I was doing all right there for a little while until the fridge went kaput (it was a Monday, of course) and for extra fun my environmental sensitivities also went ahead and levelled up. I've had difficulty tolerating perfumes, colognes, hairsprays, scented lotions, bodywashes and other fragranced products since serious illness required lengthy toxic treatment - my office has been posted "scent-free" for ages while as a whole my workplace is currently just "scent-reduced" in policy - but recent exposures are making me more acutely ill and resulting in longer-lasting symptoms.
After a bad week and a half of multiple scent incidents, one morning a coworker wearing "body spray" stepped into my office and within a minute I was overcome and lost a day's work and a second day's better functioning. So frustrating! And isolating - a wedding without hugs and with waves of intense unwellness and having to deek out, limiting occasions I risk going out into our heavily-fragranced world, becoming too afraid to invite family over for a birthday.
|grey / red / orange winged scarf: Saachi, My Habit|
silver scales and teardrops necklace: ebay
olive green drawstring-waist midi dress: Joe Fresh
orange ankle-strap flats: Cydwoq Instinct, ebay, worn here (see some of my '80s hairdos!)
During last year's month-long escapade, Hideous Rash Of Unknown Origin (of which my favourite part was the eyelid hives), the prevailing wisdom was that if I hadn't recently changed laundry / cleaning / personal care products, during a new-onset reaction would not be the time. I've since been guided by this list of products generated by the Environmental Health Association of Quebec as I continue to detoxify my practices at a much faster pace than before. A bit of excellent news: Penny Lane Organics Deodorant actually works!
|antique orange amber bracelet: a gift from my mother, and|
watch: Stuhrling Tuskegee Skylancer, both worn here
oatmeal layering tank: Joe Fresh, several years old
But just yesterday, I accidentally poisoned myself with the ordinary weekly chore of replacing the garbage bin liner. We'd kept using the same brand of kitchen trash bags without taking notice of their increasing toxicity - instead of just being a gross scented-smell for a few seconds, now they cause me an acute reaction, and I can't believe I ever paid money for them or had them in my house. That short article I linked, 11 Disease-Causing Ingredients Added to Garbage Bags, is also worth a read for its concise articulation of how "fragrance" impacts health. Even for us no-TV and trend-resistant folk, the power of marketing to affect ideas of "normal" is incredible.
Returning to my other recent preoccupation, I am mystified that high-maintenance stainless steel finishes are the current standard in major appliances, but somehow not surprised that the really good fridge options are limited to units so giant they'd require kitchen renovation. Dodging perfumed customers and cologned sales associates in the cornucopia of off-gassing that is the furniture / appliance store experience was super exciting, let me tell you. I am sad having to replace my old almond side-by-side fridge with its fake wood-grain handles that is so perfect in my 1950-built kitchen (shown here on last fall's applesauce-making day):
Despite the general consensus on side-by-sides, I never had trouble fitting plenty in this fridge, and the narrow doors were ideal for its location adjacent to our entrance-and-basement-doors nook. Alas, no way could I justify the quadruple prices of gorgeous retro style (oh North Star, oh Big Chill, oh Smeg), but by the time I need to revisit this issue, hopefully a long long way from now, maybe GE Artistry will be available in colours, in Canada, and with reversible door hinges. Unfortunately, I can't wait that long, and a hunk of energy-efficient and apparently "smudge-proof" stainless steel arrives tomorrow.
Though not always able to take the place of a warm embrace, in case they could be useful, here are some potentially affectionate and enthusiastic ways to greet people with a not-hug: jazz hands, high-five, an arm's length hand clasp and eye contact, a sassy wink, finger guns, some jumping, a fist bump, exchanging bows, curtsies, or self-hugs, and of course the namaste. I will be very glad to see everyone when I'm chilling out and breathing easy at upcoming link-ups: Sheila's Shoe Shine at Ephemera, and Share-in-Style: Summer at Mis Papelicos. *** Edited to add: Over at Spy Girl, it's 52 Pick-me up: Goddess, and my outfit honours the winged ones - Nike, Victoria, Aurora, Isis, Ma'at, Nekhbet, Nut, Inanna, Siris, Lilith, neolithic Bird goddess, Ariel, Anat, Artemis Orthia, Badb, and of course the Harpies, Furies, Sirens, and Angels - and this resident of my garden:
Do you experience newer (increasingly artificially-formulated, less biodegradable, engineered for time-released dispersal and greater broadcast) fragrances as more toxic? Does your workplace have a policy? Have you had to or chosen to make changes due to care for the environment or other reasons? You can also talk to me about major appliance woes, or, even better, just outfits, accessories, and shoes are really good too.