It’s finally spring. The outdoors beckons. The dogwoods have exploded in a flurry of white. A shy scrim of green covers the trees, that magical new-leaf shade. Buds peek from rose bushes. The temperature climbs. We’re approaching shorts weather. Flip-flops emerge from closets. Hemlines migrate upwards. All this would make a wondrous, magical season, a renewal, a gift after a winter shut indoors.
Except for the fucking pollen.
The pixie dust of Satan, this fucking tree sperm hovers in the air, invisible but deadly. It’s like the trees’ personal chemical weapon against mankind. Remember that dumb M. Night Shyamalan movie where the plants make people begin to kill themselves? Every spring, the plants just make people want to kill themselves from the horrible, horrible effects of their pollen.
Because of some evolutionary hitch, tree sperm makes my family’s immune systems go haywire. I know it’s spring when the snot starts running. It’s like Vermont maple syrup, but for gross. My kids start snorking. Suddenly, they don’t want to play outside. Outside makes the snot run thicker, turns their eyes squinchy-red.
The littlest one runs a fever. His eyes grow puffy and squinty; he spends all day snorting snot back up into his tiny head. He probably aches all over. My older two get headaches and sneezing fits and red, red eyes. Everyone’s temper frays. At least they know why they feel bad. The baby, who’s 3, only knows he feels like crap and must take it out on everyone around him.
They want to play outside because they need to run. But then they go outside and realize they don’t want to be outside, so they beg to come in. Then they tear apart my house because they really need to be outside — except outside produces gallons of snot and misery, possibly a fever. Hence, during allergy season, my house is always destroyed. If they pull the throw blankets off my couch one more time today I’m pointing the minivan at Vegas and never looking back.
We needed to help. We had to help. So we decided to pick up some children’s Claritin. After all, we take meds for our allergies. We finally located it in the “Children’s Cough and Cold” section of Target. Thirty doses cost $24.95. Twenty-five fucking dollars. Thirty doses will last me approximately 10 days. At this rate, I will have to sell my 3-year-old in order to get the other ones through allergy season.
Thankfully, there are generic alternatives. Arguably, they are supposed to work the same. If you multiply those cheaper prices by all my children, I’m still spending a small fortune.
The kids aren’t the only ones who suffer. My husband wakes up every morning with eyes like a teenage stoner. If the kids run snot, we run even more. We have to keep wiping it, so we tear through tissues like a teenage girl trying to make a D-Cup. It’s like having a bad cold, except your immune system can’t fight it off; you just have to wait and curse the horrible, horrible trees. The tissues chap your upper lip. You need Chap Stick, which the kids steal compulsively so you live with a red mark between your nose and upper lip. Combined with your red nose, you look like Rudolph the Red-Plague Reindeer.
And because everyone’s nose and sinuses and head and brain are full of fluid from the stupid ecstasy of tree sex, everyone snores. Oh sweet baby Buddha, they snore. Forget a good night’s sleep anywhere in the house because my husband sounds like a dying yak, and the kids sound like miniature dying yaks. I ply them all with Claritin, stuff in some earplugs, and pray I fall asleep so I can annoy someone else with my own dying yak noises.
I get headaches. My contacts feel sticky, like they want to leap out of my head. Everyone’s running snot, everyone’s cranky, and the outdoors beckons except the outdoors will make everything so much fucking worse. Trees are good. Trees are wonderful. Trees produce oxygen for us to breathe. But trees get their revenge, my friend. They get their revenge. Luckily, there’s children’s Claritin. Unfortunately, it costs 25 bucks. Anyone want to buy a 3-year-old?