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sneezomania
Posted (edited)

This story, written be me, is fictional. However, the main female character is vaguely inspired by a comic character called Snotgirl which was discussed at this board some years ago. Once again SneezyKateM did me the favour of proofreading the story which was a big help as English isn't my native language.

 

SNEEZY SARAH

 

Hello everyone! I'm so sorry that I haven't posted anything for more than a week! Sadly I haven't got any fashion news for you, mainly because my hayfever was so bad that it didn't make sense to go shopping and stuff! I am literally sneezing nonstop 24/7! But I promise you that I will come up with some new fashion news asap! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'Wow, what a cool blog post', I thought.

I had been reading her blog for more than a year now. But not because of the fashion stuff for which she had set it up. To be honest, that didn't interest me at all. The reason why I read it was that in most of her blog posts she wrote something about her hayfever. And usually she described that as something terrible, evil, disasterous, with tons of sneezing and an eternally runny nose.

I checked the comments to her post. As usual, there were dozens of comments, and nearly all of them were supportive. Most of them were something like “hope you feel better soon“, “looking forward to some fashion news“, “thanks for updating your blog“ and so on, but there were also comments which clearly indicated that there were some people reading her posts for the same reason as I did. For example, one guy wrote: “Thanks a lot for one more chapter of your sneezy summer!“ And another guy asked: “Can you estimate how often you sneezed while writing this post?“ And indeed, Sarah answered: “Well, as it's a quite short post, it wasn't too much, perhaps 5 or 10 times.“

'Yea, that's a cool reply', I thought.

However, there was one thing I regretted: I had never actually heard her sneezing. There had been dozens of blog posts mentioning that, but up to this day I didn't have an idea how her sneezes sounded like. I remembered a post she had written a few months ago:

Hello everyone! This goes out to those of you who keep asking me about some audio recordings of my sneezing. No, folks, I won't do that! This is a fashion blog, not a sneezing passion blog. Of course all you fetish guys out there are invited to read my blog and comment, but there won't be any audio stuff. Live with it! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

So all I could do was trying to imagine how her sneezing would be like. Every now and then, she posted a photo of herself with some fancy clothes on, and from these photos I knew that she was quite a pretty young woman, with light blue eyes and long blonde hair. Once I had imagined her sneezing like crazy, with lots of loud and wet sneezes, her long hair flying around and allergic tears running from her beautiful eyes. But I had no idea how close to reality my imagination was.

However, I didn't give up hope to hear her sneezing one day. 'You never know what might happen', I thought.


to be continued

Edited by sneezomania

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Mauro

relatable

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sneezomania

Hello everyone! There's bad news today. Perhaps some of you remember that I told you that my biggest dream is to work as an editor for a fashion mag.

Indeed, I remembered that she had written about that a while ago. And, if I remembered correctly, more than once.

I have applied for that at various mags, but they always told me that they wouldn't have use for someone who is sneezing all the time.

Actually I remembered that too. Naturally, that had been the most interesting part of these posts for me.

Today I had a job interview with the staff at WORLD OF COLORS which is a very cool fashion mag. I had told them at the phone that I have bad hayfever, and I had been sneezing nonstop during that phone call again, so the woman with whom I talked knew what to expect, and she said it's all ok and that I needn't worry. But at the interview there were two people who were totally grossed out by my sneezing, and they told me that my knowledge about fashion was excellent, but that they couldn't stand my sneezing. They asked me whether I always were so sneezy, and I said that it's always when there's pollen. Then they asked about at what time there is pollen, and I told them that it's from March to October. Then they wanted to know which kind of pollen was active for so long, and then I said that I'm allergic to kinda all kinds of pollen, and then they said that that's unbelievable und that they wouldn't work with someone who is sneezing nonstop for eight months a year. Folks, this is soooooooo depressing! I really thought that this time there is a chance for me, but I lost again. However, I won't give up my dream, there must be some fashion mag out there which has a place for me even if I'm going achoo – achoo – achoo all the time. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

'What a sad but enjoyable story', I thought. 'If I was the chief editor of some fashion mag, I would hire her at once.'

I read the comments to the post, and once again most of them were supportive. There were remarks like “Some offices have good A/C which should make it easier for you“, one guy wrote: “I'm sitting alone in my office, so if you find someone who can offer you that, your sneezing shouldn't be a problem.“ Others indicated again that they had a different reception of Sarah's sneezing: “I wouldn't mind you sitting next to me and sneezing nonstop, I guess I would rather find it entertaining!“ One woman asked: “What about establishing a fashion mag yourself? Then YOU decide how much sneezing in the office is tolerable and noone else.“ Sarah replied: “Yea, I already thought about that, but tbh I have no knowledge about how to run such a mag except of writing articles. So I guess the best idea is to work for someone else for a while and perhaps later establish my own.“ I commented: “Maybe there's a fashion mag somewhere with the chief editor being allergic himself or herself, then your sneezing shouldn't be a problem.“ She answered: “Yea, certainly there are some, but finding someone who is as allergic as me is like finding a needle in a haystack!“

'Judging from her posts, there's some truth to that', I thought.

 

to be continued

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sneezomania

Hello everyone. I'm totally frustrated. Today I went shopping, wanted to check a wonderful summer collection I saw in a store. I walked in, looking around, and admittedly I was sneezing like crazy again. So after a minute or so a clerk from the store came to me and wanted me to leave the store. I asked why, and he said that they don't want to have someone there who is sneezing all the time because that's gross and annoying. I said that he needn't worry because it's hayfever and so it's not contagious, but he said that doesn't matter and urged me to leave the store. He even said that if I wouldn't leave I would get a house ban! So I walked out. Folks, this is so frustrating! I was looking forward to checking some cool outfit and tell you about it, but instead I was thrown out! There was no other customer there who could have been annoyed about me, and of course I covered all my sneezes, but he threw me out though! I will never visit that store again! Sorry that I don't have better news for you. Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'This is cool and sad at once', I thought.

This time there were even more comments than usual, more than one hundred. And all of them were supportive in some way. One guy called Peter asked which store it was, and she answered: “It's TREND ALERT in my hometown, close to the central railway station.“ He replied: “Ah, this one! I know the guy who runs the store, I will talk to him.“

The next day there was already a new blog post:

Hello everyone! Just got a really sweet mail from the person who runs the store where I was yesterday. He said a friend had expressed his disappointment about me having been thrown out, and he apologized to me! He said that if he had been there, he would have told his clerk not to throw me out! He said that I'm invited to visit the store again, and that I would be welcome there! Now ain't that good news? I will go there asap, check out the wonderful summer collection they have! Thanks a thousand times to Peter for mailing him! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'How lovely', I thought. Again there were many comments. Peter wrote “I knew that he is a nice guy“. Others expressed their happiness, and one guy asked: “When will you go there?“

'Ah, he wants to meet her there', I thought. And indeed, it wasn't a bad idea. Yea, it would be wonderful to meet her in real life, see and hear her sneezing. And as I was living in the same city, it wouldn't be a problem to go there. But she didn't seem to be very excited about that idea: “I don't know, I will decide spontaneously, depending on how bad my hayfever is.“

A few days later there was a new blog post:

Oh folks, what a disaster! I was at TREND ALERT again today, and yea, they welcomed me, and the clerk apologized for having me thrown out. They were super nice! So I started trying on some stuff, but just in that moment I started sneezing like crazy again. As if there was loads of pollen in the shirt I tried on! And this time there were some other customers there, and they were looking at me, and it was so terribly embarrassing! But I wanted to check how I look with the stuff on, so I walked to a mirror, but I couldn't see clearly because my eyes were so watery, so I had to wipe them, then I looked in the mirror, and just in this moment I started sneezing again. So I decided to call it a day and told the clerk that I would leave because it simply didn't make sense. He asked if he could help me, if I needed some tissues, but I said that I would rather leave. So effectively I got thrown out two times: the first time by the clerk and the second time by myself! Folks, this is sooooooo frustrating! Damn hayfever! So I don't have any fashion news for you again, but I can truly recommend the store because they're nice there and they have a really cool summer collection! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'Oh dear', I thought, 'I would have loved to be there.'

