Every spring as I notice the flowers blooming, the grass greening, and the leaves growing, I resign myself to the fact that I am once again dependent upon the ever gracious mercies of allergy medication. The medication that is thirty dollars for a bottle of little gel caps which may or may not work.
I don't like it. I'm not one of those people who drop everything and rush to the doctor for every ache and sniffle. I am not constantly monitoring my body for signs of distress. I put off taking vitamins for the longest time because I was afraid of the size of the pills as long as my fingernail and because I resented having to stay alert long enough to swallow it dutifully before falling into bed.
This year I managed to hold out until April, when God and Peapod collaborated together to drop a two month supply into my groceries by mistake. I love it when I get groceries I didn't order. Once I got hamburger by mistake, and another time I got a box of Captain Crunch. Now whenever anyone remarks upon my Captain Crunch sitting prominently on top of the refrigerator I always say it was delivered by mistake. It would be wasteful if I didn't eat it, and Peapod isn't going to want to come out to pick up a renegade box of cereal. The Zyrtec sat on top of the ten pounds of bread flour I ordered, practically extending its arms and saying "here my child, take comfort in me." If that isn't divine intervention, I don't know what is.
So I did. I added it to my vitamin and took it every night like clockwork. My contacts stopped irritating my eyes, I stopped entertaining thoughts of buying stock in Kleenex, and I became a generally happier person. But then I ran out of Zyrtec. Confronted with the harrowing reality of day to day life without those magical little gel caps which shine like avenging jewels come to rescue me from my hay fever, I began to panic.
I told myself that my ancestors didn't have the luxury of allergy medicine. They had to suffer their way through life, and besides, they were ranchers and farmers who had to deal with the great outdoors for as long as the sun shone every day. Surely pollen must have been a threat in the nineteenth century. But then I remembered that their life expectancy was age forty five. Death by pollen doesn't sound like a particularly romantic way to go, and so I reached for the bottle. Maybe I can stop in November.