Today happens to be my birthday, so I’d like to stop for a moment and thank my parents — not just for all the stuff they gave me while I was growing up, but for all the stuff they didn’t: junk food, pop and most processed foods (allowed on special occasions but never in the house), rides to school (unless it was a blizzard or we were carpooling with my sister, otherwise I had to find my own way on public transit), and Q-tips.
The people I know who do use Q-tips always think it’s gross if I confess to not using them. In fact, I began to feel so outnumbered and convinced that my ears were harboring mass quantities of waxy, toxic evil that I went out and bought a pack of the cotton swabs, using them whenever I stepped out of the shower.
But there’s nothing worse than that feeling when something foreign goes a little too far into your ear canal — I get the same sense of queasiness if I touch the inside of my belly button (but maybe that’s just me). And despite the fact that I could be using Q-tips for other purposes — like correcting errant globs of nail polish or smudged eyeliner — they really are an unnecessary waste of bleach, cotton, paper and/or plastic (depending on the stick and packaging).
So I’ve tossed the last one and I’m not buying any more.