I Am A Dainty, Fragile Flower

I knew that today was going to be what Sister calls a “humdingalinga” when I had to put Howard Alex in time out. At the pool. During his swimming lesson.

The specifics aren’t important, really – just typical four year-old antics – but when we got in the car a little bit later and started to talk about the difference between good choices and bad choices, Alex apologized and then informed me that we needed to pray.

Look for him at a tent revival near you when he’s, you know, seven. He’ll obviously be the one offering the invitation to the altar while “Just As I Am” plays in the background.

So we went to lunch, ran a couple of errands, stopped at Publix for some groceries (ground chuck for $1.99 a pound – HOLLA!) , then hurried back home before all the meat ruined in the 243 degree heat.

And clearly I’m exaggerating. Because it was actually only about 172 this afternoon.

The highlight of the day was without a doubt my return trip to the ENT. Who knew that two weeks of impaction-softening eardrops could pass by so quickly? Oh, it has been special season.

In all honesty I didn’t even mind the fact that I had a doctor’s appointment, because I knew that my doctor’s appointment guaranteed a certain span of time in which I would be all alone. Never you mind that the majority of that alone time would be spent with someone trying to pry impacted wax from my ear canal. I’ll take my quiet where I can get it, thankyouverymuch.

So after spending about forty five minutes reading back issues of Ladies’ Home Journal in the waiting room (heaven on earth, I tell you), I was escorted to an examination room, where, thanks to my doctor’s fancy audio set-up, I enjoyed the soothing sounds of Seal and TLC.

Remember, internets: don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.

Sadly, the physician’s assistant came in the room and interrupted the moment of introspection I was sharing with T-Boz, Chili and Left Eye (God rest her soul). And after he took a look at my right ear his first words were, “So, have you REALLY been using your drops?”

I couldn’t help but feel that the news wasn’t good.

And I won’t go into too much detail because I realize that many of you have recently eaten supper, but he had to use, um, POINTY STEEL THINGS in order to remove the impaction. And then he had to CUT IT WITH SCISSORS because he couldn’t get it out of my ear.


And that was just the right side, my friends.

Several days ago I told D. that there was no way I was looking at whatever came out of my ear, no way in this world, but when push came to shove I just couldn’t help it. Curiosity got the better of me, and not only did I look, I COULD NOT TURN AWAY FROM IT.

Some minutes later, when I finally regained my composure, I asked the PA how in the sam hill that THING ended up in my ear, and he said that it’s because I have unusually small ear canals.

It was a bittersweet moment, mainly because I have spent the better part of thirty years wishing that something, anything about me would be considered “unusually small.” I would love to have “unusually small” thighs, or “unusually small” upper arms, or “unusually small” stomach flab.

But instead, I have “unusually small” ear canals.

Needless to say, I am underwhelmed with delight.

The good news, however, is that I can now hear better than I have in years. I had to turn down the volume on my cell phone, and I’ve been fiddling with the volume on iTunes all night long lest the old settings shatter my eardrums. I’m even considering applying to the CIA as a covert human listening device.

I’m JUST LIKE the Bionic Woman, y’all. Or at least I would be if I actually had any bionic powers.

Unfortunately, it seems that the only superhuman power I have is to produce massively sized ear impactions.

And the demand for such a skill is understandably nonexistent.

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  1. Wow. I threw up in my mouth a little.

  2. Ok, this one should have come with a warning label! I about spit my drink all over my screen. I, too, know the feeling of wanting some part, any part, of your body to be “unusually small.” Mine ended up being the birth canal. Um, how is that possible when all that surrounds it is so NOT unusually small? Ah, the irony! Glad you can hear though. I say go for the CIA thing – federal government benefits are great, I bet!

  3. This lovely post was made all the more enjoyable by the 80 pound dog behind me throwing up. Right under my credenza.

    Maybe he really CAN read.

  4. At one time, I was disheartened to learn that petite (as in clothing) really meant short. But I’ll take any small word adjectives I can get. So hooray for your small ear canals!

  5. Tee-hee!! You’re cracking me up! I also would love to hear the “unusually small” phrase used to describe many things! Not necessarily my ear canals though. I’m glad you got things all cleared up (out?) and can hear better now. :)

  6. I’ll bet you’re wishing the young’un had a volume knob now. Especially in light of ALL! THE! SHOUTING!! he does. Seems louder now that you have those hunks of Crayola brown wax out of your unusually small shell-like ear canals, doesn’t it? ;o)

    Love and hugs,


  7. Oh BooMama, you are a classic…only you could make impacted ear wax a delightful read.

  8. All I can say is a woman who can make an ENT appointment sound so interesting, is a very good writer. hee, hee. I wrote this b-4 I saw “Neighbors…” comment. I second it.

