Monday, November 22, 2010

Itchy Itchy

I have a wool allergy.  I've had it all my life.  My mother has a wool allergy, she's had it all her life.  My sister has a wool allergy, she's had it all her life.  For all of my life growing up, it was almost unheard of for me to come into contact with processed wool.  My grandma probably even has the allergy, I don't really know, it was never important, because she never kept processed wool around.  My point is, growing up there was very little wool in my life.  My allergy was never that big of a deal, and it wasn't that bad either. I did tolerate a fully lined lettermen's jacket, but I also never cuddled with it.  My mother was worse, she couldn't touch it at all except by the lining.  Somehow I once ended up with some green wool socks, which I of course never wore, at least not for very long!

My allergy to wool, to me, has never been that big of a deal.  I mean you just avoid wool and carry on with your life, right?  Except, lately the allergy has gotten a lot worse and mixed fabrics that were just uncomfortable before our downright painful now.  Additionally, every time I turn around more wool is entering my life.  It seems that everything is wool or a wool blend.  My mother-in-law got my daughters some wool sweaters, yup my hand stung after opening that box!  We ended up sending the sweater to the cousins because I just couldn't have it in the house and my daughters' claimed it itched them, but I don't know whether they share in my hereditary defect or they just found wool sweaters itchy.

I've finally come to the conclusion that I must be barking mad.  In the last year I seem to be surrounded by wool.  I don't have wool clothes (although there are a couple coats that qualify), but it just seems that every time I look there is more wool somewhere.  Imagine walking down the hall and brushing against a coat only to leave with the feeling of brushing against stinging nettles!  That's pretty much what it feels like and after 3 summers as a child at Cathedral Pines summer camp, I have a fair knowledge of stinging nettles as well.

Of course it's not just in my house.  I wanted to cloth diaper my son, but all the good cloth diapers are wool, umm no thanks.  On Saturday, we went to see Harry Potter 7 pt1 (very good, you should see it!  However it was the first movie I'd seen after reading the book, and I kinda wish I'd had the self restraint to wait...) and the theater seats, oh yeah, totally a wool blend!  I was sooooo very happy I had braved wearing my cloak.  I may have been the only one in a cloak (or dressed up at all) at our showing, but I was able to spread my cloak across my entire seat and avoid any accidental brushes with the 'nettles' I found there and ironically I didn't get my customary movie migraine, either the seat was a good spot (thanks to my friend for getting us good seats) or the light changes in the movie were much better.

I wish I could say I was safe at home, but that's where it's even more mad.  You see a year ago a friend of mine's father moved to Hawaii.  He left a ton of furniture and my friend drove 9 hours with the couch and love seat so for the first time in my adult life I could have proper living room furniture.  Unfortunately, you guessed it, the couch upholstery is a wool blend.  Now, the logical thing I suppose would be to get rid of them, but we got them in winter and it's a huge burden to get rid of anything here during the winter.  Then I was on bed rest, so we decided to just keep them covered and it wasn't that bad really, my allergy might have been to some residual dirt or cat hair (I'm also allergic to some cats).  Maybe a good cleaning.....

Well the couches aren't really that comfortable.  I mean they were really expensive couches once, but my friend's family, are not the lightest people on the planet and over time everything wears.  I priced getting them fixed up, but because they are the fancy recliner couches . . . . yeah I'd be better off buying my own new furniture which in the last 10+ years hasn't happened and I don't see it happening real soon.  I should just get my futons back, after all I was supposed to sell them this summer and didn't, and they are just stored in my friend's garage taking up her space, but they never really did fit that well in my living room here and the more comfortable of the two is getting really worn out, I mean I bought it while I was in college before this millenia started.

So now I have a nice living room set that has to be completely covered at all times to use and if I want to walk around or behind them I have to make sure they are thoroughly covered and I don't touch them.  This has not been that successful, many times I've brushed an arm or leg against them in the middle of the night.  Resulting in quality time with an ice pack, cold water, or even topical benedryl.  The smart person would get them gone, but I feel guilty dumping a gift, especially one as thoughtful as these.  My friend is fine with me getting rid of them.  I wonder what my problem is?  To go back to the futons I would be able to sit and use my space, but it would be less space and arranged in a way that I don't like as well.

And why is it that every single men's suit has to made of wool?  I mean for once in my life I'm seriously thankful that I'm not a man, I'd have to wear a skin suit under my suit to go to job interviews, and nice dates, and etc etc.  I am, however; married to a man, who has to have a wool suit or two.  He looks good in them.  I like it when he dresses up and smells nice and I just want to wrap myself up in his freshly pressed handsomeness, but if I touch him without gloves.... lets just say that kids are not the only reason we don't dance as much as we used to.

Many times I've looked to replace the carpet in our house.  I want to do the right thing and go as green as possible.  That sort of stuff is really important to me.  However I want carpet not wood (at least for the living room) and with our limited shopping options, well there's just not that big of a selection of plush bamboo or hemp - although there should be!  It's all wool.  So we still have 25 year old carpet (for that and other reasons as well)...

I guess the itching really has just drivin' me mad.  I haven't gotten to the point where I'm scared to go out, but it's getting there.  I know if we travel, the plane and the train seats will be made from wool and I'll have to make sure to cover myself or them when we go.  With three kids in tow that will be loads of fun!

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