Sometimes presence is the best of presents.
What Not to Do
Alecia had a rough week. First, a very aggressive bluebird started pecking at her office window; it appeared he wanted to move in with them? Then her youngest, Fox, decided to insert a piece of bell pepper in his nose, triggering a multi-hour visit to the ER, culminating in a procedure the attending physician called ‘The Mother’s Kiss’. Essentially, this involved holding Fox down and pinching one nostril shut while Alecia blew-hard-into his mouth. This successfully dislodged the pepper, but neither Alecia nor Fox particularly enjoyed it.
Foreign objects, once stuck in a nostril, are surprisingly difficult to un-stick. My sister Betty once got a root beer barrel candy stuck up her nose. In church, no less. She and another sister, Bonnie, had gotten the root beer barrel from our grandmother, and had been passing it back and forth to share when somehow it detoured up Betty’s nose. (Why Grandma gave one piece of candy to two girls? That’s a story for another day, but I digress.) Our parents were NOT happy. Betty was taken to the Crying Room, where I am fairly certain Dad removed the candy by sheer force of his displeasure. At any rate, no kissing was involved. Shaking, perhaps.
Opening my New Yorker this week, I noticed that the Shouts and Murmurs column was titled, ‘Things Vaccinated People Still Should Not Do’. Example: ” Stay Unmuted During Group Zooms”. Or “Suddenly Stop Walking Up a Flight of Stairs to Look at Your Phone”. But my favorite was, ” Not Order Fries and Then Eat Your Friends’ Fries Off Their Plate: No kind of vaccine will ever make it ok to do this…just order your own damn fries.” (You have to admit that this logic is flawless.)
Perhaps the New Yorker is just channeling the national mood. After all, 2020 was and 2021 certainly has started out as the year of the DON’T. But Spring is here, and maybe it’s time for a change? Whether due to the recent gorgeous weather, climbing numbers of vaccinations, or some other, unknown factor, I’m beginning to perceive a thaw in attitudes. People seem more hopeful, more focused on DO than DON’T. You feel like they’re smiling, even if you still can’t see their mouths. Honestly, it feels GREAT.
Still, better to put the pepper in your mouth.