  9. This may be one of the finest pieces of blog literature EVER. I loved it!

  10. Ok, we all know you COULDN’T LOOK AWAY, but please tell me you didn’t BRING IT HOME IN A GLASS JAR.

    Please, tell me you didn’t.

  11. Oh, BooMama. I needed this laugh, and you always come through when I need a good laugh. And to Tater and Tot — your comment got the loudest laugh of all. (At the same time, I was a little grossed out.) Now I can go to bed and sleep – knowing all is right with the world – or at least it’s a bit louder for BooMama.


  12. oh you crack me up. well done in typical boomama hilarity. only you can tell a story about ear wax so well.

  13. Oh yes, to any mortal plugged up diarist it would be “he crowbarred some stuff from my ear” – but you have made poetry!

  14. LOL. At least it was an EAR impaction. As a nurse, I had more than my fair share of, uh hem, impactions to deal with.

  15. Look on the bright side…if you’re ever fitted for hearing aids, you can buy a size “0”!!!

  16. I too have wished for unusually small something, physically. My dentist and hygienist always complain about the small size of my mouth. No one can even see my smallest physical feature. Bummer!
    My husband always laughs about this when I leave the dentist. Smarty pants!
    BMama, you sure can weave a good story!
    Glad you can hear better.

  17. LMBO! I can’t really even comment I was laughing so hard… you really need to write a book… something… your too funny.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sadly…I am dying to see what came out! Just for education sake, of course…

  19. Did you tell D right away that you could hear better or bionically? Or did you listen to some of his conversations with Howard first? I think you should write a column for a paper. The newspaper sales would go up.

  20. You are possibly the funniest woman on the Internet! And I am inordinately proud of what I call my “tiny doll hands.” “Your cell phone is so small,” people tell me, and I blush prettily, “Oh, it suits my tiny doll hands.” I, too, am absolutely DYING to know what came out of your ear, to the point that I might just Google image it. I am also a person who uses Biore strips for the sole purpose of inspecting them afterwards. Good for my skin? Bad for my skin? I don’t care; just let me look at what’s ON THERE!

  21. Ooh, and I am here to tell y’all: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT Google “impacted earwax.” There is one unsightly photo that will haunt me the rest of my days.

  22. Hey, you with the dainty ear canals? You could get more quiet if you left the wax in there. Just sayin’.

  23. My nephew who is about 5 was thought to have hearing loss and it was the same thing, impacted ear wax!

    Your way of telling it was much funnier though! Hope you have a great day.

  24. Oh how I love reading your stories! You certainly have a way with words Mrs. BooMama.

    As for the heat, OMGah! I barely even have it in me to go out and check the mail. Hubby was going to cut the inlaws grass yesterday, but the heat was too much. Instead, we went to Outback and had a long dinner, LOL.

  25. I would seriously have been taking a gander too! You’re a stitch!!

  26. Okay, as completely disgusting as ear impaction stuff is, this posting was so SOOOO hilarious. I loved the references to TLC and the fact that I know their names too. Sad, isn’t? You know I may have this very problem. Since my husband has vision issues and I have hearing issues, while we watch tv I say, “What did they say?” He says, “Who?”

  27. That was too, too funny! I agree with everyone else, you truly turned the ear wax experience into something enjoyable for us all!
    And I HAD to laugh out loud and the whole thing of looking forward to going to the doctor because it meant being ALONE! I had my…ahem…annual exam last week and actually didn’t dread it for that same reason.
    “What? A whole hour ALL to myself! I’LL TAKE IT! Yes, ma’am, you can look wherever you darn well want to!”

  28. Mama … how do you have time to write such humour – in the midst of taking Howard to swim in the deep end and writing a book I can go buy and hold in my two hands… you really are a multitasking mama.

    …and you always make me smile!

  29. Bailey's Leaf says:

    Once again, B-Mama, you’ve got me laughing. I am so glad that I’m not the only mom out there that seems to put my child in time out in public places. (Grocery aisles, corners at church . . .) Boy, have I gotten some looks! I’m told that we’ll live through the 3’s and look back at it with love. I’m not sure that there will be all love, but I’ll never be fond of those “bad choices” or break down moments. No, ma’am, I won’t.