 

to be continued

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sneezomania

Hello everyone! I've got some news for you! Someone who runs a podcast about bloggers and other influencers (https://www.influencers-podcast.org/) mailed me and invited me to do a podcast with him about my blog! I told him I cannot do that because I would be sneezing all the time instead of talking, but he said that wouldn't be a problem because he runs the podcast just for fun, not for commercial purposes, and so it woudn't matter if it gets a bit chaotic. Now I don't know what to do! Should I do it or rather not? It would be terribly embarrassing to sneeze through his podcast with hundreds of people listening, but I don't really want to disappoint him because he seems to be quite a nice guy. I listened to some podcasts he did with other people, and yea, they were really cool. So what do you think, should I do it? Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'This is fascinating', I thought. 'If she does it, I could actually hear her sneezing.' I checked the podcasts on that website and found out that each of them was about half an hour long. 'Hearing Sarah sneezing for 30 minutes – that would be heaven!' I thought.

Once again there were dozens of comments to her post, and nearly all of them wanted her to do it. Some were rather defensive like “If you want to do it, just do ist“, some were more direct - “I would love if you do!“ - and some people clearly indicated why they wanted her to do: “It would be quite exciting to hear such a sneezy podcast!“ And as I wanted her to do it so badly, I added a comment myself: “Yea, that's a cool idea, you would do me a big favour if you do.“

The next day she had already posted her next blog entry.

Hello everyone! Thanks a thousand times for all your nice replies to my last post, and thanks a lot for being so supportive! I just phoned the guy who runs the podcast, so now he knows that I'm really a sneezy mess! And he said again that I'm invited to do a podcast with him, and so I agreed to do it. So his next podcast will be with me, about my blog! Probably in a few days. I'll tell you when it's online. But if you wanna listen, please be warned: It'll be a sneezy inferno! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'How wonderful', I thought. 'She's actually gonna do it.' And I left a “thank you“ note in the comments, as did many others. After that, I subscribed to the podcast site to be informed about new content immediately.

During the next few days, there were no new blog posts from her. Also, there was nothing new on the podcast site. 'I hope she hasn't re-thought and cancelled it', I thought. But however, she had written “probably in a few days“, so I didn't know on which day it would actually happen. I realized that it became more and more difficult to stay patient.

Six days after her last blog post, there was a new one.

Hello everyone! Yes, I really did the podcast, and sorry folks, it turned out as terrible as I had expected. I was actually more sneezing than talking! So if you listen to it, you know what you get. He will upload it asap, but I won't listen because it is soooooooo embarrassing! No other news today because I'm still quite nervous about the podcast thing, I hope the podcast listeners won't be upset about what I did! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

Of course there was a lot of “thank you“ notes again, together with something like “I can't wait to hear it!“ I added: “I'm impressed that you actually did it, and very thankful.“

About an hour later there was a newsletter mail from the podcast site's telling that there was a new podcast out “with a very nice fashion blogger called Sarah who agreed to talk to me although talking is a bit difficult for her at the moment. You'll find out why if you listen. Don't miss it!“

I immediately opened the podcast site, and yes, there was a new entry, simply titled “Fashion blogger Sarah“, with a link to the actual podcast. My heart was beating like a steamhammer, and my hands were shaking so much that it was difficult to operate the computer mouse, but I managed to click the link. After a second or so, the audio started playing.

 

to be continued

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sneezomania

Hello, this is Pete from the influencers' podcast. Today we have a guest ...“

ATCHOOOOO!“

Oh, bless you, Sarah!“

Ugh … thank you. *sniffle*

'Wow, what a nice sneeze', I thought.

Okay, that was actually Sarah, our guest today. She runs a fashion blog and ...“

ATCHOOOOOO!“

Bless you again!“

Thanks, but … *sniffle* … you needn't say 'thank you' every time I sneeze. Otherwise you'd have to say … ACHOOOOOO … 'bless you' a thousand times.“

Ah yea, thanks for reminding me, you already told me when we talked on the phone. Well, people, you have already noticed that ...“

ATCHOOOOO!“

Yea, exactly, that Sarah is a bit sneezy today … Sarah, would you like to explain what’s going on?“

Yes, of course, well … *sniffle* … I have terrible … ACHOOOO … hayfever … *sniffle* … therefore I'm sneezing all the time. Sorry for that. *sniffle*

Yea, but it's really nice to have you here on the podcast though to tell a bit about your fashion blog. So to begin with, why did you start it?“

Yea, I'll tell you … *sniffle* … but before I begin … *sniffle* … I have to blow my nose … *sniffle* … sorry. *sniffle*“

Hey, no prob, we've got time enough, just do what's necessary.“

Pete started to explain how he became aware of Sarah's blog, and while he was talking, Sarah could be heard blowing her nose. It wasn't too loud, but it was a long, wet nose blow, it sounded like lots of snot being pressed throught her nostrils. When Pete recognized that she had finished blowing, he interrupted himself and said: “Now, Sarah, please tell us, why did you start your blog?“

Well, I had always been interested in fashion, and I read some fashion blogs, and … ACHOOOO … and found them really cool. For instance, there was someone from Italy who … ACHOOOOOO ...“

Now she started talking about a fashion blog from Italy, but I couldn't concentrate on what she said. The first reason for that being that this fashion stuff simply didn't interest me, and the second, much more important reason being that I was incredibly fascinated by her sneezes. They were lovely sneezes, loud, wet and sounding desparate. And I thought I could actually hear her embarrassment in her sneezes, but that could simply be my imagination as well. And she was hardly able to finish a sentence without sneezing in-between. I enjoyed it immensely, my hands were still shaking by excitement, and I was glad that I didn't have to operate the computer, just sit there and listen.

After she had finished the story about starting her blog, Pete asked her: “Now, are you satisfied with...“

ATCHOOOOOOO!“

Oh, bless y... sorry, just forgot that you don't want me to bless you every time ...“

Yea. I'm so sorry … *sniffle* … for interrupting you with my sneezing all the time, this is so embarrassing ...“

Hey, it's no problem, but if you find it embarrassing, I have a suggestion for you. At the bottom of the chat window ...“

ATCHOOOOOO!“

... there's a button with which you can mute your mic. You needn't use it, but if you want ...“

Oh, that's cool. But I can't see that button because … *sniffle* … I don't have my glasses on, and my eyes are watering like crazy … *sniffle* … wait a moment please, I'll wipe my eyes and put my glasses on.“

'Interesting', I thought. Until now I hadn't known that she had glasses. On the photos she had shown on her blog, she never had worn glasses. And as I liked glasses-wearing girls as well as sneezy girls, I regretted that all these pics had been without glasses. 'Hopefully I'll see her with them on one day', I thought.

Okay, cool“, Pete said. “How long do you need for that?“

Just a little moment“, she replied. “Ugh, my eyes are so watery ...“

Is that from hayfever too?“

Yea. ATCHOOOOO!“

Okay. Sorry if my question sounds stupid, I don't have knowledge about that ...“

No prob. Be glad that you don't have! *sniffle*

Yea, certainly.“

Okay, I'm ready. Now I see that button, and I will mute my mic when you're talking.“

'What a pity', I thought. 'Now I will miss a lot of her sneezes. Hopefully she won't mute the mic too when she sneezes while she's talking herself.'

 

to be continued

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sneezomania

Okay, Sarah“, Pete continued. “So this blog from Italy was a major inspiration for you?“

Sarah didn't answer.

Sarah?“

No answer again.

