In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove;
In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (“Locksley Hall”)
Oh my god I can’t breathe I’m dying I’m literally dying call an ambulance
—me, right now, and for the next three months
Today is the first day of spring. After a long, cold, altogether inhumane winter, the prospect of being able to leave my home without transforming into a wedding reception-ready human ice sculpture is thrilling. I love warm weather. I love flowers. I love the outdoors. I love going on dates that involve any and all of these things. Unfortunately, they don’t love me back. I have terrible seasonal allergies, and my immune system has already started shutting down. For me (and millions of people like me), spring isn’t romantic. It’s kind of gross.
I’ll be the first to admit that, in an evolutionary sense, I’m not very well adapted to my environment. Every March, the planet Earth and my body mutually reject one another. If I were let loose in the wilderness — without my phone, prescriptions, contact solution, or Luna bars of any variety — I’d last about half an hour. Fortunately, we live in the future, where natural selection no longer exists, but pollen is nevertheless an utter boner kill.
This morning, I kissed my boyfriend on the cheek and felt him recoil on contact. “Your nose,” he explained, “It’s wet.” What is cute on a dog is notably less so when it’s the direct result of a profoundly malfunctioning respiratory system. And as far as direct results go, this one’s easily the least disturbing of what I have to offer.
Allow me to pitch myself, to you, as a potential springtime mate. My post-nasal drip makes my breath smell like an exhumed corpse (a corpse who, in life, also had horrifying breath). Every bag I own is now lined with used tissues, like I’m a crazed mama bird building a soft, repulsive nest. Constant sneezes constitute my mating call. I am a human snot monster, and the traffic jam inside my sinuses means I snore so loudly that sometimes it wakes even me up. To be honest, I genuinely don’t understand where all this mucus could be coming from. I half expect to look down and see a tube running out the leg of my jeans and into a 1,000-gallon tank hidden somewhere in the next room.
“Do not share your DNA with this person,” Nature is whispering in your ear. “Your offspring deserve much better.” Realistically, there are about six days a year when I am a viable sexual partner, and they’re split between mid-June and early September.
If you’re feeling healthy, I mean it when I say I’m happy for you. Please, fall in love in (and with) spring — but have pity on the rest of us. And consider donating a bottle of Claritin to our cause.