    Congrat’s on letting loose of your impaction! And unusually small ear canals! Warms the heart, really. Take a moment and listen to all of those things that you were missing. A hummingbird zooming from a mile away. Boats off in the way distance, in the ocean. Leaves falling from our drought affected trees here in the Buckeye State. I’m sure that you can now hear it all just from your 570 degree back porch.

    As for me, I must shuffle on. I have a gardening date in a 1300 degree vegetable garden.

  30. Not only was this post funny, but so are some of these comments. (Which I hardly ever read since by the time I get here, there are a bazillion of them.)

    I used to have ear wax problems as a kid. But I don’t think I have tiny ear canals, just really dirty ears. =)

  31. Oy veh!! You do crack me up! :)

  32. This completely cracked me up! You have quite the way with words. I too have a desire to have something of mine called “unusually small.” I still have not succeeded in that manner. I have been told that my ear canal in my left ear is very crooked…isn’t that charming?

  33. I don’t think I’ve commented here before. I’ve been a lurker for way too long. Anywho, you just need to know that I LOL at very few blogs, but this,this is what it takes to get me to LOL. You’re awesome, Girl!

  34. You just have a way with words. When’s that book comin’ out?

  35. LOL. Congrats on the small ear canals. :)

  36. Glad you are hearing better!

  37. I’m glad you can hear now. I’m just wondering if the people at my work thought my eyes suddenly went bad because EVERYTHING on your site is HUGE. Like I could read everything from across the room huge. Weird I tell ya, weird!

  38. Is it wrong of me to want to know what it looked like? I know, sick. But I’m oddly fascinated by the fact that there was a large piece of something obstructing your hearing…AND it had to be taken out in 2 pieces. That’s like ..’Stranger than Fiction’… no chance you happened to take a photo with your cell phone, whilst you were gazing upon the ear wax monstrosity?
    LOL…I even gross myself out.

  39. WeevilMaw says:

    Now that was great way to start off my Thursday. You are possibly the funniest person I have read and never met. A total laugh riot, I say. Can you turn the volume on Alex down? Imagine all of the things you willbe able to hear him do and say that you were never aware of before the unusually small ear canals were discovered. Congratulations on being (tuhduhduh-drum roll) “Unusually Tiny Ear Canal Girl.” Imagine the supersuit.

  40. Hysterical…again! Thanks for the laughs. You should take all your blog entries and put them into book form. I see a best seller…honest! I remember reading one of your older entries about your mother-in-law and her MOM…It was a classic. What a gift you have! Have a blessed day.

  41. As a matter of fact, I am reading it again…December 29, 2006..With Martie and Sissie. I can’t say enough about it…LOLOLOLing here at work…my co-workers think I’m nuts. Thankfully, I have my own office. Best, Jill

  42. Its kind of like a trainwreck. You don’t want to look but you just gotta!!!

    I wanted to tell you that Ihad tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I am down here in Gulf Shores visiting my parents and they all think I am crazy. Just sitting at their laptop just a laughing!!!


  43. As my good friend Rachel Ray would say:


  44. My best friend and I used to be obsessed with ear wax candles. Have you ever seen those? You can get them at health food stores. We would have ear wax candle partys with all of our friends. SERIOUSLY. It’s a little scary but you put this candle in your ear and light it on the other end and it sucks out all of the wax in your ear. Then after a few minutes – you blow out the fire and open up the candle and it’s full of wax. I’m not kidding! I would swear I could hear better afterwards. We haven’t done that in years……

  45. first of all, “left eye” made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! Poor Lisa! By the way, I love that song!

    And the tent revival comment, too funny! We’ll be there–my hubby will be the one HAMMERING on the drums!!! Bless Alex’s (Howard’s) little heart–at least he wanted to take that little issue right before the throne at that! very! moment!

    And gross about your ear–but I’m with you on wishing something was considered “unusually small”…but you don’t have to tell people what it is, you can just say, “my doctor called me unusually small today!”

    And the heat…try being out on a football field with close to 100 band students marching all day…in this Alabama crock pot!

  46. I also have freakishly small ear canals, so I feel your pain here. I learned in college that it’s best to get my ears irrigated (medical speak for “have a person in a white coat flush water into and out of your ear canal really fast to clean out the various gunk”) about once a year or so. Otherwise, I risk the kind of procedure you just went through.

    And while it sounds a tad weird, I love the 24 hours following the irrigation. All sounds are MARVELOUS! “Why listen! You can hear the leaves, rustling in the breeze!”

    Although I’m also slightly dizzy the whole time, a side effect of Assault On The Ear Drum by rushing water.

