i have a seven year itch

Last week, my husband Jon and I celebrated 7 years of marriage, and in June, we marked 10 years of togetherness.

Everyone jokes about the 7 Year Itch. But I have it, y’all.


Except…it’s on my finger.

First photo with my ring after we got engaged in 2006.
First photo with my ring after we got engaged in 2006.

You see, somewhere in the last year, I developed an allergy* to my white gold wedding rings. Sure, some skeevy dudes may say they’re “allergic” to their rings, when really they’re not wearing them so they can mac on chicks, but this is no lie. Wearing my rings has started to cause my finger to immediately break out into a red, bumpy, itchy rash. I figured out it was the gold because my silver stacking rings, a Valentine’s gift that I wear on my right hand, don’t cause the same problem.

“I’m allergic to my wedding rings,” I announced to my doctor hubby one day, showing him the rash. He asked if I meant symbolically or literally, but thank goodness, the only itch I’ve got is the one on my finger. I’m not itching to get out of our relationship or marriage at all.

And my best friend and hubby was handy in diagnosing my problem too. It turns out it’s fairly common for people to develop allergies to the nickel used as an alloy with the gold to make it strong enough to stand up to the wear and tear it gets as jewelry. But he’s seen enough nickel allergies to know I don’t have it, since nickel is also commonly used in the hardware on things like jeans, and I don’t develop a similar rash to the rivet on the waistband of my blue jeans. Also, the gold posts on my pearl earrings have started irritating my ears, too. So, I am forced to conclude, I’m having an issue with gold, not nickel.

I’ve taken to wearing one of my silver stacking bands on my left hand as a placeholder, but I’d really like to get back to wearing my rings again. I hear a temporary solution is to coat the ring in clear nail polish, and a permanent one is to get it plated with rhodium.

As for seven years, I’m happy to celebrate how far we’ve come. Becoming parents has truly been the hardest thing our partnership has endured, far more stressful than moving cross country, grief, and trauma. Still, there’s no one else I’d rather be raising my family and living alongside.


We celebrated lucky number seven with a little road trip to Texas, spending a night in a bed and breakfast in Dallas, checking out the 6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and the Dallas Museum of Art, and then continuing to Austin for LOTS of tacos, a visit to the LBJ library (thankfully for me, my husband indulges my political geekery), visiting with friends, seeing the bats, and eating some BBQ. It was a lovely getaway, and we’re super thankful that family took care of our kids and pets so we could get that time together.

We stayed at the lovely Corinthian Bed and Breakfast in Dallas.
Beautiful glass work by Dale Chihuly at the DMA.
Visiting the LBJ library on the UT campus. He passed such an amazing amount of progressive policy!
Pretty sure Jon wanted to keep the Jeep we rented for the trip.
Stopped by Wendy Davis’ office, and even though she wasn’t in, some of her staff let me take a picture in her office. Big fan!

*Allergies can develop at any time, even after years of exposure without event to the allergen. This is why when people tell me they “aren’t allergic” to something like poison ivy, I always tell them, just wait! With enough exposures, you’ll eventually trigger a reaction!

spring is sneezing

Waiting out the tornado sirens with Bessie, who is thinking of puking on me. Apparently this is a very pensive-looking affair.

It was all of a week and a half ago that we had snow on the ground, but since then, we’ve already had to hunker down in the hallway as tornado sirens went off all around us, and that means spring has come to Arkansas.

Side note: there is perhaps no better way to up the ante on the anxiety of waiting out a tornadic storm than being hunkered in your hallway with a dog who just vomited that morning, whose stomach is still audibly gurgling from across the room. It’s like a game of Russian Roulette, where you’re just wondering which will go off first, the puking dog or Mother Nature’s whirling fury. (Speaking of: Mother Nature’s Whirling Fury is so my next band name.)

Neighbor's daffodils. Image edited with Instagram.

With spring, er, springing, my snot production has ramped into high gear. I am allergic to springtime. Tree pollen is apparently already floating through the air, and daffodils are poking their little yellow heads out of our neighbors’ flower beds. Our flower beds are bare, not because I am some sort of anti-flower allergic crazy person, but because our entire yard is shaded by a giant tree, and what isn’t shaded has been dug to pieces or destroyed by our dogs, who literally wallered our cana plants to death, because they are apparently soft to lie on.  Anyway, back to the snot, I estimate that I’ve used a box of Kleenex in the last 24 hours. An entire box. It makes the little Al Gore environmentalist on my shoulder want to weep, but really, a hankie can’t handle this level of mucus production. And neither can my delicate flower of a nose.

I also apparently have a delicate flower of a psyche. I can’t take Claritin. It makes me MEAN.  In fact, I had the following conversation with Jon last night, as he researched possible allergy meds for me on some doctor app on his phone:

Jon: Claritin’s the cheapest.

Me: I can’t take that stuff. It makes me a raging psycho bitch, and yes, I know, you’re about to interrupt and tell me that ain’t nuthin’ you haven’t seen before outta me, to which I reply, YOU DO NOT EVEN KNOW THE DEPTHS OF THE CRAZY POSSIBLE WHEN I’M TAKING THAT DRUG. It is NOT worth the price difference, I promise.

Jon: OK, not Claritin, then.

My favorite allergy med cocktail is a combination of Allegra D, a nasal steroid, and Pataday eyedrops for really bad days. But Allegra D is friggety freakin’ expensive. (Anyone wanna give me a bag full of samples?) So I take Zyrtec, which is available both OTC and as a prescription generic, the nasal steroid, and keep the eye drops on hand for when I really really need them.When things are really REALLY bad, I knock myself unconscious with Benadryl and hope to wake up when spring is over.

Now, I’m sure you may have noticed my hippie dippy tendencies in the past, such as the compost bucket I keep in my kitchen. Why not use a Neti Pot, you might ask? And yes, everyone asks that, all the time, when faced with my snotty springtime misery. To which I say, no, thank you, I will not use a nose teapot, and also, I will point out that a nose teapot only provides temporary relief. It rinses out the snot and pollen for about 1o minutes, before my sensitive respiratory tract again encounters pollen and commences to freaking out and ramping up snot production. I do not wish to use a nose teapot every 10 minutes. And so I use prescription drugs. Better living through science.

Despite my own deep hatred of the Neti Pot (seriously, water up the nose is the worst feeling ever), I find them endlessly amusing. Especially when some bearded guy puts coffee and whiskey up his nose with one of them:


In the meantime, I could use any other allergy tips, and also, tips for a good waterproof mascara that’s also not impossible to get off at the end of the day, because these are the times that try my makeup, when my body decides to be as oozy as possible. Thanks pollen! Thanks, crazy body that thinks pollen is trying to kill me!

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