As everything thaws and people remember they have skin they'd like to bare in shorts while forcing a posse of other people also in short to linger around them, one specific truth come back into the picture: Allergies. Particularly tree and grass and pollen allergies. Allergies of that persuasion are easy enough to control if you're more into indoor activities and prefer non-direct sunlight, but what if your preferences are in complete opposite swing of your allergic disposition? It ain't easy. Because y'all, even though my throat coats itself in post-nasal drip as soon as I open the front door, I love the outdoors.
This, of course, becomes more exaggerated in the spring and fall months — when it's actually nice to be outside. (In comparison, winter outdoors is more like survival mode and summer outdoors is like existing in someone else's mouth for long stretches of time.) I'm not a total dum-dum — I know allergy relief medicine and pills and wild herbs exist (although I'll probably sneeze too much from the latter). These reactions can be tempered, but there's unfortunately a hard ceiling on true relief, so we can't enjoy nature just as our allergy-less ancestors once did. (Surely allergies are a more modern development? I took a science class once, let's say yes.) Instead, we enjoy a little more differently...with more snot. A lot more snot. Here are some struggles anyone with allergies who loves the outdoors will recognize:
You Have An Insane Morning Routine
That involves a bajillion allergy relief pills, sprays, inhalers, etc. My line-up in the month before summer counts to three. But to anyone who looks over while I sip a morning coffee, they probably think I'm a junkie of something interesting — not Claritin.
Your Purse Has A Springtime/Autumnal Song
And it's the rattling of Zyrtec and Claritin and generic allergy relief bottles. You've already mastered the morning dosage routine, but this season demands re-ups in the case of an impromptu picnic or outdoor lunch break or ... bench-sitting (important). It's not like you're usually this prepared, it's just that in order to balance your baseline happiness in this weather while managing to stay somewhat resembling a non-leaking human, it's completely vital to pop said pills.
You Always Have To Check Before Committing To Outdoor Social Engagements
You eyeball your calendar, sure, but you're mostly concerned with the pollen count forecast.
High Pollen Days Force You Into Real Quarantine
Any errand that could possibly stand to wait an extra day (or be doable via Zifty delivery) will when the pollen count reaches that (dark) magic number. It's seriously best for everyone.
Your Drapes Are Always Pulled Open
If you can't be outside, at least you can see it.
You Wear Exclusively Waterproof Makeup
Listen, runny mascara is not going to literally rain on your glorious, tree-heavy parade because the sun is out, and you will enjoy it, dammit.
Climbing Trees Makes You Anxious
It's not a heights thing. It's an "I'm-compromising-easy-breathing-for-this" thing. As such, you are no fun in outdoor photo shoots, but since prom is in the long-ago past, it doesn't come up nearly as much.
Hammock Naps Might Mean Your Actual Death
You could just never wake up again. Well, you probably would — but completely, hopelessly congested.
You Tend To Sound Annoyed
But you're just clearing your throat! So like, you can breathe. Since this is your very legit affliction, you might wanna be careful wearing headphones while walking around. Otherwise you might be confused why everyone shoots you annoyed looks as you try to clear up for another gulp of oxygen on the street corner.
People Ask If You're Upset A Lot
Nawww. Just the pollen tightening your throat so it sounds like you're crying also tears flowing from your eyes so it looks like you're crying, but you're not crying, OK??
You Detour Into Parks Even Though It Hurts
And hopefully there's enough audio activity to cover all the addition throat clearing you'll have to suffer as a result. Meh. Worth it.
You Stock Up On Napkins At Cafés
Nothing is more nerve racking than your entire face leaking and not a stitch of hope for drying up. Each time you grab a new coffee, you also slide a nice wad of napkins to soften the clinks of allergy pills in your purse. Of course, though, sometimes that supply dwindles, so...
Your Sleeves Double As Tissues
So if anyone ever asks to borrow a sweater that you haven't freshly laundered, you immediately feel paralyzed. What? It's (usually) discrete.
Friends Recognize Your Sneeze
It happens so often you now attract pals from a half-mile radius anytime you traipse outside.
You Always Keep Flowers, But At A Safe Distance
What do you mean you've never seen someone place a vase full of peonies in the bathroom on a very high-up shelf?
This Could Never Be You
Redefining "summertime sadness".
You Follow A Ton Of Nature Instagram Accounts
Those who can't breathe...gaze longingly? Maybe.
You Opt For Spicy Foods As A Thin Veil
"It's the heat! The salsa! It...my snot won't stop. I am sorry."
You Always Miss Out On Camping Trips
Actually, being trapped outdoors where pollen swarms around and up your nose is your actual nightmare. I mean, yeah, it'd also mean sleeping beneath a blanket of stars and other majestic stuff but the whole breathing thing is somewhat crucial.
But You Will Rally For A Cabin Instead
Ahh, sweet (momentary) relief.
Images: NBC; Giphy (21)