Too Much of a Good Thing

Be careful what you wish for, was a common recitation of my mother’s while I was growing up. She also said bad luck was as easy to find as good, so hope or ask for neither. I was thinking this morning of her stance on too much of a good thing while I was locked in a morning sneeze. I love a good sneeze, my eyes closed, the uncontrollable reflex welling up and filling my eyes until it is all released in a single achoo. A sneeze always seems like a good deal of fun to me.
My mother was allergic to almost everything; cats, soil, cut flowers, Christmas trees, even the dust from flour. So, she sneezed often and regularly and sometimes her sneezing episodes were epic, like marathons. We tried counting her sneezes, wondering if she could make the Guinness World Book of Records and defeat Donna Griffiths who sneezed for 976 days, but Donna’s record still holds. My mother sneezed and sneezed, her finger raised as if that might interrupt her sneezing and she could get back to the point she was trying to make. I’m allergic to nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I am allergic to penicillin, but I’m not sure that matters anymore and it certainly doesn’t make me sneeze. Two or three sneezes in a row is fun, but I draw the line there.
I love Rice Krispie “cake”, incorrectly named in my family but it sticks, and it always seems like a good idea, but there’s a fine line and once you cross that line you are left with a tummy ache and a sore mouth where the yummy Rice Krispies have taken a turn and not for the better, behaving like shards of glass in my mouth. Again, too much of a good thing.
Chicken pox is that childhood illness that we wanted our children to get past, to strike it off the list of adult difficulties. My grandmother used to say it was better to run through the fire than walk through it. Well, the summer of 1995 my daughters strolled through chicken pox, spacing out the itching and discomfort and fevers, each falling victim to the pox two weeks apart, so that it seemed the entire summer was consumed by chicken pox and oatmeal baths.
There’s no better example of too much of a good thing than the circulation of the joke that speaks of the beauty of the first snow fall, the light fluffy snow descending like butterflies, floating and hovering in the air. The joke closes with profanities and insults hurled at the snowplow drivers and Mother Nature. I just came in from clearing my driveway and the snowplow hasn’t gone by yet, which means another Herculean effort awaits me. It could be worse, much worse, but oh how we do love to complain about the weather, specifically the snow.
I don’t watch the Academy Awards. I tune in for minutes at a time and then switch it off. Each to their own, I say. I find the whole thing a bit disturbing and wonder about the cost of being turned out in such a fanfare. The dresses are extraordinary in their design and fabrics, the woman all pulled in with Spanx and who knows what, so that I think breathing becomes a challenge. I wish someone would show up in their gardening apparel and remove their gloves and nod a thank you at the camera. As it is, it’s all too much for me.
I have to go now. A curling game is coming on from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and I don’t want to miss a single shot. There are exceptions to every rule and I will confirm, there is no such thing as too much curling. Hurry hard!
wendistewart@live.ca

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