  47. How funny! I’m thinking I need to get my ears cleaned out, but now I’m afraid of what they’ll find!

  48. Janet (aka JT) says:

    I’m thinking that maybe my hubby and all 3 kiddos have massive ear impactions. I’ll be making appointments as soon as I’m done on the computer!

    And I have been told that I have an “unusually small” body part—-my mouth. And this made all those years of dental surgery and orthodontia so very pleasant. And one would think that having an “unusually small” mouth would logically correspond to have many other “unusually small” body parts, but apparently I have made up for this obvious handicap quite beautifully by just using it twice as often.

    And since we’re online here, and I’m feeling all safe, I have also been told of 2 other “unusually small” parts of my body for most of my adult life (by my Mom and sister, which I know seems cruel), so I, you know, had them “fixed.”

    Then I got pregnant. (Which by the way, was the ONLY time those unusually small items WERE. NOT. SMALL. AT. ALL.)

    So now I can chase whatever waterfalls, rivers, and lakes I want to, because I’m perfectly bouyant.

  49. Oh my! Your stories are so funny. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  50. And my unbelievably small part? My thin pituitary gland…yep, that’s what they told me the other day (it’s a miracle I have children, they said). My cousin’s wife–the antithesis of anything southern, manners especially–said “Well, there’s something small about you.” As you say, thankyouverymuch!

    So glad for the miraculous hearing–May the sounds you hear be beautiful and the words, kind ones!

  51. You are too funny – I needed a laugh with this whole bridge collapsing in Minnesota – I’m waiting to hear from a friend who lives in that area that all are ok in her family. Toodles!

  52. Stephanie says:

    Omigosh – I just had my ears done yesterday too. Not a pretty sight for me either – LOL, but you just have to look and get grossed out about it….. Enjoy your new bionic hearing =)

  53. Too funny! I am with you on the small ear canals. Mine are freakishly tiny. I never realized how small they were until I noticed that my husband could fit his pinky down his. Gross, I know.

    I am glad you are hearing better!

  54. Boomama! You make me laugh! I too, had a similar experience with the whole ear wax thing. It was at my general practitioner and she just looked in my ear and said “Oh, this is really dirty.” Then she had my husband come take a look. It was completely humiliating. She made me feel like I was totally inept in the ear hygiene department!

  55. Oh, I have tears in my eyes, sitting right here in Panera, enjoying a high-speed internet connection for once in a “sweet forever.”

    A good giggle just makes the day all better.


    Oh, and small ear canals are a source of pride in my life, so I say “Wear ’em with pride!”

  56. Only you!

  57. HOWLING even as I clean the mouthful of coffee I sprayed across my desk! Thanks for sharing all the details of your life with us and making them oh so entertaining!

  58. LOL! Have you ever had to have your sinuses drained? You just haven’t lived until you’ve had a hose stuck up you nose and then down your throat with salt water drowning you. Heaven.

  59. Oh yeah, BooMaMa, you’re going to warm up the laytays with some humor, and then send H..Alex in for the altar call. It’s a thing of beauty.

  60. is it wrong that i’m curious? yes, it’s wrong. i shouldn’t have said that outloud, huh?

  61. I LOVE the way you tell a story! I about choked on my coffee when I got to the part about the ‘unusually small’… thanks for a laugh to start my day (it IS 9:51 a.m…about time I SHOULD start my day!)

  62. Thanks for the morning laugh. My hubby has the same problem and had to go in every few years for a clean out.

    I think I will skip telling him it is because he has dainty small ear canals.

    I don’t think he would be quite as unexcited as you were. lol.

    Happy hearing!

  63. uh oh!
    i’m gonna have to check the size of my ear canals soon…. is there some place to get them measured, like you can get your measurements at a seamstress’ place?

  64. BooMama – I’m LOL at your post and everyone else’s comments.

    I’m thinking about having my husband get his ears looked at. In every house we have lived in he blames the “acoustics” of the house and not his hearing for why he has to have the VOLUME UP SO LOUD.

    How the volume of a TV 10 feet in front of him has anything to do with the height and/or angle and/or material of our ceilings is beyond me…

    I’m totally going to be checking to see if his ear canals appear smaller than they should be when he falls asleep tonight, btw.

  65. I read you every day, sometimes twice (I’m not sure how that happens, but then again you do live further East than I do, so maybe I’m just catching up with you in rotation or something – either that your you are one prolific blogger), and I always love your posts, but sometimes you just write in such a way that makes me want to clap my hands. I don’t, b/c I am in the office, and I only have a cubicle, no door. I react this way, not necessarily b/c of the content, which as we know could be about anything – even earwax – but b/c of your “voice”. You have a lovely, *true* voice in your writing. And something in my spirit just claps its hands when I read you. You are simply delightful! Happy Thursday!

