagine sitting down at your desk and seeing half your salad from your Applebee’s lunch between your teeth after giving that hour long presentation to the general manager of your company, who said nothing. Not really cementing the old “job security,” now is it?  It is a common courtesy people; we are in the South, for Pete’s sake! 
     So the next time you are a little uncomfortable about saying something to someone who is unaware of the unthinkable, remember, it could be you.  Please just say, “You might want to check your…whatever. ” 
     So do the right thing, people. We are all in this together!


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