Archive | May, 2017

Nose Hairs and the Trimmer

29 May

My husband & I have reached the point in our lives where we have just about everything we need, which presents a problem at Christmas & birthdays. We don’t know what to give to each other. While gift cards are ideal – you can use them to get something you REALLY want or are great for a meal during an evening out in, say, March or April, they don’t offer the same holiday excitement you get opening a beautifully wrapped gift.

Several years ago my husband gave me a lovely little wrapped gift for Christmas that held all that holiday surprise (he wrapped it himself). I opened it to find a very small & delicate trimmer. In fact, the package said, “TRIMMER.” It also said, “Personal Trimmer,” which led my husband to assume it was an eyebrow trimmer & that’s what he told me. While the package did say, “TRIMMER,” the accompanying picture in the literature showed that delicate little cutting tool being used to trim nostril hair & said it was great as a “nose hair trimmer.” Because I didn’t have nostril hair falling onto my upper lip with wind blowing it around & causing me to lisp when speaking, I accepted it graciously as it had been given.

When I was a small child growing up in North Carolina I remember a barber shop that advertised, Shave, Haircut, Ear & Nose Hair Trimming. I remember a man sitting in front of us in church that had a huge crop of ear hair falling out of his ears onto the sides of his face &, although I don’t remember his face, I will never forget that mane of hair plummeting from each of his ears that fascinated me sitting behind him in church. I suppose he also had a bunch falling out of his nostrils but I don’t remember ever looking.  In my young mind I made up stories about that hair & kept myself occupied until the adult service had ended, sometimes dragging on after 12 noon.

That was one of those memories that suddenly surfaced while I was holding that little TRIMMER package in my hand & reading the accompanying literature.

When I put the gift away in a bathroom drawer, I thought a lot about superfluous hair, with a target on nose hair … primarily because there was a picture.

So what is nostril hair for anyway? I’m sure I’m not the only person who has ruminated over that question, so here is what I know. Physically, it not only catches some small stuff & debris & keeps it from entering our noses (small stuff we can’t even see); it also warms up the air that we breathe when we inhale. If you’ve ever noticed walking out to your car on that first VERY cold morning of  winter & suddenly you feel like your nose hairs are frozen, then you get an idea of what great nose & internal body warmers those little nostril hairs really are & you, like I, just might ask yourself if trimming those unsightly things back is a good idea. Well, now that I think about it, probably not in the dead of winter. If we allow them to do their job, they make not only a pretty great filter, they can be an excellent nostril muff.

I guess nose hair trimming can be overdone as with anything we do to excess & I wouldn’t recommend doing it to the extreme. There are some cases, however, where regular nose hair grooming is imperative … like if they’re dragging on your top lip & becoming incidental conversation starters at parties or if they are flapping in the breeze, making eating & coherent speech difficult or become a distraction when giving a very important verbal presentation.  If that is the case, have I got a tool for you!!!

If, however, extreme nostril hair is helpful in your life, like when you’re on a trip & accidentally leave your tooth brush at home, then maybe investing in a nose hair trimmer wouldn’t be your first purchase for the trip. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest braiding them or adorning them with nose hair jewelry. That seems a bit extreme but in the quiet of your own home, well, what happens at home should STAY at home & that’s all I’m going to say about that.

After a while I DID use the TRIMMER to tame a wayward eyebrow or two & have continued to use it for that purpose. It works just fine.

I will warn you, though, while good nostril health is imperative to all around good health & they should stay aesthetically pleasing, you don’t want to go poking around in there so much. It can be frustrating & you can do some REAL damage with a nose hair trimmer. Not that I know from experience but I can just imagine the perils of placing a small, battery-operated cutting tool into those two holes in the front of your head & coming out on the worst end of that experiment.

In conclusion I just want to thank my husband for a Christmas gift that has kept my eyebrows perfectly groomed for the past several years & led me to an intellectually fascinating quest to learn everything there was to learn about Nostril Wellness.

And what about that old man in church when I was just a curious child who had all that oscillating hair emanating from each of his ears? Well, that was a long time ago & I’m sure he’s dead by now … taking with him his personal secret of that lengthy growth. On the other hand, even though I don’t remember his face, I DO remember him. I guess it’s even possible that I may be the ONLY person alive on this planet that does, so in a way, my husband’s unusual  Christmas gift was more than a way of finding a unique gift to give to someone who has everything. It has been a learning experience &, more important than that, it has made me remember a poor, old forgotten man who died long ago & would never have been remembered otherwise.