Sarah, are you still there? Can you hear me?“

After a few seconds, she replied. “Ah yea, sorry … *sniffle* … I forgot to unmute my mic. Yes, in a certain way it was … ACHOOOOO … an inspiration … ACHOOOOOO … and it still is because he still runs his blog, and he lives in Milan which is a great place … *sniffle* … if you're into fashion.“

Yea, I see. Have you been in Italy ...“

ACHOOOOO! Sorry, I forgot to mute my mic ...“

Hey, no prob, you needn't do it ...“

Okay, thanks, it wouldn't be easy anyway because my eyes have got watery again … *sniffle* … and I'd like to take off my glasses because … ACHOOOO … they're always in the way when I have to wipe or rub my eyes, and then I can't see the mute button anyway. *sniffle*

'How wonderful', I thought. 'So I won't miss any of her sneezes.'

Okay“, Pete answered. “But how do you handle that when you write your blog posts? Are you able to write them without your glasses on?“

No, not at all. When I'm operating my computer, I always … ACHOOOO … have to wear them. And when my eyes are watery, I have to take them off every minute or so to wipe my eyes.“

Oh, that doesn't sound too convenient ...“

No, it certainly isn't. *sniffle* But the only other choice I have is not to write blog posts at all, and that's … ACHOOOOOO … not what I want to do.“

Ah, okay, I see. Another question ...“

Sorry, Pete, I have to blow my nose again.“

No prob!“

While she blew her nose, Pete spoke a bit about reading her blog and some of the many comments to her posts. I didn't listen to him, I just listened to Sarah's nose blow. It didn't sound as exciting as her sneezes, but of course it was a part of her hayfever scene, so it was much more interesting for me than Pete’s blog lecture.

When she had finished blowing, he continued: “Another question, Sarah: Are you satisfied with ...“

ACHOOOOOOO!“

“… with the feedback to your blog posts?“

Yea … *sniffle* … I'm totally happy with it“, she said, and her voice sounded as if she was especially happy to be asked that. “There are dozens of comments to every post, and they are all … ACHOOOO … so nice and supportive! I love 'em, and they're the main reason why I do the blog despite all that hayfever hassles!“

Ah, cool! Do you think they'll listen to our podcast?“

Yes, of course! They wrote they'll be happy to listen! I asked them if I should do it, and they said yea, please do! They're wonderful! *sniffle*

Okay, so this goes out to all you readers of Sarah's blog out there: Nice to have you ...“

ATCHOOOOOOO!“

... at the podcast! Hope you enjoy it!“

Yea, thanks to all of you for listening. Luv u all!“

I was impressed. Yea, I knew that Sarah was happy with her readers, she had said it often enough in her blog posts, but now, hearing it in spoken words with her sniffly voice sounding so excited about it, it was even more convincing. I felt loved by her in this moment, even although I knew that I was just one of dozens, if not hundreds of blog readers who would listen to this podcast. I felt close to her emotionally, closer than I had ever felt before. She was speaking to me, I had been wishing that for more than a year, always doubting that it would ever happen, and now she actually did it. I was sitting there, listening to her voice, her words, sneezes and sniffles, and melting in happiness.

 

to be continued

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Okay, Sarah, one more question“, Pete said. “How do you decide which fashion topics you cover in your blog posts?“

Sarah started to answer, and they began talking about various fashion topics. Once again I couldn't concentrate on what they discussed because the fashion stuff simply didn't interest me, and Sarah's ongoing sneezing and sniffling was much more enjoyable. I started feeling a bit ignorant because Sarah was talking about fashion topics with passion and I simply didn't pay any attention to it. But I couldn't help myself, I simply felt unable to concentrate on some content which was nothing but boring to me while there were such wonderful sneezes and sniffles. I was glad that Sarah couldn't watch me while I was listening. Probably she would have recognized that her sneezing thrilled me much more than what they were talking about.

After about half an hour, Pete said: “Okay, Sarah, I'd say that's it for today. My podcasts are always ...“

ATCHOOOOOOO!“

... are always about half an hour, and that time is over now. Or is there something you'd like to add?“

Ermm … *sniffle* … not really. I thank you for asking so many interesting questions about my blog *sniffle* and for having so much understanding for my … ACHOOOOO … yea, my sneezing and all that ...“

Hey, no prob at all! I thank you for joining the podcast, for answering my questions, and for being so nice! Wish you all the best for your blog, and for your health!“

Ah … ACHOOOOO … thank you! *sniffle*“

And thanks to all of you who listened! Hear you again next time, I hope I'll have such a nice and interesting guest again!“

Oh, thank you … *sniffle*“

Okay, bye Sarah!“

Bye … ACHOOOOOO … bye Pete!“

I took a deep breath. This was probably the most exciting piece of audio recording I had ever heard. An unbelievable document of a charming woman suffering from terrible hayfever, with lots of wonderful sneezes. Of course I downloaded the podcast and stored it on my computer's harddisk to be able to re-listen to it as often as I wanted. I was sure that I would listen to it countless times.

After downloading I checked the comments to the podcast. To my surprise there weren't as many comments as I was accustomed to from Sarah's blog page. Perhaps, I thought, this was because the podcast site required a registration before postings comments, and perhaps Sarah's fans didn't want to register there just to comment on this one podcast. 'Who knows', I thought. However, all of the comments were nice and supportive, so content wise there was no difference to the feedback on Sarah's blog page.

Thinking about her blog page, I re-checked this for comments to her latest post. And indeed, many readers seemed to have listened to the podcast at the same time as I did. Now there were more than one hundred comments to her last post, the one in which she had told that she had done the podcast. And the comments clearly showed that I wasn't by far the only one who was enthusiastic about all that. In fact many others had enjoyed it the same. “Sarah, your sneezes are adorable.“ - “This was absolutely wonderful, I enjoyed every second of it! - “I thank you so much for doing this podcast. Are you going to do something like that again?“ There were also comments which referred to the fashion topics from the podcast, but they were a minority. I wondered whether Sarah would be happy with these comments.

The next day there was her next blog post.

Hello everyone! Thanks a thousand times for being so supportive about that podcast thing! After having done it, I regretted that I did because it was so embarrassing with all the sneezing and stuff, but after reading your comments it seems that I have done you a favour at least. But please understand that I'm not gonna do something like that again. It was so terribly embarrassing, I think doing it once should be enough. I tried to listen to the podcast myself but I can't. I stopped it after two minutes because I was so ashamed of all that sneezing and sniffling. Now as I have returned to communicating with you by typed words, I feel better. Hope you keep reading my posts, next time there'll be some fashion news again. Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

I was a bit disappointed to read that she wasn't going to do something like that blog again. But in the next moment I realized that everything else would have been a big surprise. She had written before how embarrassing this thing had been for her, so it was nothing but consistent if she wouldn't do it again.

Gladly I had my download of the podcast. During the next days I listened to it again and again. After having repeated it twenty times or so I felt like these guys who watched Rocky Horror Picture Show hundreds of times, being able to speak along with it all the time. Yes, I was able to speak along to large parts of the podcast as well, knowing exactly when there was a sneeze or a sniffle to come. I felt like worshipping it, in a way others worshipped Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody or whatever.

 

to be continued

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Posted (edited)

It was a sunny Sunday morning, I was having my breakfast when suddenly my phone rang. I was a bit surprised, usually noone called me up at that time, especially not on a Sunday. And it was a number I didn't have in my contacts list.

Hello?“

Ah, hello Rob … ATCHOOOOOO … this is Sarah … *sniffle* ...“

Sarah? You mean – the fashion blogger?“

Yea … ATCHOOOO … it's me … *sniffle* … sorry for being so sneezy … *sniffle* … and sniffly ...“

I couldn't believe it. I had Sarah on the phone!

