October 23, 2020 – Breathe through your mouth.

There are times in your life when it’s necessary to breathe through your mouth (BTYM). You folks with babies can probably relate to this. If you are a new parent and you haven’t yet mastered the technique, I’ll bet you’ll catch on soon! Maybe you’ve been able to tolerate the (multiple) daily diaper changes because your delightful little infant is still exclusively drinking milk and the odor’s not so terrible, but your tune will change once he or she starts eating actual food. It’s just takes that one ‘load’, that one ‘load’ that results in you retching and coughing and holding your nose. But changing a diaper doesn’t have to be so dramatic. Oh my goodness, look! You’ve startled the baby! It can be a much more Zen experience if you simply learn the technique of breathing through your mouth. With a bit of practice, before you know it, it’ll soon feel as natural and normal as breathing through your nose and mouth, but will spare you from a great deal of gagging.

Another group of folks that could really benefit from this technique? Pet owners. As a former turtle, bird, snake, rat, rabbit, cat and current dog owner, I would say it’s an absolute must if you want to cohabitate peacefully with any one of these creatures. Dogs and cats have to be the absolute worst as far as their smells. Their breath is bad enough, but then there are the ‘deposits’. And the bigger the animal, the bigger the deposit. I currently have a dog that’s approximately 60 pounds and my god, THAT DOG CAN POOP! Doing the weekly yard cleanup is my least favorite chore but because I’ve mastered the BTYM technique, it makes the whole thing slightly more tolerable. The other thing that helps is the fact that I’m out in the fresh air and not in an enclosed space. Now we have to talk about cats. If you have an indoor-only cat, you and I both know that the smell when ‘Felix’ uses the litter box is the absolute worst! It will slap you in the face and knock you out of your chair if you’re not prepared. And it loves to stick around because it has nowhere else to go. Don’t you love it when your cat goes number two when you’re having guests over for dinner? It will completely destroy the ambiance in the room. All of that hard work to make the event so perfect, that sumptuous dinner and all of the candles and décor to make it super special, it’ll all be for naught. And I cannot help you much with that, but I can assure you that learning the BTYM technique will result in you and your cat residing in a much less hostile environment on a day-to-day basis.

As for the rest of you, whether you should learn this technique is not as crucial but still highly recommended. Have you ever put raw chicken in the garbage and then waited a day? I did the other day and when I opened the door under the sink to deposit a banana peel, I almost fell over backward. Or how about when you come across an animal carcass that is still in the state of decomposition? And, hey, I almost forgot about Lamaze! See! There you go, three very exceptional examples of when breathing through your mouth would be advantageous. But please don’t think I’m recommending this as a regular thing. There are definitely specific times when it’s necessary, you just don’t want to fall into the trap of doing it all the time. Why?

If I see you approaching and you’re breathing through your mouth, I’m going to avoid you. Alright, that’s not exactly true. If you’ve just finished competing in a marathon or climbing a flight of stairs or playing with the dog or chasing the grandchildren, I’ll let it slide. I won’t shun you. But if I’m walking around in one of those ‘big box’ stores AND I have a slightly puzzled expression on my face AND you’re one of the helpers that’s supposed to check in with customers and assist should they need it AND you approach me while breathing through your mouth? Forget it, I’ll figure it out, thank you very much. I’m sorry, I cannot help it!! You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you cannot use your nose on occasion to deliver oxygen to your brain and body, I can’t trust that you’re going to be able to help me. I can’t explain it, but I’ve had enough encounters that I think there must be something to it. Maybe there should be a scientific study? It just seems that the people that I’ve personally dealt with that only breathe through their mouth, especially when their eyes appear a bit glazed over, have served to do little more than waste my time. I’ve given them chances, I promise you! I’ve played along when they’ve asked if I could use some help. Oh, yes! Can you tell me which aisle has stair treads? “Don’t think we carry that, ma’am”, is the usual response. “If it ain’t on the shelf, then we don’t have it”. Oh, geez. Thanks for nothing.

Look, all I’m saying is that there are times when mouth-breathing is a wonderful thing and there are times when it’s simply not. Used on a rare occasion? Fabulous! Used all the time? Terrible idea!! But if you want me to take you seriously, I suggest you try using the orifice directly above it from time to time. Don’t care? Fine. B-R-E-A-T-H-E A-W-A-Y. Just don’t complain to me when a fly lands in your mouth.

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