  66. Classic.

  67. I have to admit, this made me a little queasy. I have to go. I’m going to go clean out my ears with some peroxide. The very thought of them having to be cleaned out with anything sharp and pointy is just a little more than I can bear.

  68. have you looked into ear candles (found at your local health food store)?

  69. A humdingalinga indeed.

    “Well, you know what it is. You never learned how to wash properly.”


  70. rofl!! **snort** **wiping tears from eyes**

  71. HAAAAA!!! “Remember, internets: don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.” I love how you oh-so-smoothly incorporated some choice TLC lyrics into your post about ear impactions. That right there, BooMama? TALENT.

  72. Phyllis R. says:

    I also share in the dainty ear department, which also means I share in reading all the back issues of Ladies Home Journal at my ENT. But YOUR doc’s office sounds way better than my doc’s office what with all the Seal, T-Bone and Left Eye (I almost wrote “Left Ear”.) You are FUNNY as ever, even in your infirmities.

  73. Phyllis R. says:

    Oh heavenly day, when I re-read my comment – PUBLISHED for all the world to see my total hipness – I see that I wrote T-Bone for T-Boz. Gee, what a great band: T-Bone, Left Ear and what, Chicken Noodle? Sigh.

  74. I’m not easily grossed out, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for not posting a picture!

  75. Nearly peed my pants reading this.

  76. Now you can use earplugs when you choose too.

  77. I bet you told your family, “there is no need to yell, I can hear you just fine”.

  78. I can just see you years from now in the Lakeside Nursing Home with your
    Steinmart(s) sassy pants when the Nurse comes in to give you your Iron Pills and you say,”You’re gonna have to speak up, Sweet Thing. I have unusually small ear canals.”

  79. That was…hilarious…I’m still chuckling.

  80. Oh my gracious, woman, I have laughed about this post all day. Brought back so many memories from my days with the TLC trio (what what) and then skipped straight to one fateful night ‘o horror when my roommate and I pulled something similar to what you speak of from her boyfriend’s ear. Oh, sweet college memories.

    Thanks for the smiles :)

  81. Are you sure you didn’t have your laptop with you working on this post? FUNNY through and through, my friend!

  82. “don’t go chasing waterfalls”….RFLOL….

  83. Glad I’m not the only one who looks forward to going to the Dr for a little “me” time :).

  84. Oh, my! This post is a “Classic Boomama”! I’ve laughed ’til my sides hurt. And some of the comments are funny, too……a size “0” hearing aid :).

    Remember way back a few months ago when you commented on how loudy Alex talked. Poor guy maybe had to, because his mama with the small ear canals clogged with ear wax couldn’t hear him. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that to solve the problem but thanks for making it so entertaining for the rest of us.

  85. I’m sure 84 people have already said this but oh.my.stars. that was the funniest, the FUNNIEST thing I have read in a long time.

    I like you :)

  86. Ugh! I don’t even know how to comment on this one!

  87. I’m surprised that Alex didn’t just blame whatever he did on “Howard”. I mean, I’m sure it was HOWARD and not Alex. hee hee

    I agree with the other like 376 commentors – ok, well 86 or so – you are freaking HILARIOUS. This post was awesome. I have a huge problem with ear wax and its not due to small ear canals…or at least I don’t think it is.

    Laughing at your comment about if you could have been blessed with “unusually small thighs”, etc. I am right there with ya!

    Just a thought….have you ever tried ear candling? I ask because when I heard about it, I thought it was some crazy thing to do, but I tried it and it actually works really well.

    I did a post about it months and months ago. You can find it at the link below. I’m not all sophisticated (said with a southern accent) and all and I don’t know how to paste a link in here…but go and check it out and maybe you could try that?

  88. LMArseO! Oh, and I hear ya on being alone. Even my trips to the dentist are holding some appeal lately. I think I’m due for a day off.

  89. i nearly lost it when you said “HOLLA!”

    and i have a newfound respect for you with your knowledge of TLC lyrics.

    but most importantly, i continue to be impressed at how deeply rooted alex already is in God. b/c how old is he? one day you’ll have to write a post on how you did (are doing) it. i’d be interested to know. i mean, we pray and say grace and attend children’s church (for the 30 seconds she’ll sit still). but i don’t know if she’d ever actually say “we need to pray, mama.”

    pat yourself on the back boomama! you ARE a bionic woman, after all :)