Sunday, August 3, 2008

Insensitive Shoppers

It's been difficult trying to make sense of life.

Granted, I'm not the only person encumbered with this undertaking.

However, there is a marked sense of insensitivity in people when you finally decide to leave the microcosm of your home, and go mingle with 'the rest of the world' with 3 (three) surgical masks on - just in case there are airborne latex or chemical or other potentially life-threatening allergens out there. I want to get a t-shirt that says, "I'm NOT a Weirdo, I have life-threatening Allergies!!!"

Life is about risks, non? Imagine for a moment taking the risk of DYING by doing the most mundane tasks, things that the everyday folks take for shopping, like going to the bank, like going into a school, like taking public transport, like walking down the can forget riding a bike (unless you have an super old one like mine with plastic, not fancy rubber-gripped handle bars.) The world is VERY different when you have life-threatening allergies.

I think what I miss most is my ability to be spontaneous. My get up and go hasn't gotten up and gone so much as been locked up for its own good. I'm involuntarily agoraphobic.

So, when I do venture out...WHY do people HAVE to stare??? Yesterday, in Value Village, a woman gave me a sympathetic smile. I smiled back and realized that she couldn't actually see me returning the warmth of that smile, so I had to say to her, "I'm really smiling behind this mask." She gave me an acknowledging wince of pity. OMG...I'm being pitied. Children have less barriers, "Mommy, what's wrong with that lady??" or "Mommy, that lady looks weird." Yep kid...that's me...the weirdo. I took the chance of going out somewhere, Epi-pens on hand - and, for all my hopes, I was glanced at like a weirdo, pointed at, spoken about, and I felt sorry for my children who's mother is the 'weirdo'. Thank goodness they are still at the age of not noticing this all, and perhaps, just perhaps, I'm being overly sensitive but I have to ask myself if it's worth it? My children won't always be oblivious. At what point will I become an embarrassment?

I did get some capri's, a few needed t-shirts and a fuzzy housecoat but was it worth the sweat from the heat underneath the masks, the fogging up of my glasses with the masks on, and the side-ways glances & whispers?

There are waaaaaaaaay worse ways of being marginalized. I am aware of this. However, life has handed me this really interesting, sucky but interesting, pile of lemons and I am ardently trying to figure out HOW to make some kick-ass lemonade out of them.

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