Hey, no prob about that!“ I replied. “It's really cool that you call me!“

Ah, thanks for that. *sniffle* Well, I just wanted … ATCHOOOOOOO …“

Bless you!“

Ah, thank you. It's a terrible … ATCHOOOOO … hayfever day again ...“

Yea, it sounds like that ...“

Yea … *sniffle* … however, I wanted to say thank you for … ATCHOOOOOO … supporting my blog … *sniffle* … writing your comments … *sniffle* … listening to the podcast … ATCHOOOOO …“

Well, it's a pleasure to do so! I'm thankful to you for doing the blog and all that!“

Ah, that's nice. *sniffle* But there's one thing I want to tell you, and it's … ATCHOOOOO … its' … ATCHOOOO … ATCHOOOOOATCHOOOOOO … AH … AH … AH … AAAAAAAAATCH ...“

 

Suddenly I found myself staring at the ceiling of my bedroom. “Oh, it was just a dream“, I mumbled.

Of course it had been just a dream. Sarah didn't have my phone number, I didn't have hers as well, she and I had never talked on the phone. But it had been such a wonderful dream, one of the most exciting dreams I ever had, even if it was just a minute or so. And it had been so realistic. Her voice, her sneezes, her sniffles had sounded exactly like at the podcast. And even the breakfast – which certainly hadn't played a central role in that dream – had been so realistic: The hot coffee, the boiled egg, the toasted bread, the morning sun shining through my kitchen window, and the birds singing. It all had felt like pure reality.

I stood up slowly. 'How nice would it be to actually talk to her on the phone', I thought. But I remembered a blog post from a few months ago in which she had written something about that:

Hello everyone! This short post goes out to those of you who keep telling me that they would love to talk to me on the phone. Yea, it's nice to know that you would like to, but I won't do it. It wouldn't be convenient for me with all the sneezing and stuff. Therefore I prefer communicating by typed word. So you're always invited to e-mail me, as long as you don't demand me to give you my phone number. Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

After having a real breakfast I decided to write her a short e-mail about the dream. 'Perhaps she'll like to know, even though she won't phone me in reality', I thought.

Hi Sarah, just wanted to tell you a little story. Tonight I had a dream in which you called me on the phone. Yea, I know that you won't do in reality, but in the dream you did. You were very sneezy and sniffly, but we had a nice little talk. You thanked me for supporting your blog, writing comments and listening to the podcast (which I did indeed). Then you wanted to tell me something else, but in that moment you burst into a sneezing fit, and then I woke up. Just wanted to let you know in case you're interested. Anyway, thanks for doing your blog and the podcast, best wishes, Rob

After about an hour, she replied:

Hi Rob, thanks for telling me about your dream! That's a really cool story! And yea, if we had phoned in reality, it would have been just like that! Right now I'm terribly sneezy and sniffly again (I can't type a single sentence without sneezing in-between), so I'm glad about every phone call I do NOT have to do! If you dream of me again, please let me know! xoxo Sarah :)

'Wow, what a nice mail', I thought. Although it confirmed that she wouldn't phone me in reality. 'Perhaps there'll be a chance to talk to her somehow one day. You never know.'

 

to be continued

Edited by sneezomania

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Hello everyone! I got exciting news for you: This Friday I'll guest in a TV show!

'Wow, that's great', I thought. 'That means that I'll actually see her sneezing.'

Yea, you probably remember that after the podcast thing I told you that I won't do something like that again because it was so embarrassing with all the sneezing and stuff. But this TV thing is something special: It's run by the chief editor of a fashion mag called SECRETS OF STYLE. She read some of my blog posts and invited me to come to her show to talk about my blog. Isn't that exciting? Well, I told her that this would be a sneezy show, but she said that's no problem. We actually phoned for half an hour or so, so she certainly knows how sneezy I am! I checked the website of her mag, it's really cool, with special features about sustainable fashion and fair fashion, being produced without people being exploited.

'Ah, the political side of fashion', I thought. 'That's an interesting aspect indeed.'

And perhaps you remember that I told you about my biggest dream: working as an editor for a fashion mag. And if the TV show doesn't work out too disasterous, who knows, perhaps there'll be a chance for me to work for her mag? Sandy and I got on with each other really well, to me this feels much more hopeful than when I applied to the other mags. Keep your fingers crossed! And if someone wants to watch the TV thing, it's on Friday at 7.30 pm at the local TV station, it's called “Sandy's Secrets“. You can watch it over the Web too, check the latest link in my link list. Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'This is gonna be even more exciting than the podcast', I thought. I took a quick look at the comments below the blog post, once again most of them were supportive, and the readers were looking forward to watching the show – for different reasons. I added a short note, thanking her for doing it and wishing her much fun and success.

On Friday at about 7.20 pm I opened the TV station's website, and indeed, there was a short preview about someone called Sandy Stanfield having invited “fashion blogger Sarah“ to her weekly fashion feature. I made sure that I had my video recording software ready – of course I wanted to record the show, not having to rely on it being made available on some archive pages. I had never watched something on that TV channel, so I didn't know how they handled these things. I found some earlier shows with Sandy on their page but wasn't sure whether they archived all of them.

At 7.30, the show started. My hands were shaking, it was a bit different to operate my computer keyboard and mouse. But I already had the video recording software running. Now there were Sandy und Sarah to be seen, sitting behind a table in a small TV studio, with “Sandy's Secrets – tonight's guest: fashion blogger Sarah“ being screened above their heads. An intro jingle was playing, and during that, I saw that Sarah sneezed. But I could only see her sneezing, not hear her, because their microphones weren't switched on yet.

A few seconds later, the jingle faded out, and Sandy started: “Good evening all you fashion lovers out there, welcome to ...“

ATCHOOOOOO!“

 

to be continued

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sneezomania

Oh, bless you, Sarah!“

Ugh … sorry … thank you *sniffle*“

Ok, so welcome to today's episode of ...“

ATCHOOOOOOOOO!“

Oh, bless you again!“

Thank you, but … *sniffle* … you needn't bless me every time ...“

Ah yea, you told me, I remember. Okay, so at today's episode of Sandy's Secrets we have a very special ...“

ATCHOOOOOOOO!“

… “ a very special guest! It's Sarah, the editor of a quite interesting fashion blog. Sarah, welcome to the show!“

Oh thanks*sniffle* … it's nice to be here … sorry for all the … ATCHOOOOOOOOO!“

Well, as you see, Sarah is a bit sneezy today ...“

Yea … *sniffle* … sorry ...“

... so would you please tell our viewers what makes you so sneezy?“

Yea, of course … *sniffle* … I have terrible … ATCHOOOOO … hayfever, that's why I'm sneezing all the time.“

Okay, so for those who don't know: What is hayfever?“

Well, hayfever is when you're allergic to pollen, and there's pollen everywhere ...“

Even here in the studio?“

Errm … probably not too much, but … ATCHOOOOOOO … outside there's a pollen inferno going on, and once I have inhaled them, I … ATCHOOOO … ATCHOOOOO …“

Ah, ok, I see. Now let's talk about your blog. How did you ...“

Sorry, but before we start … *sniffle* … I have to blow my nose. *sniffle*“

No problem!“

Sarah took a tissue out of a big tissue box on the table and started blowing her nose. I took a deep breath. This was doubtlessly going to be the most exciting thing on TV I had ever seen. It already was, with just two minutes or so having passed. And I was stunned to see Sarah looking completely different from the photos I had seen on her blog occasionally. Her eyes were red, bloodshot and watery, her nose was dark red, her cheeks were red, and she looked worn out and tired. Moreover, before she had started blowing her nose, she had been busy wiping her nose with the back of her hand, rubbing her eyes or wiping the allergic tears from her cheeks. Her whole visual appearance vividly indicated that this woman was suffering from terrible hayfever.

