Public confidence, thanks to iPod

Kristine Gill

IPods are great when you want to look busy. They’re great when you need to focus on something other than the excruciating pain of your intense workout. They’re great when you’d rather not talk to the girl who decides to come to lecture for the first time this semester and is staring at you because you seem like the type who takes great notes.

For me, the most important thing my iPod has given me is the confidence to blow my nose. When the newest strain of the wonderful rhinovirus decides to wreak havoc, dread overwhelms me.

And when that mucus decides to leak through the pathetic dam in my nasal passage, hence unleashing a furious and incessant drip drop of phlegm (only an inking as to the amount of snot clogging my brain), I know it’s time to suck it up.

And no, I don’t mean the snot. Snorting that stuff back might clear your nose for a moment, but it won’t fix the problem. It’s a temporary solution. No, what I have to suck up is my pride.

Blowing one’s nose in public has been a source of embarrassment since the germ-filled days of elementary school. Getting up in the middle of class to unleash a gust of mucus into a tissue from a student-donated box was mortifying.

Blowing your nose showed everyone that you were sick with a contagious illness. Everyone knew you weren’t above having a snotty nose – a common human condition.

I am told that not every school is like this. At one elementary school in my hometown, it was apparently “the thing” to blow your nose. One student’s journey to the tissue box and his subsequent disgusting display of force inspired fellow students to follow suit. It was probably embarrassing if you weren’t sick and your immune system wasn’t trying to dispel germs through your schnoz via mucus.

I remember even as a child, in my own home, an arm’s length away from the nearest box of Kleenex, it was easier to snort than blow. Blowing your nose is messy. It was easier to suck it back, breathe for a minute or two and repeat than it was to exert all that energy getting rid of snot. It was also a quick and easy way to defy my parents.

Now I blow.

My iPod has given me the confidence I needed. In a bathroom stall before class, the sounds of The Format blaring into my ear canals, I find that blowing my nose isn’t as loud as I thought.

In fact, I’m sure no one is glancing toward my stall as I make inhuman noises into my wad of toilet paper. If I can barely hear myself, then they can’t hear a thing, nothing at all.

All they hear is the theme song my iPod is playing like a movie. At least that’s what I tell myself. And whether or not it’s true, it works. Snot is gone, music is playing, and my stall neighbors have never complained. Or maybe I just can’t hear that either.

Of course if blowing just doesn’t cut it, I could always turn up the volume; pray that enough decibels of Gym Class Heroes can hollow out those dang Eustachian tubes. It’s all the same plumbing in there. Drain the ears, down the throat and encourage the nose to follow.

Kristine Gill is a freshman prejournalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].