Love is in the air… at least for the oak trees…. had an article this week in their Living section about allergy season. It seems that Knoxville, TN is the worst city for allergies in the US. I’ve heard some grumblings that the good people of Tallahassee might start a letter writing campaign to convince our friends at CNN that their research was obviously flawed, as they overlooked the prime candidate for “Worst City For Allergies.”

“Holy Oak Gamete, Batman! What is all of this powder falling out of these envelopes! Someone call the HazMat Team, I think we have Anthrax. Tallahassee is trying to kill us with their letter writing campaign!”

“No Jim, this powder’s yellow. I think that it may just be the collection of all of the pollen that was suspended in the air when they sealed this envelope. Call the intern to sweep it into the pile in the break room where we’ve put the rest of it. He can’t miss it, it’s six feet tall. And remind him to use his gas mask! Since Claratin went over the counter, it’s no longer covered under our HMO!”

I used to have major allergy problems. Not just during allergy season, but year round, I felt like a Vicodin-addicted celebrity, going from pharmacy to pharmacy, not to be sneaky and get more drugs, but more because I had already depleted the Zyrtek and Tylenol Sinus inventory at the last one. And then without warning, maybe five years ago, it just went away. No more coughing, sneezing, nose bleeds, sinus infections, hiding from the world and duct taping all of the seams in my windows like I was expecting a nuclear fog or something, just breath… in and out… with no wheezing and no problems.

Although, my neighbors suggested this weekend that it might have been because about five years ago, I switched to non-confrontational vegetarianism (which basically means, I don’t eat meat, but I’m not going to wear a lettuce bikini or have carcasses of dead animals delivered to your house to protest the fact that you do). I would like to submit this strange, sudden change in my body as further evidence supporting my theory that there does in fact exist and that I’m in the midst of a strange unnamed somatic shift that I like to call “Puberty II.”

My housemate had a friend over the other day. There was a brief moment when my heart fluttered as this man entered my home.

Tall, check.

Attractive, check.

Straight AND single, check.

Going to be a doctor when he grows up, check accompanied by an exclamation point.

He was charming and wonderful and engaged us in intelligent conversation over red wine until we started talking about my [former] allergies (I’m still not sure how that came up). Before I was able to bring my Puberty II theory to the table, he looked me up and down, thumbed his nose at me and said in a condescending, disgusted tone, “Maybe you should just go outside more.”

“Alright Mister Puka-Shell-Necklace-Man-Versus-Wild, in case you haven’t noticed, I rock the Chaco sandals with the best of them. Unlike some, I just choose to shower and regularly get pedicures. It doesn’t make me less hearty than you are. And if you hadn’t interrupted me and had listened to the rest of my story, you would know that I don’t have allergies anymore, so I don’t need to self immunize by being outside and breathing in a big puff of pollen daily until I’ve built resistance!” Although really, if you’re in a pollen city like Tallahassee, you would know that no matter what you do, you’re breathing in a big puff of pollen daily… probably every time you inhale. So if that actually worked, then we’d all be cured after one allergy season!

Maybe not… I don’t know. The truth is, I almost failed physics in college because I had it with Patrick Ennis and Tyree Jordan. We met every day at the front door to the auditorium and instead of going inside and listening to the lecture, we left to go have lunch together. That ‘D,’ the only one I’ve ever made in my life, killed any chance that I might have had of being a doctor when I grew up. So, instead I went into social science and know absolutely nothing about most medical stuff, even though I have single handedly elevated hypochondrias to an art form.

Walking your weiner dogs in the park counts as being outside, right?

None the less, he did cause me to self-audit my outdoorsiness. I mean, I walk in my neighborhood. And then this weekend after seeing Paddle to Seattle my neighbor and I decided to assume custody my dad’s Pygmy kayak and go camping. If all else fails, I can still claim outdoorsiness because it’s music festival season. I think that almost every gig that we’ve played in the last few weeks has been outside, and we’re up for another one this weekend!

If you want to combine your outdoorsiness with your love for music and alcohol (that does not represent the official stance of the RBTS festival, just the observations and experiences at the music festivals of one individual), then I would encourage you to come to St. George Island, FL and join us this weekend at the Rock by the Sea Festival. If you have bad allergies, this might be a great experiment. I don’t know if they have the right kind of trees at the coast… and if they do, can the pollen carry as far out as St. George Island? We’ll find out. See you there!

Here are some photos of us OUTSIDE in the last couple of weeks!

March 2010: Sarah Mac Band at the Great Atlantic Seafood Festival in Jax Beach, FL.

Hanging at the merch table with pals at the Great Atlantic Seafood Festival.

March 2010: People made Sarah Mac Band graffiti on the cobblestones at the Springtime Tallahassee Festival!

Don’t forget your sunscreen!


6 responses to “Love is in the air… at least for the oak trees….

  1. Hi Sarah. I highly doubt it’s “Puberty II” but you hit the nail on the head with your diet change. I suspect it may not actually be the meat you stopped eating but the bigger picture is that you started eating healthy and paying attention to what you put in your body.

    I’ve been seeing a doctor that specializes in “Functional Medicine” for a few years now, for the sole purpose of keeping my body “in line” and I too have seen the same results. I cleaned up my diet, I still eat some red meat although it’s wild game only, and pay more attention to what goes into my body. And guess what, bingo baby! Among other things that improved, not to mention the free weight loss, I no longer suffer from allergies.

    Everyone has food allergies you just don’t know it and your body reacts differently to these allergies. On the extreme side, some people go into anaphylactic shock and on the other end, which is where most of us are, we might experience IBS, or a slight headache, or something abnormal that you can’t pinpoint. Some symptoms like allergies are not even apparent that they can be related.

    Anyway, interesting observations, you obviously hit a subject I’m very familiar with. I’m no doctor but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express before.

    If there were puberty II would there be menopause II?

    When you coming back to St. Pete?

  2. dehumidifier…duh…

  3. Terry Schneider RN

    You know, the Pine Pollen (yellow stuff) is only the appetizer. The Oak pollen (next week) is the entre. Good thing you don’t have allergies anymore 🙂

  4. So I heard on This American Life recently that hookworms are considered by some to be a cure for allergies. Something about the way they interact with the immune system. Perhaps you encountered a few hookworms five years ago?

    I know the theory sounds strange, but then I read another article (not scientific, but interesting nonetheless) positing that excessive cleanliness in general has caused the upswing in allergies among Americans and others in developed countries. So maybe five years ago you just became generally dirtier?

  5. You can’t have my kayak until I get the banjo back.

  6. Dude’s a jerk. Punch him in the face.

    You know, I made a C in a class in college because when Paul Taylor and I weren’t writing rhymes in the lecture (you know, the world isn’t ready for a Puerto Rican and white boy rap duo so we haven’t done anything yet), we would dip to AMC to watch movies. Maybe it’s something we picked up in high school…

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