While Sarah blew her nose, which took quite a time, Sandy continued: “Just to let you know, Sarah already told me that she has bad hayfever and that it would be a sneezy show today. She even offered me to invite someone else instead of her in case this grosses me out. But hey, what's wrong with some sneezing? It's a bodily function, nothing else! And as I said, Sarah runs a quite interesting fashion blog, we will go into it as soon as she's finished ...“

Okay, I'm ready.“

Ah cool. So now for ...“

ATCHOOOOOOOOO!“

Oh, bless y … now for your blog. What was the inspiration for you to start it?“

Well… ATCHOOOOOOO … fashion has always been my passion, and I read some fashion blogs, and they were really cool. And there was one blogger from Italy who … ACHOOOOOO ...“

'Ah, the blogger from Italy', I thought. I remembered that she already had told about him at the podcast. But I didn't care whether there was some repetition content wise, I just enjoyed her wonderful sneezes, especially as I could see her sneezing now, watch her facial expressions which looked as spectacular as her sneezes sounded. Every time she sneezed, she looked completely desperate, just as if she couldn't breathe or simply was terribly embarrassed. And yea, she looked exhausted. And tired. 'Well possible that all the sneezing tires her out', I thought.

 

to be continued

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After Sarah had finished the story about the blogger from Italy, Sandy continued: “On your blog you write a lot not just about fashion, but also about your hayfever. Do you consider this being the second main topic of your blog?“

'Ah, now it gets really interesting', I thought.

Well, not strictly … *sniffle*“, Sarah replied. “But sometimes I don't have any fashion news because … ATCHOOOOOO … my hayfever prevents me from doing certain things, for instance going shopping ...“

Why does your hayfever prevent you from going shopping?“

Well, when you're … ATCHOOOOOO … sneezing … ACHOOOOOO … all the time, it doesn't really make sense to go shopping. Once I was thrown out of a fashion store because ...“

Yea, I remember, I've read the story.“

Yea, and so to explain to my readers why there's no fashion news, I tell 'em 'bout my … ATCHOOOOOOOO … hayfever. *sniffle*

Ah, ok, but the main topic of your blog is fashion, right?“

Yea, at least I consider it being that. However, there are some people who actually like to read about my hayfever ...“

Please … what?“

'And now it gets even more interesting', I thought.

Well … *sniffle* … there's something like … ATCHOOOOOO … sneeze fetishism ...“

Sneeze fetishism? What the hell's that?“

Well, it's when someone is turned on by seeing someone else sneezing ...“

Ah, and those people read your blog because you tell about your hayfever?“

Yea. *sniffle*“

Now seriously, what kind of people do you want to read your blog? Fashion lovers or sneeze fetishists?“

Basically, fashion lovers of course. But those fetish guys are all … ATCHOOOOOOO … so nice ...“

Really?“

Yea. They're so supportive and thankful ...“

Well, probably because you do them a favour by writing about your hayfever. But seriously, isn't that kind of misusing your blog? You didn't set it up as a sneeze fetish blog ...“

Well, no … it just has developed that way. And Sandy, believe me, they're … ATCHOOOOOO … really nice people. Well, there were a few … *sniffle* … who asked me about audio recordings of my sneezing, then I told them I won't do that … *sniffle* … and that was it.“

I guess they're watching our show now ...“

Well possible … but I don't mind that. *sniffle*

Sandy looked on the screen of her laptop wich was standing in front of her on the table. It seemed that she was unsure how to continue. Sarah took a tissue and started blowing her nose once more. Sandy started typing something on the laptop, saying: “Okay … after having talked about this … errm ... quite unusual topic, I'd like to ask Sarah somthing about our fashion mag … as soon as she has finished blowing her nose. In our latest edition we had a guest article written by a fashion blogger from the United Kingdom, and I would like to know what Sarah thinks about that ...“

I'm ready“, Sarah replied.

Ok, so please look.“ Sandy turned the laptop around a bit so that both of them could watch the screen. “Here it is.“

Sorry, I just have to put on my … ATCHOOOOOO … my glasses, without them I can't read anything.“

Ah, okay.“

Sarah took a glasses purse out of her bag which was standing below the table, took out the glasses, sneezed once more and then put the glasses on. To me, they looked quite old-fashioned, metal frames with round medium-size lenses. Those were quite strong plus lenses which made Sarah's eyes look much bigger. I liked this look because now it was much better visible how red, bloodshot, puffy and watery her eyes were. 'Hayfever eyes', I thought.

Sarah looked at the screen. “I'm so sorry, but I still can't read anything … *sniffle* … because my eyes are so watery. I have to wipe them. *sniffle*

No problem“, Sandy replied.

Sarah took off the glasses, got another tissue from her bag, wiped her eyes, put the glasses back on and looked at the screen. “Ah, now I can read it.“

 

to be continued

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Glatissant

Awesome fic, you've put out a lot of content quickly!

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sneezomania

Okay“, Sandy said, “now here's the guest article from a blogger from Birmingham in England. It's about sustainable and fair fashion. What do you think about that?“

Well … *sniffle* … I must admit that I haven't thought about this issue until … ATCHOOOOO … until you mailed me and told me about your mag. But it's certainly an issue worth thinking … ACHOOOOOOO … thinking about. I will definitely write about that on my blog. *sniffle*

They continued talking about fair and sustainable fashion which I found quite interesting. And with Sarah's ongoing sneezing and sniffling it was an even more enjoyable listening. After a few minutes, Sarah said: “Sorry … *sniffle* … I have to blow my nose again. *sniffle*

No problem.“

Sarah took the next tissue and started blowing her nose, and then the lenses of her glasses got foggy. “Damn, this is so annoying“, she said. “Every time I blow my nose with my glasses on, they fog up.“

What about taking them off before you blow your nose?“

Then I can't read anything … ACHOOOOOOOO … anyway. Either way, it's annoying.“

Well … then be glad you don't have to wear 'em all the time ...“

Sarah took off the glasses, got the next tissue and wiped the fog from the lenses. “Yea … *sniffle* … but if my eyes keep getting worse, I guess … ACHOOOOOOOOO … I guess I'll have to wear 'em full time in a few years … *sniffle*

So what about contact lenses?“

No. That's not an option if you have bad hayfever. My eyes are itchy like hell anyway … I don't even want to imagine to put contact lenses in my eyes. *sniffle*

Ah, ok, I see.“

Sarah continued blowing her nose, put her glasses back on, and they continued talking about Sandy's mag. After a while, Sandy asked Sarah: “Would you be interested in writing a guest article for our mag?“

Yes, of course!“

Okay, so may I suggest a topic for that?“

Yea, please do!“

Well, we have learned that you have bad hayfever ...“

Indeed … ACHOOOOOOOOO!“

... and that this can make it difficult for you to live your passion for fashion. Can I put it like that?“

Yea, that's entirely true.“

Okay, so my topic suggestion for your guest post would be: 'A Hayfeverish Life For Fashion'. Would that be okay for you?“

Yea, of course!“

Okay, cool. So how much time ...“

ATCHOOOOOOO!“

... will you need to write it? That's important to know in order to decide in which edition of our mag it will appear.“

When is your deadline for the next edition?“

It's tomorrow, 4 pm.“

Okay, I can try to have it finished until then. But as my hayfever is really … ATCHOOOOOO … really bad at the moment, perhaps it'll take a bit longer … when I'm sneezing nonstop, it takes more time to write it ...“

So we're straight into the topic.“ Sandy grinned.

Yea. *sniffle*

But it's no problem. If it takes longer, it'll appear in the edition following the next.“

Okay, fine!“

'I can't wait to read that article', I thought.

They kept chatting for a while, then Sandy said: “Ok, Sarah, it was really nice to have you here today, I'm looking forward to getting your guest article!“

Yes, thanks … *sniffle* … for inviting me. I'll send you the article … ATCHOOOOO … as soon as possible.“

Sandy turned to the camera. “Okay, folks, that's it for today! Thanks for watching, see you ...“

ATCHOOOOOOOOO!“

... again next Friday!“

After that, their microphones got switched off, and the outro jingle (which was the same like the intro jingle) started. I could see Sarah and Sandy still chatting for a few seconds, with Sarah sneezing once more, than it all faded out.

