I did Christmas with the family this year mostly for one reason. (1) The last three I was overseas. (2) My grandmother is getting older and older, almost deathly old. (3) Also, had some sky miles to use.
(4) Also, the year before the three years overseas, I bailed on Christmas because then I knew better.
(5) After I get back overseas, I will not be coming back for Christmas. If one is going to visit the US, winter is SO NOT the time.
This year my mercy kicked in.
The first part of the week was just general millennial bashing. I said pee, got lectures coming from all sides of the table, and left the table in tears. It’s a general trigger because my grandmother never just accepts us, and Mom always takes her side.
We spent two and a half days cleaning my grandmother’s house because she is moving to my parents town. My grandparents were complete pack racks, and never threw a piece of paper away in 60 years. 50 bags of paper went in the trash. No recycle service in their town. Just don’t think about it.
On Christmas Eve morning, my grandmother had me take out the clothes in one of the many closets, and lay out the clothes that has not been worn in 30 years.
I had a BAD reaction to the dust almost immediately. My eyes started swelling, and I started sneezing right away.
Mom’s solution, as always, was just to give me essential oils in a capsule. Get this. She muscle tests me to see how much I need to take (Chinese style). The problem was, I was having an allergic reaction. We aren’t talking about the sniffles here. Essential oils are used all over the world, and I’m not against them just in general terms (for example, lavendar does heal my sunburns, and there’s 100 different ils I generally love to sniff for oil pleasure). But this was not working for a bad reaction. Probably does not take a rocket scientist to know why.
Because: DUST REACTION.
Additionally, one’s stomach can only handle so much oils, then the stomach burns, and yea, I could not keep taking them.
I asked for Benadryl, but NOBODY HAD ANY. And Mom just said I was not taking the oils frequent enough. Just total craziness.
So I sat on the couch, and my grandmother said I was an insensitive daughter who was not helping clean. MY EYES WERE SWOLLEN.
Mom, equally, could not stand that I was not working. She did not make me go through the boxes like the others. Instead, she decided that it was my job to stand on the ladder for three hours and put the boxes back up while people handed them to me.
Every time I walked in the closet, I felt a set back. SNEEZE SNEEZE CRAP.
Mom did not stop until 11. p.m., and she would have kept going had people not wanted to well, you know, go to sleep.
At 11 p.m. or so I got on twitter, then started reading a long article on phenomenology for my grad seminar this coming semester. But the eyes swelled so bad I could barely see.
I realized the bed was contaminated with dust, and I was reacting again fast.
So I went in the kitchen (alone) franically searching the cabnets, coming up short handed. Of course, there are no stores open at midnight on Christmas Eve, not even the Evil Walmart.
So I sniffed enough oils to clear my nose (I’m not claiming cures here), put on my winter clothes since I could trust any blankets, and went to sleep on the couch, or tried to anyway.
The next morning Mom freaked when she saw my eyes. Almost screamed. Then she told Dad GO TO WALGREENS.
Um, Mom. So you want me to sleep through Christmas, but you wouldn’t get the dang medicine on Christmas Eve?
I refused the Benadryl so early in the morning and took something less ugly. It took till 4 in the afternoon to get where my head did not want to burst its brains open, and my eyes to feel normal again.
I ate Christmas dinner not because I felt good but because I needed to stuff my belly to handle the oils.
Lesson: My childhood was this way. Not just the anti-medicine part, but the work, work, work part. Sometimes folks tell me about how their lives were crazy because they had 10 brothers and sisters, and I didn’t, so I must have had free time. BALONY.
My mom is all about the chores, no matter what, dust allergic reactions and all.
Merry Christmas, Folks. Plane is headed out of this entire state soon. Because: crazy.
P.S. I know, most oils cannot be taken internally. These definitely could if on a full stomach, and not as a cure or anything like this.