Decongestant

Decongestant: (n) a substance that relieves mucus congestion of the upper respiratory tract.

I hate colds.

I am not alone in this, but they are a hazard for my profession.

I have spent my life using my voice in various capacities, and having that altered is at least annoying, if not costly.

Over the years, I’ve learned that the sooner I treat a cold, the better off I am.

This discovery was birthed during a particularly nasty head cold I had when I was a junior in high school. Being that particular age, I took no medications and certainly would never carry Kleenex in my pocket.

So one very cold day, when the study hall at school was overly warm, my nose began to run. I had nothing at all to stop the flow.

I had not taken a decongestant to dry me out.

Kleenex was for girls.

And unfortunately, the only thing available was the fuzzy sweater my brother had loaned to me, which had big, bushy sleeves.

I resisted for a long time.

I tried to breathe in deeply, sucking the nose flow back into my head.

I did a quick reach-up with my finger to push back the lava.

But it just kept coming.

Finally, in a complete breakdown, I lifted my sweater sleeve and quickly rubbed it across my nose, allowing all the furriness to absorb the “ick.”

I immediately reached down and tried to redistribute the human glue throughout the sweater so it wouldn’t be noticeable—and fortunately for me, the bell rang. I was able to run to the bathroom to blow my nose.

Being a teenager, I forgot all about the incident until a week later, when my brother put on the sweater and asked me what the deal was with the sleeve.

I could not tell him the truth.

It would not be healthy for his heart. (I don’t think he had a heart condition, but he could develop one.)

Being an adolescent and not quick-thinking on my feet, I replied, “Wear and tear?”

My brother looked at me, perplexed, then down at his clumpy, sticky sleeve. I don’t think he really wanted to know, so he accepted my explanation.

I have since learned that the power of a decongestant is that it dries you up so much that you don’t have to do embarrassing things to your clothing.

 

Condescending

Condescending: (adj) having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority

We spend our entire lives confirming what we should have known on the day of our birth.

Plucked from bloody wombs, our cord to former protection is cut. We are forced to breathe, reaching into the darkness with our blinded eyes, only to end up stacked in a nursery somewhere, with dozens of other non-functioning units, to cleave to our mothers’ breast as if it was our funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
only source of nourishment–because it is.

We grow up–and then, for some reason or another, decide we are superior to other people–a condescending conclusion.

Considering we all come in the same way and all go out breathless, it might be nice to realize the great wealth of similarities among us, instead of trying to intimidate in a world of domination.

There are two things I remind myself of every day:

  1. My life is maintained by a single muscle in the middle of my chest which has already experienced a lot of wear and tear.
  2. No one is better than anyone else–and that includes me.

 

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Broke

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Broke: (v) past tense of break

“If it ain’t broke…”

Almost everyone in America, down to the youngest lad or lass, could probably finish that idiom.Dictionary B

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

It’s one of those statements which was hatched decades ago–probably by a lazy husband arguing with his wife over a repair that seemed unnecessary because there were no dangling wires, frayed cords or very much chipped paint.

Truth is, we fix things all the time that aren’t “broke.”

We take precautions when we see wear and tear.

We provide general maintenance on vehicles and appliances.

And if we see a little spot on our clothing that’s beginning to pull a seam or two, we retrieve the needle and thread so as not to be caught in the middle of a social situation with an unsightly rip.

But this particular axiom about “broken and fixing” has permeated our thinking so much that we leave many things undone that could sure use some tender, loving care.

We know what’s involved in carrying on a relationship between a man and a woman, but because no one complains, we ignore kindness and consideration in favor of seeking our own will or avoiding feeling silly.

We know to say “thank you,” but we’d rather insist we already did.

We know to say “I’m sorry,” but are convinced that people would feel awkward if we offered such a trivial piece of consideration.

We certainly are aware that “I love you” makes the world go around, but are equally willing to stop the globe to keep from uttering it.

Long before something is broken, it’s damaged–and if we’re able to catch it in its weakened state, it doesn’t need to break.

If we worked on teaching about marriage and saving relationships, we wouldn’t have such a god-awful custody system in this country, dividing children up with the “sword of visitation.”

If we understood that decisions will always be greeted with unexpected results, we would never choose up teams, wearing red and blue jerseys and thinking that the coloration empowers us.

Some people would say America’s “broke.”

I would say there’s some surface scratches and dents.

But if we don’t tend to it and take care of the little blemishes, in no time at all, we could end up not being what we’re cracked up to be.

 

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