Friday, June 11, 2010

Is This Nuts?

I cannot recall having a single friend with a nut allergy as a child. I don't remember knowing anyone who couldn't be near peanut butter. I had never heard the phrase "peanut dust." But recently a good friend's son was diagnosed with a serious nut allergy and I thought to myself, where the heck did all these nut allergies come from?!? I have zero medical training or scientific proof, but I have to wonder, are we anti-bactierializing, anti-bioticing, and generally over-cautioning ourselves into these things?

And just as I was thinking on all this, I read this. So now I can't have nuts on planes? Like at all? I understand that there are some kids who are no-joke desperately allergic, for them I'd do anything. My beef is where the "uncomfortable" mention comes in. Really? Uncomfortable on a plane? Aren't we all? What about the person who overflows into your seat? Or the person who is oh-my-gawd-sick right next to you? Or that person on every flight who hasn't seen the inside of a shower stall in lord knows how long?

But let's focus on the allergy thing. Someone in the article makes the comparison between this and an allergy to dogs. Unless I missed something, dogs can still fly in cabins on planes. There were plenty of dogs on our recent flights. I know more people who are allergic to cats, which this article didn't mention at all. In fact, my better half is allergic to cats. About two years ago we were on a flight with a crazy cat lady. Yes, I called her a crazy cat lady because not only did she give her cat sedatives before a cross- country flight, it appeared that she had snagged some for herself as well.

And I have to stop for a second and say here that I've seen plenty of people fly with pets so well behaved I didn't even realize they were on the plane. But much like children, I now look at the pet-person with trepidation knowing it could go either way. We presume bad behavior until we see otherwise.

So back to crazy cat lady. We'd barely achieved liftoff when this lady pulls her cat out of it's carrier. Wait, let me explain that better. We'd barely achieved liftoff when this heavy-lidded, word-slurring lady dragged her drooling, mewing, head-bobbing cat out of it's carrier. Then she proceeds to "comfort" this totally oblivious cat. I'm sure if the thing could have spoken, it would have yelled to be put back and left alone. Anyway, you could see the fur start to float through the air. Que sniffling. For the next six hours. And that's saying little about the noise factor.

While I'm lucky not to share my better-half's cat allergy, I am extremely sensitive to perfumes. I have always been bothered by strong smells (the incense at church always sends me running), but since having kids it's gotten awful. You know how when you're pregnant you get crazy nose? Like you can smell what people are cooking a zip code away? Yeah well mine never went away. In fact, I think it got worse with each kid. So that leaves me with a terrible headache if the person next to me has done any more than dab the pressure points. I've been to conferences that are "fragrance free", will airlines follow suit?

Makes you wonder what flights - and life in general - will be like when our children become adults...

**Sorry for the stream of consciousness rant, just been that kind of week!**

No comments: