There is nothing in the whole world as satisfying as cleaning your ears out with cotton buds.
Yes, I understand that I am not supposed to. I understand that it actually just pushes the earwax further down my ear drum. I understand that cotton buds themselves even urge you not to clean your ears with their product.
I even understand that I might be damaging my ears, one cotton-tipped stick at a time (the NHS website pretty clearly tells me I am).
In my defence, IT FEELS SO GOOD.
When I get out of the shower, I like to have a rummage around my ear. I have a very particular technique. I start with my outer ear (I like to collect whatever tube grime, conditioner and general city muck that might have found its way into the ridges). Obviously, the more gunk I collect, the more satisfied I feel. Like blowing your nose or cutting your nails, quantity is key.
Then, when I’m satisfied, I flip the bud to use the clean end and start in on my inner ear. This is where the real enjoyment lies. This is the nirvana of the ear-cleaning process. Because our ears are full of sensitive nerve endings, it feels like you’ve had an hour long massage in the space of two seconds.
To me, cleaning my ears feels better than coming home, taking my hair out of a particularly tight pony tail, slipping off my shoes and unclipping my bra – which is obviously the holy trifecta of relaxation. Even better than that.
If you wondering how I enjoy something I know is bad for me, I say to you: have you eaten so much you feel sick? Like, you know you should stop eating because you’re almost definitely going to spend the next hour clutching your tummy and groaning but, well… the food is delicious and surely one (ok, five) more bites won’t make it that much worse, right?
Or, have you ever stayed up too late watching TV or reading a book? (If you’ve ever watched Pretty Little Liars or read The Hunger Games, I know the answer to this is yes). You know you’re going to be tired in the morning. You know that when your alarm goes off you are going to immediately be filled with regret. And yet, you start the next chapter. You click the tempting, ‘play next episode.’
Sometimes humans are short-sighted and decide to do the thing that might make us feel crappy later, but feels oh so good right now.
That is exactly how I feel about cleaning out my ears. Yes, I might get an ear infection. Yes, I know the wax is meant to be there. I know all of these things… but oh, it feels so damn good at the time.