I took a deep breath again. 'That was heavenly', I thought.

I checked my video recording software. Yes, the whole show had been recorded properly, so now I could watch this as often as I wanted.

A few hours later I went to bed, but it took me hours to fell asleep. In my mind I still saw and heard Sandy and Sarah talking, together with Sarah sneezing, sniffling, blowing her nose, wiping her eyes, wiping her nose, wiping the fog off her glasses and rubbing her eyes. And I felt a deep thankfulness towards both of them: towards Sandy because she had invited Sarah to the show, and for obvious reasons towards Sarah.

 

to be continued


 

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The next day I checked whether there was a new post on Sarah's blog, but there was none. 'Well, probably she's working on her guest article for Sandy's mag', I thought.

I checked the comments to her last blog post. There were dozens of new entries, thanking her for guesting at the TV show and saying things like “Will certainly read your guest essay for the mag!“ I remembered what Sarah had written in that post:

And if the TV show doesn't work out too disasterous, who knows, perhaps there'll be a chance for me to work for her mag? Sandy and I got on with each other really well, to me this feels much more hopeful than when I applied to the other mags. Keep your fingers crossed!

So I added a comment: “Did you talk with Sandy about working for her mag as an editor?“ About an hour later, there was a reply: “Not strictly, but we'll keep in touch, I will certainly ask her after my guest article (on which I'm working right now, fighting through tons of sneezing) has been published in her mag. But thanks for asking! :)“

On Monday, the next edition of Sandy's mag was put online, but there was no guest article from Sarah. Seemingly she hadn't managed to get it finished in time. So I had to be patient for one more week. During this week, there were no new blog posts from her, it seemed to me that after doing the TV show and writing the article for Sandy, she needed a break. There were a few answers from her to comments from her readers, and they indicated that her hayfever was still horrible. I used the time to watch my recording of the TV show again and again, and after two or three days I knew it so well that I could speak along to Sarah and Sandy for most of the time.

The next Monday, a new edition of the SECRETS OF STYLE mag went online, and yes, there was an article announced as “A guest article from fashion blogger Sarah who guested on Sandy's Secrets a week ago“. And indeed, the title of the article was A Hayfeverish Life For Fashion – exactly what Sandy had suggested. Of course I started reading it at once.

Hello everyone! Well, thankfully chief editor Sandy has invited me to contribute a guest article to this wonderful SECRETS OF STYLE magazine. I feel honoured! Sadly I didn't get it finished in time for edition #23 because it took me hours to write it because I was sneezing like crazy again. Yea, as you can see from the headline, I have hayfever. And in my case it's terrible hayfever. Not just a bit of sneezing here and there, but sneezing insanely 24/7! Right now I have a big family size tissue box standing next to my computer, saying “200 tissues“, and it's half empty already, just a few hours after I have opened it! My nose is running like crazy, and my eyes are watery, and every time I blow my nose, my f***ing glasses get foggy, but I cannot operate my computer without my glasses on! So it's no wonder that it takes hours to write an article. Sometimes when it's that bad, I decide not to write a post for my blog because it simply takes too much time and effort. Imagine you try to type something while going achoo – achoo - achoo all the time! But I promised Sandy to write a guest article, and yea, I'm happy that I have the chance to contribute something to this fabulous mag, but it would be much easier if there wasn't all the sneezing and runny nose and teary eyes and foggy glasses and all that!

So here we are: a hayfeverish life for fashion. As the headline says. Trying to type something and fighting against all that hayfever plight simultaneously. I've been stuck with that for years now, most of my blog posts were written under these conditions. Except those few weeks in winter when there is no pollen of course. But I want to keep my blog running because yea, fashion is my big passion, and I have lots of wonderful readers who are all so nice and supportive. Yea, I guess many of them will read this article, so thanks again for all your support!

Well, as for the content of my blog: Until now I have followed fashion trends and covered them. But when Sandy mailed me and made me aware of her mag, she put my attention to a topic on which I hadn't spent any thoughts before: fair and sustainable fashion. Since then, I thought a lot about that. I never considered my blog being something political, but now I realized that fashion actually is something political and that it does matter whether someone who sews together some clothes in Bangladesh gets exploited ot not. So in the future, I'll certainly cover topics like that on my blog! I already have checked the website of a company in Germany which does fair fashion only, and they're producing wonderful stuff! They even say that their clothes are good for people who are allergic to certain chemicals because they don't use them. Being an allergy sufferer myself, I found that interesting of course, although I'm allergic to pollen, not to chemicals.

Well, I guess that's it. Sandy told me it's my decision whether I write a long or a short article, and as I'm still unbelievably sneezy and snotty, I keep it a bit shorter than I had originally planned. Please visit my blog and keep reading Sandy's great SECRETS OF STYLE mag! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

I was impressed. 'This is a wonderful essay', I thought.

The next day it was back to reading Sarah's blog.

Hello everyone! If you haven't already read my guest article in the SECRETS OF STYLE mag, please do! Meanwhile I have talked with their chief editor Sandy about working as an editor for her mag. She said that right now there is no chance because she has enough editors to write for her. But as soon as one of them quits, she'll contact me! Folks, isn't that good news? Now finally there is a chance to make my dream come true: work as an editor for a great fashion mag! She said that there is someone quitting every now and then, so perhaps I won't have to wait for too long! Ok, that's it for today, more fashion news as soon as I have some! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'Good things come to those who wait', I thought.

 

to be continued

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sneezomania

Hello everyone! Every now and then one of my readers tells me that he – yea, it's always guys – wants to date me. Please understand that I won't do that. I simply cannot date everyone of you who asks, and as you can imagine, such a date could turn out terribly embarrassing for me because of all the sneezing and stuff. But as you're all so nice, I decided to do a contest, and the winner of this contest will have the chance to date me.

'Wow', I thought. 'It would be simply great if …'

And here's the contest: This afternoon between 3 and 4 pm I counted how often I sneezed. Yea, I know that's quite crazy, but I didn't have a better idea for a contest. So those of you who want to enter the contest: Please send me an e-mail with your guess of how often I sneezed during that hour, and the one whose guess comes closest will win the contest. Deadline for your e-mail is 12 pm tomorrow. Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'This is … errm … this is something very special', I thought. Actually I was a bit confused. Did she mean that seriously? Guessing how often she sneezed and winning a date if it's the best guess? 'Okay, if she announces it that way, she must take into account that the readers take it seriously', I thought. And I decided – of course – to enter that contest. So now the question was: How could I make a good guess, a guess having a chance to win the contest? How could I find out how often she had probably sneezed during that hour?

I decided to assume that she might have sneezed as much as she did during the podcast and the TV show, those two occasions I had archived and so was able to check how often she had sneezed there. First I listened to the podcast, which was quite exciting as I hadn't listened to it for quite a time. So I really had to concentrate on counting her sneezes instead of just enjoying them. It felt quite strange, I never had occupied myself with sneezing that way. But I managed it somehow, and my count yielded a „score“ of 101 sneezes in 30 minutes and 42 seconds.

'101 sneezes in about 31 minutes? That's more than three sneezes a minute! Was she really that sneezy?'

I listened to the whole thing once again, and yes, it was exactly 101 sneezes. And probably there were even a few more because she had muted her microphone for a short moment. I estimated that she might have sneezed two times during that moment, so I assumed her to have sneezed 103 times during that podcast.

Then I took my recording of the TV show and found out that she had been even more sneezy then. The TV show was shorter than the podcast, it clocked in at 19 minutes and 50 seconds, and I counted 74 sneezes, including those two times at the beginning and the end which could just be seen, not heard. So that was close to four sneezes a minute.

