I remember a long time ago someone telling me about a girl he used to live with, who every single night without fail would blow her nose before coming to bed. He loved that about her. That was what he missed, now they weren't together. And I remember being impressed. I remember thinking, imagine knowing someone so well that you're actually charmed--no, not charmed, something deeper than charmed--by their little human habits. The expulsion of snot, or some similarly banal act, becomes something to adore, something which reinforces the rightness of your union.
I also remember thinking, why? If you weren't sick or allergic or a bit cold, why would you need to blow your nose every night? I remember thinking it sounded overwrought. Surely she didn't. Surely he'd mis-remembered. Surely the whole thing was really a whole lot less sweet than I was making it out to be.
But now, some years later (not as many years as I'm pretending, maybe), I find that I've become someone just like that. Every morning I get up and go to the bathroom and the first thing I do is not to brush my teeth or relieve my bladder or study the pillow lines on my face and try to wash them away with cold water, but to blow my nose. I find that no matter how healthy I may be, or how mild the weather, I always have something in my nostrils to expel.
Perhaps it's the effect of long-term intimacy. Perhaps we find routines, develop physical quirks, to mark each other out, to say, this one is mine, see, look, he does this funny thing and nobody else would know that and maybe he didn't even do it before me, but now it's a part of him, and so am I.
Now to the man I live with I am and always will be the girl who blows her nose every morning without fail.