Spring is in the air. And, with it, allergies.
I'd thought for years that allergies were something that people made up. Sure, there are countless commercials on television for allergy-relief medications, but, then again, there's big business in pills. I don't get any sort of seasonal allergies, and growing up, it was always a certain type of kid who did. The whiny kid. The one who always seemed to be injured in some way, complete with the requisite dramatics. The neighbor nobody wanted on their kickball team. That kid who, more often than not, had an overbearing mother; the person who, without fail, had asthma (more about that later).
Still, though, everybody seems to have allergies, so I guess they must really exist. I find it terribly interesting that these allergies are more widespread and more severe with every passing year. I can only think that it must be one of two things: either the general public is more bothered by (and vocal about) seasonal cold-like symptoms, or the entire human race is growing weaker, more susceptible to illness, at a shocking rate.
If you believe that Darwin knew the score (and I do), this doesn't bode well.
Physical infirmity is a weakness. I'm not saying that allergies are a moral failing, or anything like that. But, truth be told, they are a sign of weakness, on some level. There's a chink in the allergic person's composition that results in them not being quite up to par. It is what it is. I may not have allergies, but I've got shitty knees. So we've all got an achilles heel, it seems.
What fascinates me is the fact that so many people harp on their allergies. I don't get it. You won't see me discussing my joint problems with random strangers, because, really, it's something about me that isn't as functional as it should be. A bodily failing. I'm not ashamed of it, but it's also no kind of proof that I'm a special kind of person, one who needs to be handled with kid gloves. It's not a stamp of particular sensitivity. It doesn't make me special in any way.
And don't even start me on the bullshit peanut allergies. Nobody will ever convince the that giant proportions of Americans live in fear of the very specter of the fearsome peanut.
Along similar lines, I thought asthma was a hoax. Any asthmatics I've ever known seemed to have attacks at surprisingly opportune times. Asked to do an unpleasant job at work? Imminent attack! Feeling picked on? Or, worse, ignored? Seize that inhaler! I never saw an actual attack with those people, mind you - simply the looming threat. I've recently been informed by someone close to me that people really do have serious asthma attacks; since he's been an ambulance attendant, I'm inclined to believe him. But I still wonder how many people seize the very notion of asthma and run with it. If I were an actual asthmatic, that'd really piss me off.
It's not survival of the "special", folks. It's survival of the fittest.