Two years ago, I achieved a new ability I hadn’t possessed before. It’s not something I sought. It’s not something I wanted. And yet, it was granted to me by some cosmic practical joke. Along with all the other curve balls my aging body has begun to pitch at me, this is the one I expected least of all. In my mid-forties, I gained seasonal allergies.
As I sit here writing about this relatively new part of my life, my head is pounding, my sinuses are pouring, and my throat is scratchy. In short, I’m more miserable than is my usual state of Tamara-ness. While many of you are locked in a cold, dead world of winter where nothing pollen-like can assault you, I’m basking in the slow switch of seasons that will hold sway in southeast Georgia for at least another two weeks. It’s the time of year where I start my day by putting Kiddo on the bus in a coat and gloves, and then take him off the bus in shorts and a tank top. Leaves are still falling, and the air swirls with whatever it is that drives my body into allergy hell.
Allergies are so new to me that an onset still makes me sure I’m coming down with a cold. I think ‘This sucks, but it will be over in a week. I’ll already be feeling human again within three days!’ But three days pass, then the week passes, and I’m still stuffy and running through a forest’s worth of tissues. My throat is so rough that I’m sure I could pass another forest through it and make you all nice, glass-smooth decks for Christmas. It feels like a portable sander in there.
Ah yes, it just has to happen during this time of year. I watch Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life with tears streaming down my cheeks ... not from the saccharine sweetness of those movies, but because of allergies. Singing Christmas carols brings on a fit of coughing. If I time those bursts just right, I can follow along with the dog-barking version of ‘Jingle Bells’ pretty well. Considering how ear-melting my usual singing voice is, that’s probably a good thing. My head pounds in rhythm with the incessant chant of “I want, I want, I want...” that comprises the Gimme Lists of my two boys. Ugh. This is the gift that keeps on giving long after I scream, “Enough!”
I hate cold weather. I hate snow. But I’m starting to weigh their inherent bleh-ishness against these twice a year visits from the Allergy Fairy. It may be that or moving to the desert.
Just in case it comes down to that ... how does one put a star at the top of a cactus?