Thursday, October 25, 2007

Floral Obituaries

Do you ever wonder if your death would rate a headline in the newspapers? Yeah ... I know ... you're thinking, "Jeez! Morbid much?"

Bear with me here for a minute.

I love fresh air. I really do. There is something so intoxicatingly wonderful about it. I love the time of year when it's not too hot and not too cold and the windows of the house can be flung open and allow the breeze to go through. (Okay ... I also love the fact that when the windows are open I'm not paying an electric bill for the A/C or a gas bill for the heat ... again, work with me here.) I enjoy sitting outside on my little patio and reading, breathing the fresh air of an evening. I am thrilled to sit up front in a boat crossing the lake at high speeds, nothing between me and the rush of air blowing past.

Unfortunately, the time that the air smells the sweetest and best is the time when the air is full of all those nasty little things that love to cause my eyes to leak and become glassy, my nose to continually run and my throat to clog to it's smallest possible size. Yes ... the best fresh air can always be found during allergy seasons - both spring and fall.

Living with my allergies is just loads of fun. Still, I really can't complain. I know that there are many who are worse off than I am. Plus ... I am a grown up here ... it's my choice to leave windows open or not and so I live with the consequences. Still, there are other things I can't control that make viewing the world around me through red, watery eyes and attempting to breathe without using either nose or lungs such fun.

Things such as the fact that in order to get the laundry detergent I need in order to wash the clothes I seem to continually get dirty (no - the budget simply can't sustain buying new clothes for each day OR hiring out the service), it is necessary to go down that aisle of the store chock full of the various detergents. Each one with it's "fresh scent" or "outside goodness" or, even better, the new "light floral scents". Just stepping a foot in this aisle causes my chest to tighten and my throat to close. So, naturally, the detergent I prefer is smack in the middle of the aisle. Got to go all the way in. Some days it's fairly comical, I am sure. There I am, standing at the precipice, sucking in all the "clean" air around me, then ... holding my breath, I run in, snatch the box or bottle I need and then dash out, gasping and wiping my eyes heading for the cool, clean smell of the frozen foods section.

And don't get me started on candles. Seems every store now has a section with candles. I love candles. I truly do. I have them all over my house. I have vanilla, cinnamon, clove, spice, sugar cookie, warm scents that simply hover and don't crawl up inside my nose and create sneezes just by lighting them. Floral scents are my worst enemy. I simply can't do them. Yet those are the ones that are the strongest and those are the ones that seem to stand out - filling the section with their heady fragrance and ultimately forcing me to choose between shopping at this chosen store or leaving.

Today's air freshners are also pretty wicked for me. I'm sure that for many the light florals and fresh meadows and airy citrus scents are wonderful and lovely. Give me a plain old fashioned can of Lysol any day. It may not be the prettiest scent ever but atleast I'm not staggering, trying to draw air in without coughing.

Therefore, I am eternally grateful that where I work, my manager and our housekeeper are very cognizant of my difficulty with scents and try hard not to unwittingly cause a problem. Air freshners and cleaning supplies are generally neutral scents that are fresh, not heavy and they don't linger long. Heavier scents of florals and fruits, if they are used at all, are kept away from my particular area. The women's restroom closest to my office has an automatic device that freshens with a light, spicy orange (not fresh!) scent that you can barely catch.

So, you can imagine my dismay today. I began the day already tight and then, without thinking, just simply sleepily enjoying the fresh air on my drive to work this morning, I realize that the cough in my chest is because my allergies have full-on kicked in. I think to myself that that is okay ... I'll be at work and safe and then will keep the windows up on my drive home from the office and I won't open the windows at home this evening. No worries.

Unfortunately, best laid plans often go awry and there is an emergency with a resident and I have to go to their apartment. The one that smells of lilacs and roses from the scented candles lit throughout the living room. After 20 minutes, I wondered if I held my breath - would she notice my face turning blue and blow out the candle? Probably not.

Once all is taken care of, I head back to my office to relax and breathe the clean air. However I don't get far before getting sidetracked by yet another resident who leads me upstairs ... away from my comfort zone, away from my office and into another area of our building to show me a problem. Once the problem has been cared for, necessity has kicked in. I don't think, I head to the nearest restroom. The women's is busy, but that's alright - I head next to the men's open door (don't laugh - they're actually exactly the same!), I close the door, turn on the light and then it happens ... the automatic air freshner poofs out it's magical blast of scent designed to "freshen the bathroom". However this one is on the wrong floor and is the wrong scent for me and all my mind can do as my lungs take in their next breath of air is think of what the headlines might read:

"Woman Dies By Hacking Up Lung After Inhaling
Fresh Roses & Lemon Scent in Men's Bathroom."

Some days are just like that, I suppose.


raputathebuta said...

HAHAHA! Oh Keeper! So sorry to laugh at your misfortune, but that headline?! That was AWESOME! I have allergies too (worse now than when I was younger), but nothing like yours! The only times I've ever had that severe of a reaction was to lavender hand lotion...on someone else!!! I couldn't be in the same room with her or even enter a room after she left it. She was very understanding & quit using that particular lotion.

OriginalCindyRose said...



That's a particularly dasterdly scent! I'm glad she was nice about it!

InkyOrchid said...

My seasonal allergies have been mugging me lately, too. I'm sorry to hear yours are so severe. So, now is not a good time to mention that I love lavendar lotion?

I can't do the sented candles, though. Too cloying.

koosh said...

Here, here, Rap! AWESOME headline! I'm surprised they don't do baby powder in the men's room. Those auto air fresheners in bathrooms are horrible, horrible, I tell you. I have yet to meet an inoffensive one.

Curious Keeper, do essential oils illicit similarly extreme reactions?

psychoactive toad said...

I love lavender, it's my favorite scent, but I don't like most air "fresheners", or a lot of other scented things. Most of them smell too fake, too chemically. I like candles with the right scent though, and some smelly things with more natural ingredients.

Febreze is nasty. I just about vomited after spraying it in my car. The smell of sweat I was trying to cover up was better.

psychoactive toad said...

I've got nothing else to add, I just forgot to check the "Email follow-up comments to..." box last time.

Tigerpride09 said...

hehe. I guess I can't laugh because I have no voice left. but, u kno me. I love those scents. Especially fresh roses like the ones my parents gave me after state this weekend. I love roses. I also think it is funny how your name is CindyRose yet u are allergic to rose-like scents!

love ya