First Graders are right: Boys have cooties. They have boy germs.
As grown-ups our perception of cooties is different. You might not think about cooties but they don’t go away just because we grew up. We just forget.
When we were little, cooties were often just a ruse in which to play with the boys. It wasn’t a negative thing at all, just a ploy to get their attention.
Now, we still are susceptible to cooties. It just comes in different forms.
Cooties come from:
Former boyfriends…fond – or not so fond – memories, brought on by a song, a scent, even a taste.
Random strangers…Flirting with the repairman or a client or a guy in the coffee shop. We still vye for boys attention, even as grown-ups.
Those of us who are star struck. "I'll never wash my hand again" when you shake a stars hand.
That creepy salesman. You *immediately* want/need to wash your hands.
Our sons. Slobbery little boy kisses.
Our husbands…our rings or other jewelry that we wear daily and again, memories. In this case, cooties are terminal, permanent. All going well, cooties are chronic when you are married and like any chronic illness, some days it is manageable and others it is inflamed.
So, you see it's the same as when we were first graders. Adults just seem to build up a resistance and not notice the symptoms.
Cooties: an oft unspoken, untreated epidemic.