It's that time of year again, when people put up trees, trim them with care, adorn their houses with greenery and lights....
A miserable time of year.
Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays. Time with the family, finding the perfect gifts, the anticipation, waiting to find out what is in the pretty packages.... (shut up, Farm Family. I'll tell that story when I'm damn good and ready.)
Not to mention the beautiful decorations and scent of evergreen everywhere....
There's just one teensy little problem.
I'm violently allergic to "real" evergreen plants, when they start to dry out.
I don't mean stuffed up nose, sneezing, sinus headache kind of allergic. I mean, the last time we had a real tree, Farmmom darn near hauled me to the ER, cause I was one sick little kid.
Every year since then, I've been a little sad when we put up the tree. I love the smell of a real tree, to the point that when Farmmom and I were in Yellowstone, I literally rolled down the window and hung my head out as we entered the forest lanes.
Unfortunately, I'm allergic enough that it's a situation where I'm absolutely miserable. Like, so much snot running down the back of my throat that I puke, eyes swollen nearly shut, sneezing hard enough I'm pretty sure my brain is getting bruised from the whiplash, coughing wheezing wanna die now kind of miserable.
Of course, 90% of the world has real trees, and real wreaths on the door, and in extreme cases, real garlands along the eves of their homes.
Including my high school.
For some reason, no matter how many phone calls Farmmom made, doctors notes I took in, or days I spent skipping classes to sit in the principal's office hacking up a lung, they never got the picture.
Every year they would have a real tree in the foyer/lobby area, which I had to walk through to get to classes, and which is where we were required to go during our "brunch."
The first week or so would be ok. They'd keep the tree well watered, take real good care of it, and I'd only get mildly stuffed up. As time went on, though, the caretakers of the tree would start to slack, and it would start to dry out. And I would get progressively sicker.
On the bright side, I usually got to start my Christmas Break a few days early.
Anyway, when we were shopping last week, Sam's Club had a display of wreaths, and I just had to smell them. I told you, I love the smell. I think it's genetic, this unhealthy draw towards things that you're horribly allergic to. Farmmom can lick her fingers after touching a slice of cantaloupe and break out in hives all over, but she loves cantaloupe. Every summer Farmdad gets stuffed with it, because she'll buy it and cut it up just so she can smell it.
So, Tuesday I got a little stuffed up. Apparently the wreaths weren't quite as fresh as the sign claimed... I can live with that, though.
Unfortunately, I think my neighbors have a real tree. Today, I've been sneezing, and had a bit of a headache, with itchy eyes and the various little signs that I recall from my highschool days.
Luckily, I'm going back to the Old Homestead tomorrow, so it should clear up ok.
I've been trying for the last few years to convince the Farm Family to buy one of those potted trees, and try it. I figure, it's a live tree, it's not going to dry out, which is the stage where I have real problems, it should be ok, right? They keep telling me no... I don't see why not, though. If I'm wrong, I'm the one who will be miserable.
'Course, if they're right, they'll have to put up with my whiny ass, so I guess they have a say in it.....