Now the math thing started getting difficult, as there were different „frequencies“ of sneezes on these two recordings. At the podcast, it was 3.3 sneezes a minute on average, and at the TV show it was 3.7. Now what should I assume for the hour she had mentioned in her blog post? How should I know how sneezy she had been during that hour? I checked the comments to the post and her answers to them, but there was nothing which could help me find out how sneezy she had been that afternoon.

There was one reason to assume that the podcast delivered a better estimation: While doing that, she had been at home, so at the same place as she probably had been during that hour in which she had counted her sneezes. During the TV show she had been somewhere else, in a TV studio. But why had she been even more sneezy there? I would have assumed that she would sneeze less in a room where air condition runs and filters out the pollen. After all, Sandy had asked her whether there actually was pollen in the studio. So it was difficult – if not impossible – to guess which of these two recordings was the better source for a guess.

Finally I decided to take the total score of her sneezes at both recordings and project this to 60 minutes using the rule of three. So there were 177 sneezes in 50 minutes and 32 seconds, which meant that the average sneeze frequency of that would lead to 211 sneezes during 60 minutes.

'211 sneezes in an hour … that's unbelievable', I thought.

I re-checked my calculation, and yes, it was correct. So I started writing her an e-mail. I still was unsure whether it was a good idea to guess 211 sneezes, it still seemed unbelievably much to me, but it was the result of a calculation based on what had actually happened, so I finally did. I thought about telling her how I had figured out that number, but then I decided not to because I thought that she would get hundreds of e-mails for this contest and so perhaps would be glad if the people kept the e-mails short. So I wrote:

Hi Sarah, here's my guess for your contest: Considering your descriptions about how sneezy you are, I guess you sneezed 211 times during that hour you mentioned. Best wishes, Rob

 

to be continued


 

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Hello everyone! I can't believe it! There are more than 300 people who have entered my contest. And here's the solution: During that hour I mentioned, I counted 211 sneezes.

'Wow!' I thought. 'That's exactly the number I guessed! Does that mean that I have won the contest?'

Yea, I know, that sounds incredibly high, but it's true, I did the counting very carefully. Most of you guessed much lower numbers, but to my surprise, there were people who guessed it exactly!“

'People? Does that mean that someone else guessed it too?'

So right now we don't have one winner but four winners. Four of you guessed 211 sneezes!

'And now?'

So we need something like a runoff, and those four guys will get an e- mail from me with a second question. I'm curious if your guesses will be as good again! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

About ten minutes later, I recieved an e-mail from her.

Hello, as you're one of those four lucky guys who entered the runoff of my contest, here's the next question: This afternoon, between 3 and 4 pm again, I counted how often I blew my nose. Please send me your guess, deadline is tomorrow 12 pm again. xoxo Sarah :)

'Okay, so I know what to do. Checking the two recordings again, this time counting how often she blows her nose.'

At the podcast I counted twelve nose blows (this time I assumed that were was none during the short moment she had muted her microphone), at the TV show it was nine, so 21 in total. The rule of three said that then it's 25 times in an hour. So I sent her a short e-mail with that number.

Hello everyone! I didn't plan to write another post today, but as all four guys who have entered my contest's runoff have already sent me their guesses, here's the solution: I blew my nose 25 times during that hour.

I couldn't believe it. 'I've nailed it again! Have I finally won the contest now?'

And believe it or not, we still don't have a winner because two guys guessed it exactly. So I decided to toss a coin to find out who won the contest. Both of you will be told whether they have won via e-mail. Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'Oh dear …'

Gladly it took just a few minutes until her mail arrived.

Hello Rob! I'm sooooooooo sorry but I have to tell you that you haven't won the contest. My toss of coin made the other guy the winner. Hope you're not too disappointed. Thanks anyway for joining the contest, hope you'll keep reading my blog though! xoxo Sarah :)

I was close to tears. 'Oh dear … I was so close … I've guessed both scores exactly … and now a simple toss of coin keeps me from dating her.'

After a few minutes I decided to send her a short answer. Hi Sarah, thanks for telling me. Although, to be honest, it's quite a disappointment. I would have loved to date you! But however, I understand that there can be only one, and I accept your rules. Of course I will keep reading your blog. Best wishes, Rob

I turned off my computer and went outside, taking a short walk. 'Why didn't she simply decide to do two dates if there are two winners?' I thought. But after a while I realized that there was nothing wrong about all that. She wanted to do just one date, for good reasons, and there was no other option than simply accepting that. More than that, everyone who had entered that contest had good reason to be thankful to her because he had had the chance to win a date with her. That was more than what she owed her readers.

Sarah, you're wonderful, wonderful as ever“, I mumbled to myself.

 

to be continued

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Hi Rob! I've got some news for you! The guy who has won my contest just mailed me and asked me to cancel the date because he has a new girlfriend since yesterday, and now he understandably doesn't want to date another woman. So as you came in second at the contest: Are you still interested in dating me? xoxo Sarah :)

I couldn't believe it. I re-read the e-mail, checked whether it really was from Sarah's e-mail account, and then pinched my left arm to make sure that I wasn't dreaming.

But no, it was true. I HAD WON THE DATE WITH SARAH!

I raised my arms the way I did when I was at the soccer ground and my favourite club scored a goal. “YES! I'VE MADE IT!“ I jumped out of my chair and ran through my room, with my hands in the air. “YES, YES, YES!“

After a minute or so, I sat down again and answered her. Dear Sarah, you cannot imagine how happy I am! Yes, of course I'm still interested in dating you! Thanks a thousand time for offering that to me even if I didn't win the contest! Now, do you want to suggest a day, time and location? Thanks again, Rob :)

Hi Rob, nice to know that you're still interested after I had told you that someone else has won. :) Here's my suggestion: next Friday, 3 pm at my home. As I'm still incredibly sneezy, I don't want to meet outside or at some bar, so that's my suggestion. My flatmate Fiona will be there too, but she will be in another room, so it will be you and me meeting and having a nice talk, I'm sure! So is this ok for you? xoxo Sarah :)

Hi Sarah, that's perfectly ok for me! Thanks for inviting me!

I was immensely looking forward to dating her on Friday. I was sure that this would become by far the most exciting experience with her, more exciting than all her blog posts, the dream about phoning with her, the podcast, the TV show and her guest article in Sandy's mag, as wonderful as all that had been.

On Friday, at three o'clock in the afternoon exactly, I rang her door bell. I heard some steps inside, together with a few fiery sneezes. My heart was pounding like a steamhammer.

She opened the door! “Hi Rob!“, she said and immediately hugged me. I put my arms around her, saying: “Hi Sarah!“ While we were hugging, she sneezed once more. It felt wonderful.

Come in, please. *sniffle*

We walked into her room, and she asked me to sit down on her couch. I recognized that the air in her room was a bit sticky, the window was closed although it was warm outside. 'I guess that's to keep the pollen outside', I thought.

May I offer you … ATCHOOOOOOOO … a cup of coffee?“

Oh, yes, please.“

Okay.“ She left the room for the kitchen, I heard her steps together with a few more loud, powerful sneezes. 'I'm in heaven', I thought.

About a minute later she came back with two cups of coffee and sat down next to me. “Nice to finally have one … ATCHOOOOOOO … one of my blog readers … ATCHOOOOOO … visiting me. But sorry, I have to blow my nose. *sniffle*

No problem.“

She took a tissue out of the big tissue box which stood on the table next to her couch, unfolded it and started blowing. I looked at her, and yes, she looked totally hayfeverish again, like she had done at the TV show. And now, seeing her in reality and sitting next to her, her look indicated even more vividly that she was plagued by horrendous hayfever. Her eyes were red, puffy and watery, her nose was dark red, her cheeks were flushed, and once again she looked worn out and tired.

