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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

THE 800 LB. BOOGER IN THE ROOM

I found myself in an odd situation last night. I sat in a cafe sipping a cup of tea, as my date had a booger hanging from her left nostril. It was one of those thick gooey ones that needed to be removed with a tissue, not one of those light flaky ones that could fall out on its own with a weak exhale. I sat there trying not to look at this piece of nasal mucus as it dangled there, but I felt guilty not saying anything. Is it proper etiquette to call attention to something like that on a first date? Is it rude to hand her a tissue and tell her she needed to do some housecleaning? Is it rude not to? As we discussed matters of work, family and life in general, I could only think - "Doesn't she feel it hanging there?" I could barely pay attention to the conversation.

If she were my 4 year old niece, I'd have gotten a tissue and grabbed it out of her nose myself. She would have pulled away, I'd have told her to stay still for a moment, she would have resisted a little, but the whole thing would have been over in a matter of seconds. Instead, I said and did nothing, thinking it would be too embarrassing for this woman, if I called attention to it. I got up to use the restroom, hoping that while I was gone she'd check her makeup in one of those little mirrors women carry around. Once she saw the booger, she'd take care of it, and it would never again have to be seen or discussed. I figured she may be a bit embarrassed, thinking I'd seen it, but the plan was to pay her a compliment of some kind when I got back so that she'd feel better about herself and hopefully forget the whole thing.

As I walked back to the table, I was thinking of things I could compliment her on, and hoping the nasal stalactite was no longer there. Of course, it was. I wished there was something interesting in the cafe's bathroom that I could have suggested she go check out. A cool painting perhaps. Maybe a nice potpourri basket. ... ANYTHING to get her in front of a mirror. But such was not the case, and I was stuck having to stare at the snot-sicle for the remainder of the date.

There won't be a second date. Not because of the booger, we just weren't a match. But I wonder if she ever did notice it. Maybe she jumped in the shower when she got home and washed it away without knowing it was ever there. Or maybe she's at work today with it still hanging there as her coworkers wonder whether to say anything to her about it.

8 comments:

VB said...

You did the right thing. Not your place to say anything about it on a first date.

Nikki said...

Funny, but if I were her and I saw that thing hanging from my nose when I got home, I'd be absolutely mortified. Definitely an awkward situation for you, though.

Juju said...

I think it would have been proper to call her attention to it. You could have said,"you have something under your nose". What if your fly was down. Wouldn't you want somebody to point it out? At the same time it is hard to believe she didn't know anything was hanging down from there. Usually people feel when things are hanging from their noses.

Miranda said...

Perhaps you didn't have time to figure out if you two were a match or not because you were so preoccupied by the booger in her nose, and what to do/not do about it.

I had that happen to me once too. Not on a first date though. I couldn't bring myself to say anything either - I was in too much of a hurry to get the hell away from him before he tried to kiss me. Yuk.

Ro said...

It's ok to say something. Just be tactful about it. Really it's more embarrassing if you don't say anything at all.

Rob said...

I disagree about saying something. If you were interested, then you'd have asked her out again, and she'd know the booger was a non-issue. If you weren't interested, you'd never see her again anyway so who cares? Dating's hard enough without having to worry about other people's nasal excretions.

Martwork said...

I, too, don't understand why you couldn't just say something. It's uncomfortable for a minute, yes, but wouldn't you want someone to let you know if the situation were reversed?

del said...

It's a good thing you didn't say anything! For some people, they have so much on their mind that bits and pieces come dripping out. Yes, it's often through the nose. Why, if you tried to get this woman to do something, it could have been lethal!

Then again, you are just as well off without someone so preoccupied. I hope she gets help.