May Flowers and Eye Showers


Does anyone want a used set of eyes? Because I’m two sneezes and a sniffle away from getting rid of mine.

There was a time where allergies were nothing more than a myth, ranking right up there with the unicorns and taxes of my six-year-old mind. I’d heard other people talk about them, and I was well aware of the adults’ hatred for the fluffy white cotton that drifted in the air come summertime, but I’d never experienced them myself. The sneezing and runny noses looked beyond miserable, and I counted myself lucky that I didn’t have to suffer through that. If I didn’t have allergies by the time I was seven, it was likely that I never would, right?

Eight-year-old Calli had a very rude awakening.

I can vividly remember the first time I experienced the torture that is spring allergies. I was in second grade, chilling out at a friend’s house, when my eyes started to itch. Then they started to water. Then I was sent home because my eyes were so red that it was hard to tell what their natural color was. I was pretty convinced that I was dying.

When allergy season comes around, I often get the usual sneezing and sniffling, but the biggest victims are my eyes. Sometimes I can spend thirty minutes outside before tears start to form, but other times all it takes is one gust of wind from an open window and I’m back in seventh grade, sobbing through the last chapter of Where the Red Fern Grows all over again.


It’s hard for me to pinpoint what it is, exactly, that I’m allergic to. I usually blame my misery on the cotton in the air, but there was a day this week where the cotton was so thick in my neighborhood that it looked like a mini blizzard (and considering we had actual snow falling from the skies about a week ago, I didn’t exactly enjoy the reminder of colder days). However, I spent a good portion of that morning trekking across my University’s campus (because although school might be out, the mail waits for no one) and I was completely fine. There were a few yawns, maybe, but not a single sneeze or tear to be seen. Then the next day, when the cotton population was fairly low, I spent my entire shift being serenaded with “bless you’s” from all of my coworkers.

The only thing I know for sure that I’m allergic to is grass clippings. If I lie back on long grass, I’m fine. If I walk through a freshly-mown lawn without actually touching the clippings, everything is right as rain. It’s when I empty the lawn mower and a cloud of green grass corpses drift into my eyes and nose that I board the train to misery.

I lose all motivation when I’m suffering through allergies, and I mean all motivation. I even tend to care less about what people think just as long as what I’m doing get’s done, so if this post is even stranger than usual just blame it on the tears clouding my vision and headache obscuring my ability to think straight.

It probably doesn’t help that I’m stubborn when it comes to actually treating my allergies. I have no idea why I do this, but I tend to suffer straight through them without the aid of medication. Which is really dumb because it is literally on the shelf ten feet away from me. It would make everything better, if even for a few hours. Why wouldn’t I take it?

Because half the time I forget it’s there, and the other half I just like to wallow in my own pain, that’s why.

Eye drops are something else that would greatly help allergies, but unlike the medication, I am well aware of why I avoid them. I have this irrational squeamishness when it comes to putting them in my eyes. I wear contacts, and I have no problem poking my eye a few times a day to rearrange or fish out a lense, so one would think that I’d have no problem with a little bit of medicated water. But there’s just something about those little bottles that make me shudder and quickly walk away in the other direction. Because I’m such a baby when it comes to putting eye drops in my own eyes (I chicken out every. single. time.), I usually have to force myself to lie back on a couch while someone else does them. With how often I flinch away from the bottle and the drop misses my eye, I’m surprised my mom hasn’t just given up and placed me in a straight jacket to keep me still.

How can the thought of clawing my own eyes out seem less terrifying than a little droplet that will give me respite from my suffering? I wish I knew, folks. It’s just another unsolved mystery of the Calli universe, I guess.


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