I had always assumed I was either losing my mind or I had some bizarre affliction. Now I know it’s real because there are people on the Internet with the same problem. Of course, there are people on the Internet with every problem.
Are you ready for this? I sneeze every day at the same time. At exactly 6:30 p.m, I sneeze exactly three times. My wife usually claims I imagine these kinds of things, but apparently she believes me on this one because after the third achoo!, she says, “Oh, it’s time for the news.”
When I searched online about this disorder, there were 350,000+ search results, discussing everything having to do with sneezing. For example, you can read about what to do if your cat is always sneezing, which is one of the humorous things about having a cat, and it substantially increases the chances of your pet video going viral. Your odds are even better if you have a chimp.
One guy posting online claimed a young lady refused an 8 p.m. dinner date with him because that was the time she usually sneezes uncontrollably. Looking back, none of the girls I asked out in high school used that pretext, instead claiming they had to wash their hair. Sneezing would have been an easier excuse for me to believe. After all, sneezing is contagious.
Ritual sneezing is just one of my bizarre behaviors that drives my wife crazy. I always eat lunch at home standing up; I’ll only drink beer from a wine glass; and my to-do list each morning is in alphabetical order. “Let’s see, Dick,” said Mary Ellen. “You also do the same thing every Wednesday and Friday at exactly 12:38. What do you think a doctor would call that?”
“A tee time?”
“And you brush your teeth at 9:30 every night.”
“Why is that weird?
“Because two hours later, you always eat two chocolate chip cookies before bed.”
I accused my wife of similar neurotic tendencies, but I couldn’t come up with a single example to prove my point, which, all married men know, is not an effective way to win an argument.
My search for an explanation and cure for my sternutation (yes, that’s the technical word for sneezing) led me to some websites that contained not only interesting facts not only about sneezing but also about the human nose, a part of the body I’ve always overlooked.
I learned there are exercises you can do that will reshape your nose. With the proper pushing, pulling and squeezing, you can shorten, straighten or narrow your proboscis. Like with the tongue exercises I detailed in a recent column, I suggest doing these maneuvers in the privacy of your home. You don’t want people in the car next to you to think you are picking your nose, when you are simply widening your nostrils.
I told my wife the other evening that I would get some professional help in dealing with my OCD behaviors. “Bless you,” she said. And then we watched the news.