Monday, April 19, 2010

The Nose: Have It

When I was four years old, I tripped and fell headlong so fast I landed on my face. On the concrete curb next to our mailbox.

I was so young then, there wasn't even enough bone in my nose to break, so as I recall there was little the hospital could do for my bruised up little lump of a puss but to sort of say "there, there" and send me home. I remember going out to dinner at the family fish house that night, with my grandma I think - little navy blue dress and little brown leather thong sandals - and little purple mess of a face I'd actually tried to scrub clean of bruises so big (and in such a strange place) they were cognitively lost on my little brain, expecting a pink face.

I've always ascribed my very flat profile and my fairly tiny ("vestigial" I used to call it) nose to stunted growth because of that accident. I assume it's fair, by now, to ascribe the deviated septum to it - and perhaps pettish, but not completely nuts, to blame it for the problems I have breathing as well.

Anyway. The thing is, noses have always held a fascination for me. My dad had a kind of cute one, probably the one mine most closely tried to resemble. My mom always thought hers was too big. I have never, to this day, been able to comprehend this estimation - and though she had an accident herself some years back, her objection to her proboscis predates this issue by decades. I have photos of her reaching back throughout my life, and well before it, and all I can see is a beautiful woman with a wide, sometimes nervous smile.

I genuinely have a hard time understanding why people consider noses "too big" at all. Their own, or anyone else's. And the concept of a bump on the bridge of the nose being somehow unattractive horrifies me; I've known some women with bumps whose attractiveness is very much enhanced by this feature.

I find noses embarrassingly fascinating, is my point.

My ex thought his was big. I found it incredibly pleasing, a manly feature, fitting, natural - and therefore right in a satisfying way.

E once said to me he wished his nose were smaller.

Now, without saying he and I resemble one another particularly, I can observe that others have thought so, and even if I don't agree, I can see why this has been said. In one specific, too, this is understandable: his profile might be even flatter than my own. He's got the most vertical face I can think of, apart from my own. Forehead to chin, the line is broken only by that nose. Which, if it were any smaller, would be a disappointment.

And I've never found E visually disappointing.

I've always joked I'd like to get a nose job, and ask for a Striesand.

Of course, that would be ludicrous on me - too rounded. But even a Roman number with one of those wonderful bumps along the slope might easily become too much in my freckly face.

And so even my own nose, as aware as I am of its (literal!) limitations, has a happy place in my estimation. It's mine, it's even almost cute (I leave little allowance for cuteness in my features; so allowing it for my schnozz is something of a concession), it's well defined. It's what I was meant to have, apparently - so I'm not actually going for my big-nose job. Heh.

Anyway, noses. Love yours. It's nowhere near as big as you imagine. And big is nowhere near as bad as "they" want everyone to think.

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