I went home last weekend. The conversation followed the usual lines: government failures; the plans that will make us rich, famous and happy forever after; what to have for tea; mortality and what it can do for you. Whilst all this was buzzing around the airwaves, I came to a sudden realisation- wait, what did Grandma look like? I don’t know if you’ve ever had this sort of moment but it’s mildly unsettling. It must be about 7 years ago that Grandma died and I realised that the only bits of her that I could remember properly, vividly, as captured in film, were her earlobes, her feet, her hairnet and her voice. Where had her actual face gone? Why could I no longer focus on the main part of the picture? And when had it slipped out of my mind?
Help was at hand in the form of photo albums and I came to another shocking revelation. How could I have forgotten Grandma’s nose when I had it plainly in the middle of my own face every day? I can only deduce from this that about the time I forgot what Grandma’s face looked like was about the time that my nose took its current form. This would mean that pretty much as soon as Grandma had died, her face disappeared from memory leaving just a lingering nose as souvenir.
And I feel bad for grandma that it is her nose that must be remembered. It is a fully functional, normal looking nose, but a nose nonetheless. Whilst it does boast an excellent sense of smell (I can tell you what’s cooking at twenty paces and I could do really well in that Masterchef challenge where they have to guess the ingredients but with only my nose), it’s not the cute button like pokeable kind that my older sister got. It’s a firmly proportioned straight nose that doesn’t beat around the bush. There is no disguising this nose.
And indeed, all attempts at prettifying it or making it my own rather than plainly Grandma’s nose have gone awry. The nose stud that I planted in its right side got rejected quite forcefully after a long drawn out battle with a returning infection that refused to disappear however much antiseptic, boiled water and careful ‘strictly no-touching’ treatment was lavished on it. Interestingly, my younger sister, who also sports Grandma’s nose (the first thing people generally say when they see us together for the first time is- ‘Gosh! Don’t you have the same nose?!’ And that’s only because they don’t know Grandma) had exactly the same issue with attempts at nasal piercing. Clearly Grandma doesn’t approve. Sorry Grandma.