Introducing the Booger Rule

I’ve been finding my three-hour Blood Services shifts exhausting, since they’re closer to four hours by the time I drive to and from the site. I love the work, but I’m comatose by the end of my shift and it takes me a full day to recover. Last week, I asked the volunteer coordinator if I might shorten my shift to a manageable two hours. Thank goodness she was responsive and accommodating, as is her way.

For my first two-hour shift yesterday, the driving was atrocious (heavy snowfall + deep freeze = icy road conditions), so I asked J. to chauffeur me. Some days I’m just not up to driving, and the thought of taking transit in such inclement weather was grossly unappealing. J. dropped me off early and retrieved me a few hours later. On a good note, with my shorter shift, I didn’t resort to keeping myself awake by eating the high-sodium vegetable soup.

I climbed into J.’s warm car (the person who invented heated seats should win a Nobel Prize for Coziness), only to have her say, “Is that a booger on the end of your nose?” My first reaction, after my abject horror of course, was to say, “That’s highly possible.” Then I cried, “Why didn’t you notice this problem on the way to the clinic rather than on the drive home?”

I admit I’m not one to look in the mirror before I leave the house. That’s why so often my fly is undone, I have lunch on my shirt, I have food between my teeth and, it turns out, I sometimes have boogers on the end of my nose. Even if I did inspect myself in the mirror, my near vision is so poor that I’d need reading glasses to notice anything untoward.

Now let’s remember here that I’d just spend the previous two hours serving food to the generous donors, who’d trekked to the clinic through cold and deep snow. Thankfully our eye (or nose) contact was fleeting. I didn’t stand over people’s tables watching them consume their treats; I delivered the wares and went back behind the counter with all the other volunteers. (Alas! Did the volunteers notice too?) Now I’m wondering how many of the donors were thinking, “I don’t want the booger woman serving me my food.”

There is an obvious solution to this problem: I could start looking in the mirror before I leave the house. Who am I kidding? I haven’t been concerned with my appearance for over 53 years; do you think I’m suddenly going to start checking myself before I go out? I don’t want to see how large the black circles are under my eyes, or how bloodshot my eyes are from chronic fatigue, or even how much I look like I have leukemia.

I have a better solution, assuming you’re willing to help. From now on, please invoke the Booger Rule, i.e., alert me if I have boogers on my nose (or greenies between my teeth, or lunch on my shirt, or an open fly). Maybe you wouldn’t want to know, but, trust me, I would. My fleeting embarrassment is surely preferable to my sporting visible boogers all day, don’t you think?

Quote: I'm making eyes at you, hoping you'll see. For my lips cannot form the words. and all I want to say is that which must remain unspoken between us. (also, you have a bit of spinach in your teeth.)


4 thoughts on “Introducing the Booger Rule

  1. Loved this post! I’m similarly bad on both parts of what this post brings light to: the need to take a more active approach to checking for one’s boogers and speaking up when someone else needs to hear about them.

    I’ll be sure to credit you for the Booger Rule if they get offended. 🙂


  2. I bet it wasn’t there when you were doing your volunteer duties. It appeared when you walked to the car. No way J would let you walk around with a booger on your nose. And if I’m wrong, (I would be very disapointed in the woman of your life) send me a selfie each time you leave the house and I will check for irregularities 🙂


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