What do you title a blog about encountering a person who lacks a nose? It’s hard. To wit, you notice I just avoided it altogether.
There I am, standing in line at Kohl’s, one of the few shopping experiences around here where one can go in, grab and go without the hassle of a line. Let’s not get pissy about stores okay? Kohl’s became a fav when my butt expanded with my time here in Idaho and I discovered Jennifer Lopez’ line of curve-hugging-yet-flattering pants, perfect for those of us with small waists and ahem-gracious derrieres’. Kohl’s also has fantastic (and I do mean fantastic) deals on appliances (Euro brands + Kitchenaids etc) and Xmas items at prices so far less than Macy’s it’s really wrong (as if Macy’s weren’t struggling enough.
But I digress. The buzzer rings, I step off my personal round space used for distancing, say hello to the register worker and answer the basic questions. Yes, I found everything, yes, I’m having a good day. Because I’m old school and believe in making eye-contact, I don’t immediately notice the missing section between her eyes and her mouth. Normally, a point lifts the mask off the nose. Furthermore, here in Idaho, the mask mandate has been eliminated, although many wear a mask but pull it down just below the nose.
This woman, I realized, had no nose. It was gone.
We are talking about the essentials of life; the upcoming holiday season, the best deals and delight that waiting lines no longer exist because consumers are shopping on line. I ask if she’s worried about her job and she just scoffs.
“I’d been through a divorce, and my house burned down because of an electrical issue,” she tells me, all the while scanning my items. “My own smoking caused this,” she says, pointing to her nose, then shrugs.
“You think I even care about COVID? It’s the flu. Try having your life wiped out by a fire and your nose being sliced off. Then come talk to me.”
Whew. What do you say to that? (I know you’re wondering what I said. It was “no kidding,” reinforced with a head nod.
Walking out the door, I remove my own mask and take a long inhale of 10 degree air through the nose, a sensation I’d always taken for granted and never thought about twice. I do now.