But perhaps that’s just what I’ll be for now.
I walked to our public library to pick up two books that I had on hold. (No, Purple, I have not yet finished the other half-dozen books I’m reading!)
(Okay, yes, I’ll tell you what I got out–The reason I jump by Naoki Higashida–about a 13 year-old boy with autism; and The Guardian of all things : the epic story of human memory by Michael Malone–which hopefully is self-explanatory.)
It is snowing again today, but I figured I’d go in just before it really got messy.
Apparently, everyone else had the same idea. I don’t remember seeing the library so crowded. Maybe because yesterday was a federal holiday and the library was closed, or maybe exactly for the same reason as me.
Not only were there many people, which is not a problem, but there was someone there with her little boy and her enormous dog at the service desk.
Interestingly, I have not written that often about my allergies to animals before, except for here and here. I am very grateful that it does not affect me that much. I’m actually surprised that I have not written about how frustrating it was once when we were traveling a few years ago and someone had one of those little dogs with him as his hand luggage. My memory is fuzzy at this point; I’m pretty sure it was a little dog.
One thing for sure was that it was not a service dog.
I asked the very [fill in your mad lib adjective of choice] people at the service desk what could be done, since I am allergic to dogs.
“Oh, you can switch to another flight, if it bothers you so much.”
I responded that there would be no promise that there wouldn’t be a dog there, would there?
It turned out okay; they were far enough away from us that it didn’t cause a problem. But that they weren’t concerned for my health was the most frustrating part. Let’s be honest–if they were serving peanuts, and I had a peanut allergy, what would happen?
It seems that it’s complicated, actually. Here’s a whole list of what various different airlines will or won’t do for you.
But public buildings? There’s a very long page from the CDC with dozens of links for Food Allergies Publications and Resources, with many models for how to keep nuts at bay.
(Not the parents, unfortunately.)
Wait–I did find an article about Pet Travel Policies from USA Today from October. Basically it reiterates my experiences. Here’s a typically clueless comment from Alaska Airlines:
“Allowing pets in the cabin is a service offered by all major airlines, and we continue to offer it to serve our customers, many of whom enjoy and appreciate traveling with their pets.”
Well, many of them don’t.
But that brings me back to today’s experience at the library. Unfortunately, I knew the people with said dog, and I could not ask them to take the dog out. All politics being local, and all.
I waited in the aisles for them to leave. Of course, a number of people came up to them, patted the dog, engaged in extended conversation, extended my unease. I got another book out, just for fun. (Alice Hoffman’s the Dovekeeper. I know–I’ve never read it!)
When they finally left, I went to check out my books and I whispered to the librarian “I’m allergic to dogs!”
She whispered back, “Oh.”
So am I just a sourpuss?
Oh, and just for fun, here’s the etymology of the term “sourpuss” from etymologyonline.
puss (n.1) “cat,” 1520s, but probably much older than the record, perhaps imitative of the hissing sound commonly used to get a cat’s attention. A conventional name for a cat in Germanic languages and as far off as Afghanistan; it is the root of the principal word for “cat” in Rumanian (pisica) and secondary words in Lithuanian (puz), Low German (puus), Swedish dialect katte-pus, etc. Applied to a girl or woman from c.1600, originally in a negative sense, implying unpleasant cat-like qualities; but by mid-19c. in affectionate use.puss (n.2) “the face” (but sometimes, especially in pugilism slang, “the mouth”), 1890, slang, from Irish pus “lip, mouth.”
So am I allergic to myself or not?
I thought I’d post some photos of some of our very delicious meals in Israel, just to not end on as a sourpuss or have a ferkrimpter punim…
From the Quarter Cafe, a somewhat hidden gem in the Old City of Jerusalem…
And this is from (I think it’s called) Mr. Laluch in Tzfat.
But then I just read this article that’s being passed around from the Huffington Post–To the Ticket Agent at the Delta Counter. Great lesson. Not sure it applies to me here, but let’s figure out how it does.