Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sneezing and Wheezing

Thankfully, I don't have a cold.

Today I received parcels from two respected dollhouse stores - and nearly fainted from the strong odor of tobacco smoke.

I have a history of lung issues and hypersensitivity to certain substances. I am fortunate - blessed, really - to live in a place where smoking is rare and frowned upon. If I lived somewhere more permissive, it probably wouldn't be safe for me to go out in public without a protective mask.

This isn't the first time I've ordered miniatures that came with an unadvertised dose of smoky odor. I wasn't so lucky that time - I had a violent wheezing fit, and I had to seal my purchase in a bag with a full box of baking soda for two weeks to get rid of the smell (the items I'd ordered weren't available anywhere else, otherwise I would have sent them back).

I don't care what other people do to themselves; it's no business of mine. But being a wheezy asthmatic/allergy sufferer is no picnic. I'd love to be able to order whatever I want without having to worry about the packaging making me ill.

Still, there was good news. Everything in both boxes was carefully wrapped up and in factory-sealed packaging, so it was simply a matter of holding my breath, unwrapping everything, putting my new minis in a clean box, and disposing of the packaging outside (where it won't remain for long, since the trash and recycling are being picked up tomorrow). Thanks to the factory packaging, the minis themselves don't smell at all.

My body reacts to strong chemical odors, smoke, synthetic perfumes, nickel, and a variety of foods. It could easily be much worse (paint and glue don't bother me as long as I use them outside). But how many people have to worry about a physical reaction to their hobby? I'm just trying to make something beautiful, and there's this pesky matter of having to breathe while I do it.

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