Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Last Thursday I used one hundred twenty tissues on my runny nose. It was a marathon-cold-day, averaging a trip to the Puffs' box every six minutes. Fortunately, they were coated with lotion, otherwise I might not have a nose today.

At one point I located three trash bags in my dining room, each dedicated to the collection of soiled tissues. At another point I almost cried from exhaustion. After listening me to lament and moan for a half hour on the bench, my wife said, "It's just a cold, Tim. Some people have cancer."

"But cancer doesn't come out of their nose," I replied smartly.

Colds are my cancer. But some day cancer might be my cancer. If it is true that God gives us no more than we can handle, He has deemed me a lightweight. I am okay with that as long as I can reach the Puffs' box and breathe at night.

One hundred and twenty blows in a day does seem excessive. I wondered aloud if this was normal. My wife agreed it was excessive. Some people sniff. Some people swallow. And some noses leak less.

Sadly, I have a distinct memory from childhood where I avoided using tissues. I would sniff and snort and channel the snot down the back of my throat. Perhaps this was not the prescribed method for dealing with a cold, but it worked. Then one day my father yelled at me, "Use a Kleenex."

I did. Excessively. One hundred and twenty in a day. And herein lies the real sickness: I need to forgive my dad.

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