#5fifty5 The Running Face

I was stood at a bus stop the other morning when I saw a woman running for a bus. Nothing unusual in that, except that as she ran, she pulled the most terrible of faces, flaring her nostrils till they were as big as the nostrils on my doomed 2005 nose job, which incidentally, the surgeon had failed to run past me prior to surgery.

As a rule, I have in my life mostly avoided dating women with large nostrils. Back in the mid-nineties, I briefly dated a girl with cavernous nostrils and one night, smack in the middle of winter, as I leant in for the kiss, I could smell the mucus on her. Normally I wouldn’t have seen her again, but I was 23, 24. A single Mediterranean man living at home. That doesn’t work in our culture where parents like their kids to marry young. I was under pressure to prove I was straight, so I tried to see the relationship through to the spring, by which time, the warmer weather meant her nose was less runny and my family knew I liked girls.

Back to the woman running for the bus though. As she drew closer to me, her open mouth exposed a high gum line, which I think can be indicative of overaggressive brushing. Often gum lines recede due to toothbrush abrasion. The enamel at the gum line is worn away by scrubbing the sides of the teeth in a washboard fashion. Of course, gum lines can also be a consequence of inadequate brushing or flossing, which allows the bacteria that sits in between the teeth to build up.

As the woman reached the bus stop, still pulling this most terrible face as she boarded, I found myself thinking that if I was her, I’d rather run a little slower and miss the bus than pull the face. How much of a difference did pulling the face make to her getting the actual bus? If she hadn’t pulled the face, would she have missed the bus?

If that woman has a partner, have they seen her run? Are they aware of the running face? If they are, how do they feel about it? As you may know, I’m a non-driver, but as much as I dislike cars, I’d learn how to drive if it meant it gave this woman no reason to ever have to run for anything. I would even give up writing and devote my entire life to driving her around so long as I never saw that awful running face again.

This got me thinking. Given so many couples/families are two car households these days, I wonder how many couples have actually seen each other run for anything? Are you aware of your partner’s running face? You might have seen their bedroom face, you might have seen their childbirth face, or even their cardiac arrest face. But have you seen their running face?

If you were both drivers, what reasons would you ever have for having to run together for something? Are either of you fit enough to even run now if you’re driving everywhere? Because in a long relationship that may have reached the jaded stage, that’s not going to make for an attractive spectacle if you both end up coughing your guts out after running for something.