Nostril hairs … God love ‘em ……………..

 

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Mother’s Day

10 May

At 84 she was frail & ravaged by end-stage COPD when she died due to a 40 year history of smoking. She quit when she was 68 but by then the worst of the damage was done, yet she lived 16 more years, as much by sheer determination as by good medical intervention. Towards the end of her life she described herself, not as frail, but as “fragile.”

After I went through a divorce, she promised not to go “anywhere” until I was settled. And she didn’t. She lived long enough to see me married to my husband, Willy & finally happy.

I loved my mother more than anything, ever. From the time I was old enough to pray with understanding, the main message in my prayers was for the safety of my mom & that I be allowed to have her in my life a while longer. Subconsciously, that was probably in part due to the sudden loss of my father when I was 6 to an unexpected coronary thrombosis. I harbored the fear that my remaining parent might be taken from me just as suddenly.

Throughout my life my mom was my teacher, my mentor, my best friend & my disciplinarian. She saw to it that I had everything I needed & a lot of what I really wanted, even if it meant working extra hours or long weekends at the phone company. Many of the lessons I learned from her were taught to me through her wonderful & unique sense of humor & the optimistic view she had of life, which she held onto even in the face of personal disappointment.

Growing up, my elementary school girl friends loved pajama parties at my house mainly because of my mom & my high school best friend, who couldn’t talk to her own mother, talked to mine.

My mom taught me compassion, understanding & love. She taught me respect, not only for people but all living things. She taught me to believe in myself, my judgement & my decisions but she also taught me humility & how to admit when I was wrong or had made a mistake. She taught me to understand finances, to be independent, how to manage my bank account & my emotions. She was there WITH me & always FOR me.

I believe most everyone’s mom was / is like that but to me my mother was unique in the universe & to this day, she continues to be.

Most of the critical medical problems I’ve had have been since my mother’s death. But, oh, how I wished she had been there with me when they reared their ugly heads. I especially missed her when I was diagnosed with breast cancer & went through nearly a year of chemotherapy & radiation. I believe she would have been proud of the way I handled all that & the life changes I’ve made as a result of it but mainly I wished for her closeness during those times because of her way of handling illness. She would tell me, “It’s going to be alright,” & I always believed her, even though I knew intellectually it wasn’t always going to be.

When she knew her time was limited she tried to tell me things she wanted me to know; from stories of her life she’d never shared with anyone but wanted to, to where important papers were. I couldn’t listen & she responded by gently asking me, “Do you think I’m going to live forever?” My response to her was a very defiant, “I’m counting on it.” And so she told my husband everything she wanted me to know & after her death, when he thought I could handle it, he told those things to me. I came to think of those times as Mama Moments & through his telling them to me from his heart where she’d placed them, it helped keep her alive a while longer when I really needed her to be.

When I feel lonely without my mom & the special feelings of warmth & security we feel when our moms hold us close, I remember her sense of humor & the wonderfully unexpected & humorous things she said. And I smile. Sometimes I burst into laughter & feel her at my side, reaching out to grab my hand while smiling into my eyes & into my heart.

One of the things I miss most, aside from conversations, afternoons shopping, lunches at our favorite restaurants, sharing exceptional books & going to spur-of-the-moment movie matinees is no longer being anyone’s “little girl.” No matter how old she & I were or got to be, I was always that to her & we both knew it & were wrapped in the warm cocoon of that knowledge & that special place we shared. It is a love that is shared only by mothers & daughters & I am forever blessed to have known that in my life & to have been in that special place.

The author, Mitch Albom wrote a novel several years ago called, For Just One More Day.  Its premise is a simple one & here is a description of the premise as it appears in the advertisement for the novel:

A beautiful, haunting novel about the family we love & the chances we miss.

   FOR ONE MORE DAY is the story of a mother & son, & the relationship that covers a lifetime & beyond. It explores the question, “What would you do if you could spend just one more day with a lost loved one?”

I bought the book because I was intrigued with the possibility & the premise set loose in me a huge desire to have just one more day with my mom. What would I tell her? What would she tell ME? How could I ever let her go again?

Mainly I would just like to hug her & feel the warmth of her …  that frail body…  & drown in the hugeness of her personality & her love for me … to be her “little girl” For Just One More Day.

I’d tell her, Happy Mother’s Day & thank her especially for being my Mom.