When she had finished blowing her nose, she said: “Ugh, my nose is so snotty today … look at that tissue box, I just opened it a few hours ago, and it's … ATCHOOOOOOOO … it's already half empty … I feel like I'm doing nothing but … ATCHOOOOOO … sneezing and … ATCHOOOOOOO … blowing my nose, and wiping my eyes ...“

Oh, dear ...“

But it's nice to get so much support from my blog readers, from people like you …ATCHOOOOOOOO … even after that sneezy TV show … *sniffle*

 

to be continued

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sneezomania

We started talking about her hayfever, her blog, and later she asked me about my job, and I told her a bit about doing web application development as a freelancer for various companies. She found that interesting and asked some questions about it, but it was difficult for her to listen to my answers because she kept sneezing every few seconds. Also she had to blow her nose every few minutes, and in-between all that, she was busy wiping the allergic tears from her eyes, wiping her nose and rubbing her eyes while complaining that they were horribly itchy. So it was a difficult conversation with many interruptions, but for me all this was pure heaven.

However, after we had been talking for about an hour, I wondered whether the time had come for me to go home. It was obvious to me that this date was a quite exhaustive thing for Sarah, and I wondered if she really enjoyed it. Most of the time she was fighting against her hayfever instead of enjoying a relaxed talk with me. And as much as I had enjoyed that until now, it felt to me like being some kind of “enough“ now. While I was thinking about that, she started telling me about trying some allergy medicine which didn't help at all.

Well, a friend told me … ATCHOOOOOO … that she had tried these pills, and ...“

Her phone rang. She hastily wiped the tears from her eyes, put on her glasses which were lying on the table beneath the tissue box and looked on the phone's display.

Oh, that's Sandy from the fashion mag. Sorry, I have to take that call.“

No problem.“

Hello, Sandy! *sniffle*

...“

Yea, I'm ok. Well, hayfever ist still bad, but … ATCHOOOOOO … but otherwise I'm ok. *sniffle*

...“

Really?“ Sarah raised her eyebrows. It seemed that Sandy had said something which was very exciting for Sarah.

...“

Yesterday?“

...“

While Sarah listened to what Sandy told her, her hands started shaking.

Errm … you mean … ATCHOOOOOOO … right now?“

...“

Well … *sniffle* … right now I have a guest sitting next to me, a reader of my blog, and I have to ask him whether that's okay ...“

...“

Okay, I‘ll ask him, please … ATCHOOOOOOO … hang on.“

She looked at me. “Rob, there's a little problem. Sandy just told me that one of the editors for her mag has quit yesterday, and now … ATCHOOOOOOOO ...“

'I guess I know what's going on', I thought. 'And if I guess it right, it's wonderful.'

... and now she is looking for a new editor … *sniffle* … and she asked me if I can come to her office right now to talk with her about that.“

Okay, so where's the problem?“

Well, the problem is that… ATCHOOOOOOO … that we have to end our date a bit abruptly then.“

That's no problem“, I replied. “I know that you would like to work for her mag, and if there's the chance, I don't want to stand in the way.“

Oh, that's really nice, thank you!“ Sarah took the phone back to her ear and said: “Yea, it's ok for him. *sniffle*“

...“

Errm … I guess I need about half an hour. Is that ok?“

...“

Wonderful. Ok, see you at your office then! Bye, Sandy!“

...“

She ended the call and took off her glasses. “Rob, I'm so happy … it seems that now I have the chance … ATCHOOOOOOOO ...“

I'll keep my fingers crossed“, I replied.

We stood up from the couch and went to the flat door. We hugged again, and this time she sneezed twice while we did. It felt even more wonderful than it had done when she had welcomed me.

Bye, Rob! And thanks again for your understanding!“

Bye, Sarah! And please let me know whether you've got the job!“

Yea, of course! *sniffle* I will write a blog post about it!“

Ok, fine!“

'This is a wonderful day', I thought to myself on my way home. 'I had a marvellous date with Sarah, and she seemingly gets her dream job.'

 

to be continued

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Hello everyone, I got exciting news! Well, at least exciting for me, but I guess some of you will be interested as well. I got a call from Sandy who runs the SECRETS OF STYLE fashion mag, and she told me that one of her editors quit her job yesterday. Then she invited me to come to her office to talk about me taking the job. Of course I went there immediately, and after talking a bit, she asked me if I wanted to have the job, I said yes and then she said I'm in! And now I already have my contract! Folks, I'm sooooooooooo happy! As some of you know, I have always dreamed about getting such a job, and after having been rejected at other mags because of my hayfever, I thought I would never get a chance! But now it has come true! I still can't believe it! YESSSSSSSS! I'll write more as soon as I've calmed down a bit! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

'This is wonderful', I thought. 'Noone deserves that more than her.' And a few hours later, there was already the next blog post.

Hello everyone again! So now, after calming down, I've got something to tell you. As I'll be working for Sarah's mag now, starting on next Monday, I won't continue writing this blog. I won't have time any more for that. And I will have to spend all my passion, all my love for fashion for my job now. And as you know, writing blog posts often occupied me for hours because of all the sneezing and stuff. And now as I have a full time job, I don't want to spend so much time for writing something just for fun any more. So now it's time to say thank you for all your support, all your nice comments and e-mails and all your understanding for the blog posts with no fashion news and just complaining about my hayfever instead. I hope you will read the articles I'll be writing for the mag, they will be a bit different to my blog posts because they're for a magazine, but I will live my love for fashion in these articles like I did in my blog posts. All the best to you, thanks for reading my blog! Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)

This disappointed me a bit. Well, she certainly had her reason for giving up her blog, but I feared I'd be missing her blog posts. 'Hopefully her articles for the mag will read similar to her blog', I thought.

About a week later, a new edition of the mag was published online, and indeed, there was an article written by Sarah. Of course I started reading it at once.

When you think about which clothes to buy, many of you, I guess, won't spend any thoughts on the political dimension of that. Myself I didn't do until a few weeks ago, until I became aware of something called Fair Fashion. Since then, I've been thinking a lot about that, and …

It was a quite long article, and after having read it completely, I realized that this wasn't just „a bit different“ to what she had written on her blog before, but completely different. First of all there wasn't a single word about her hayfever, and besides that, all the things which had made her blog posts such a nice read were missing. There was no „Hello everyone!“ at the beginning, there was no „Luv u all, xoxo Sarah :)“ at the end, and it all read much more distanced, not like someone talking to his friends, but rather like someone holding a speech to some people he doesn't know.

I checked whether there was an option to post comments to the article, but there was none. Also, there was no e-mail address of Sarah given, so for someone who didn't have her private e-mail address there was no chance to interact directly with her. The only e-mail address I found on the website was info@secrets-of-style.com which, as I assumed, would be checked by Sandy rather than by one of her editors. However, I wasn't too disappointed about not having the chance to post a comment, I wouldn't have known what to write anyway. Posting a comment like „Interesting article, thanks for writing“ simply wouldn't have been honest. The only useful comment I could have posted was something like „I agree that fair fashion is something worth thinking about“, but I didn't really regret that I couldn't.

'Ok, it's her first article', I thought. 'Let's see how it develops.“

Every Monday there was a new edition of the mag, and after having read Sarah's first three articles, it was clear that there was no comparison to her blog posts. Well, it still was a convenient read, indicating that it was written by a nice person, but all what had made her blog posts so enjoyable for me had gone. It was clear that I had lost something, something I had liked a lot.

Now I wondered about who was responsible for all that. Was it Sarah's own decision to write her articles that way, or was it Sandy directing her to do so? So I decided to write an e-mail to Sarah.

Hello Sarah, how you're doing? I've read your first three articles for the fashion mag, and I've recognized that they read quite different to the blog posts you have written before. For instance, you don't write anything about your hayfever at all any more. May I ask why you changed your writing style so much? Best wishes, Rob

Well, I knew that asking this was a bit silly. Of course I knew that a commercial magazine required different content than a personal blog, but I wanted to know it exactly, to get it confirmed explicitely. Especially as I was so disappointed about it.

 

to be continued

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