March 19, 2008

Missed connection: my somatic awareness and your municipal myth.

I can't describe to you the weirdness of the Portland Allergy Cult. Actually, I can: you know how Inglis, Florida banned Satan from its city limits? Portland has, by overwhelming popular agreement, banned rhinovirus. There is no such thing as a cold here, as you will find if you make the mistake of saying aloud that you have one. No, if you are unwell in the city of Portland, by definition, whatever the evidence, what you have is allergies.

Really? you might ask. What if it started with a sore throat and overnight turned into acute sinus congestion that feels exactly like every single head cold I have ever had in the state of California?

Your Portland listener will nod sagely. That's allergies. That sore throat? That's the allergies hitting.

It's about here that I start getting the narrowed Dianna-does-not-think-much-of-your-listening-skills eyes. Now, look, I say (as I did today), I must propose an alternate explanation here. Because, see, I'm stressed about finals and I've been missing sleep this whole last week and I'm pretty sure my immune system is not up to snuff right now.

More sage nods ensue. That's just when the allergies will hit you! says the interchangeable Portlander.

I try again. Fine. Maybe? Whatever. But that's also when viruses hit you. As they generally have done in my experience.

At this point another person in hearing range chimed in to suggest that everyone develops allergies when they move to Portland and that even though I may not know I have them yet, they're probably the problem.

If I'm recalling correctly through the fog of acute sinus symptoms that compose what, where I come from, we call a cold, I think my original listener at this point said something like, "You'll see. It's allergies." I was so floored that I actually let it go, because I couldn't begin to imagine how an entire city could become so resistant to the idea of a virus that it actually goes around telling people with confidence and assumed authority that there is just no way they are correct in their self-assessment of their illness.

I can't remember the point I was trying to make here, probably because my COLD is making it hard for me to concentrate. I mean, I'm actively working on listening to other people's suggestions and not necessarily taking my own assumptions as gospel truth quite as often as I'd like to, but there are some times when I simply must take a stand. In my nearly 27 years on this earth I've interfaced with the common cold more times than anyone else I know except my equally sickly sister, and by god I know how it works. I'm a damned snot expert by now. Questions? Just pick up the phone and call your local Dianna. Or, at the bobent, Diadda.

Posted by dianna at March 19, 2008 11:14 PM

I guess I don't understand the point of pride here. Is the idea supposed to be that Portland has erected an impenetrable barrier that has kept all viruses out of the city? Or is the point that Portland's molecules are so irritating that you can't help but be allergic to it?

Posted by: MoltenBoron at March 20, 2008 12:05 AM

Yay! A cold! When I arrive on 3/26, if you're feeling all right despite your cold, we can sit through dinner and talk about colds, the flu, various viruses, and many other non-allergy disorders! We can sniffle and cough because of our colds! Yay! Yay! Yay! I believe in colds!

Posted by: DelightfulFormerHousemate at March 20, 2008 08:43 AM

Maybe you're allergic to the truth, hmmm?

Posted by: didofoot at March 20, 2008 09:19 AM

P.S. In case you're too coldy to tell, that was a joke.

Posted by: didofoot at March 20, 2008 09:19 AM

Agh! Too much wit! It burns! It burns! Wait, do it again. I think it's clearing out my sinuses.

Zach, I have decided it's a pollen virility thing. Portland people seem kind of obsessed with how nice it is here in the spring -- and evidence so far suggests it will be nice enough, but I think they're mostly just trying to compensate for the rain -- and I think the allergy line is a way of saying that gosh, our springtime is SO OVERPOWERINGLY NICE that you won't even be able to handle it! That's right! Cower before our overwhelming pollen!

DFH, this must have endeared you significantly to my sister over the last few months. Do you like how she and I are annoyed by exactly the same things even from 1000 miles apart?

Posted by: Dianna at March 20, 2008 11:18 AM