The Power of a Booger

My mom took me and one sister to Disneyland thirty years ago.  That was the last time we all vacated together until February of this year.

We all met in Carlsbad, California, one of my favorite places on earth (and I know it will be no matter how many places I see).  Note: Disneyland is another favorite – I don’t get to very many places.  The trip was a nice break from real life for all of us.  The sunny days; the ocean purr; men noticing my sister wherever we went.  Let me clarify – cute men noticing my sister.

We shopped, we ate, we walked and lay on the beach.  We made my mom stand tall when a police helicopter repeatedly flew over announcing the loss of a gray-haired woman in her seventies wearing black.  My mom is 5’10” and the missing woman was 5’5” so standing tall made a difference.  Every other characteristic matched and we smiled broadly to assure people we weren’t old lady-nappers.  I think we still frightened people.

Thirty years ago in Disneyland, we shopped, ate and of course enjoyed the rides.  I was a virgin to all rides and basically virginal.  I was twelve and my sister and I were close yet conflicted.  Our threesome the same.  My sister bragged about and prepped me for Space Mountain.  I was so excited that I bought a blue sailor hat to accentuate the recent mullet I created in an attempt to be creative with my own hair. 030516Mullet (This is David Spade, not me.)

Imagine my displeasure when the ride scared the goofy right out of me.  You can bet I stomped away from my mom and sister who laughed at me and my fear.  You can bet they learned the lesson from me that day!  “Don’t brag about rides that are going to potentially kill me!”  Is it really the happiest place on earth?  I share this to represent the decades old tension and conflict our triangle holds. 030516Triangle

The dynamic of our threesome involves love, tolerance and tension.  We all swallow our petty words now that we’re supposedly grown up.  However, when you factor in three independent women with personal agendas, they are going to get bitchy.  And man did my mom and sister get bitchy!   (hee hee)

After two days of walking around the beautiful town and compromising shopping expeditions and dinners, we were all disappearing for 10 second countdowns in order to calm down.  I think we were all, despite our love for one another, struggling to remember why we planned this trip.  We all contemplated our own disappearances but knew we’d end up reported.  Since the police in Carlsbad send out a ‘copter for missing people, we’d end up found and probably more annoyed than ever.  But the cute male cops would like my sister so if someone was going to “disappear”, it should be her.

Enter me with a great idea to go to a café I like.  I aimed to offer a place with a general menu and reliable food.  We were seated and perused the menus with the constant, mild tension between us.  Our waitress took our orders and gave us water.  As we chatted and drank our waters, the 40 year old busser came over.  I looked right up at him noticing first his flaked skin and then THE BOOGER.  It hung from too long nose hairs and looked like it may be a long term resident.  I didn’t want to take all this in, especially right before eating my cheese omelet, but I did.  I glanced away quickly, toward my mom. Funny how evolution pushed me toward her for help.

She smiled and said, “Okay.”

I glanced at my sister who smirked.

Then my mom said, “I guess he’s not going to fill my water.”  This made me laugh because I was trying to deny the booger sighting. She didn’t see it!

“I was laughing at the booger.”  I said.

And she said, “Oh.”

My sister said, “Yeah, that was interesting.”  I knew I could rely on my sister to see the booger.  My mom is older.  She doesn’t see everything.

So I kept my head down, we all did, as he made the rounds.  He was a very attentive busser.  Waters were filled and table tops were cleaned but his nose wasn’t.  My stomach started to turn.  My omelet came and I tried to ignore the relationship between cheese and mucus.  I tried to enjoy the food.  I imagined the little mucus with the suitcase on the Mucinex commercials but it was no use. 030516MucinexMucus (Mucus sure does happen.  And tissue should follow!)

I couldn’t stop drinking water, I was so thirsty, so the booger, I mean busser, kept coming over.  We talked about saying something since having a clean nose in a food establishment should be a job requirement.

My mom said, “I’ll say something.”

Simultaneously my sister and I said (or may have screamed), “No.”  We turned into our fearful, mortified by mom teenage selves.  But somebody should say something, shouldn’t they?  What if we hurt his feelings?  He can’t spit in our food because we have it already but who was to say what may have fallen into our food from his nostril region?   We giggled uncontrollably as our faces turned green and our stomachs flipped.

I originally was going to call this the Booger that Took Carlsbad but I think it’s actually the Booger that Reunited Three.  It sounds like a Game of Thrones book, right? Our tension diffused and we enjoyed each other the rest of our trip. 030516WaterSkiing (This is a photo of the three of us water skiing after lunch.)

Note:  It still would be nice if the busser would clean his nose.

Jeri Schott

I'm an unpublished writer.

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I’m an unpublished writer.

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