My Curse


Sometimes people (including myself) become overdramatic when a bad thing happens to them. ‘I’m cursed,’ they think as recent, probably exaggerated, occurrences of bad luck flows through their mind in a neat list. We’ve all been there before, when life gets us down and the only rational response is to point the blame. And a curse is vague yet promising enough to be the cure.

I, however, believe that I may have a more specific problem.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I encounter this issue on an almost weekly basis. And of course it’s a situation that happens to make me feel very uncomfortable, which is why I think there is some divine, twisted hand at work here. Because the amount of times I have seen strangers, and at times people I know (you know who you are), pick their noses is UNBELIEVABLE. 

This has been a problem for many years now. Driving in my car and look into my rear view mirror to change lanes when… BAM! Person behind me is picking their nose. Stuck on a train at two in the morning and look up from my book to see how much longer until my stop… WHACK! Like a strike to the face I’m suddenly watching the person two seats in front of me digging for some gold. Or even in the middle of a crowded subway car surrounded by strangers, the person across from me is overtaken by the desire to stick their fingers in their nose. It doesn’t matter if there’s other people there apparently, as long as I get to have a look. People who enjoy picking their noses become overwhelmed with the desire once I come nearby.

And don’t think it stops there, because a lot of these people must be starved and then are hit with an incredible hunger when this desire kicks in.

I have a feeling that this all stems from an irrational fear my aunt put in my head as a child. When I was just a young nose picker myself, naively but happily digging away, my aunt saw me and immediately reprimanded me. “You’re going to get sick that way! Keep your fingers out of there!”

An amateur hypochondriac was born that day and I kept away due to fear. And if I didn’t I at least made sure no one would see me anymore.

Mostly what concerns me with the people I have the misfortune of watching (aside from their ravenous appetites) is how comfortable they are in very public settings doing this. We’ve been taught since young ages that picking your nose is a socially unacceptable thing, just like reaching down your pants to scratch your ass would be. No one cares what you’re doing in privacy, but once it becomes a show for others to watch is when I become concerned. Mostly because it’s usually me as the one-person audience gaping and trying to avert my eyes in disgust.

I don’t know how to avoid this because it strikes me when I’m least expecting it. And similar to how you want to look away from a horrific car accident, you always find yourself peeking back for more.

And the situations only become more and more public, yet somehow it seems that I’m the only witness to the crimes at hand…or fingertip. Even while I am trying to genuinely turn my eyes away, my peripheral vision seems to expand so I can chart the progression of the picker on their quest.

I’m usually not one for sticking strictly to societal norms and usually embrace breaking away from the crowd, but this just happens to be something that actually makes me want to throw up. My only solution so far is to walk around with my head down or my face behind the safety of a book. That is until the day those tactics get ruined and I find myself eye to nose with a complete stranger enjoying my least favorite past-time.

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