Friday, February 3, 2012

Sneezing at the DMV

Boy, oh boy, a cold can sneak up on you fast.

I was fine in the morning. Perfectly okay at lunch and then, around three, while on line at the DMV to renew my license, I felt it: that distinct buzzing in my sinuses, the thickness in my head, the grainy situation behind my eyes.

And then I sneezed.
Proper sneezing technique

It felt as if the entire population of the DMV turned to stare accusingly. Sheesh, it was only a sneeze people. And I directed it right into my elbow like a good girl. But people are super paranoid about getting sick. And I actually don't blame them. I do all I can to avoid it.

In my case, a head cold often travels to my chest and I have unhappy memories of a hospitalization some years ago for double pneumonia. While I thoroughly enjoyed having three meals brought on a tray and the night-night drug given to me by a nurse who looked just like John Wayne, I did not like the fact that pneumonia can easily kill you. So, when someone sneezes in a crowded, unventilated place like the DMV, I become a bit of a bitch, myself.

As if one can control a sneeze.

I actually find sneezing very interesting. Everyone has their own signature approach and often the quietest people will have the loudest sneezes. I've seen big ,burly men sneeze like little baby gerbils and delicate women blow out plate glass windows. And, there are actually people who say "Ah--choo" when they sneeze which always makes me laugh.

My Aunt Margaret would never sneeze just once. We'd start counting when we heard the first one and often could go as high as 25 or 30. She was very proud of these sneezing fits and we all enjoyed the count, disappointed when she finally stopped. And my Aunt Mary sneezes exactly like Minnie Mouse if Minnie Mouse would sneeze.

Seth's sneezes are epic. Deafening and terrifying, if you are unprepared for one of his sneezes (and I am always unprepared), you can really get scared and I have asked him, when I am behind the wheel, to try to stifle them a bit so I don't careen off the road.
Bless you!

My mother was a staunch advocate of never stifling a sneeze, warning that one's brain would explode if you tried to hold them back. This encouraged a "let your freak flag fly" kind of sneezing in our family and we often commend the sneezer on the volume and velocity put into a sneeze.

I am also a public "blesser." Convinced there are few things sadder than not getting a "Bless you!" after you sneeze, I offer this service to strangers, free of charge, wherever I go. Some seem to love it, others appear to want to punch me. I don't care, I'm not stopping.

Sneezing aside, I blame the onset of this cold for yet another horrible driver's license photo. Despite my best efforts to obtain a decent picture (a little lipstick, a smile I hoped was engaging but turned out to be just plain crazy), in yesterday's photo, I look like Teddy Kennedy wearing make-up. I am hoping it may get me out of a speeding ticket in the state of Massachussetts.

I'd post it here but I think it might cost me readers.

So, I will wish you all a great weekend free of sniffles and sneezes. I am going to spend the next two days drinking Emergen-C, popping Zicam, rubbing fresh garlic on toast and trying to sleep this away. Stay healthy and thanks for reading this week! 
                                                 Check this sneeze out if want to smile.


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  2. When I sneeze, it is epic and mainly comes out like Inspector Clouseau with a large "AH-HAH!" because AH-CHOO is just too cliche.

    I am also a habitual blesser as well. I had a speech teacher tell me that in her travels, people from the East Coast will interrupt a conversation to say "bless you" as opposed to West Coast people who would wait for a break in the conversation, because you know they also only sneeze at convenient breaks in conversation...