Everyone likes to receive gifts. Well mostly, and even if you don’t like the gift, it’s the thought that counts right? So, going on that premise: if someone gives you a fragrance free gift, then obviously, there has been a lot of thought put behind it. Perhaps, even some desperation, prayers, tears, anxiety, and even, some pleading to the deities above, in the hope that you’ll use the fragrance free products rather than the usual product the gift bearer has complained causes them painful symptoms? Yes? Cause everyone likes to receive gifts… Right?
This year, selfishly, that’s all I gave out: baskets and baskets of fragrance free products. Take a look:
(I also bought a couple of Paleo cookbooks for the healthy ones amongst us. Oh, and a dinky-dy beginner’s drum kit for my daughter, which—even though it’s out in the garage—my ears are now paying an additional price for.)
My reasoning went like this: The more disrespectful the person, the more fragrance products they gas me with, the more conversations I’ve had to plan out, and then execute with military precision (All in the name of breathing and socialising at the same time!), the more that person has hurt my feelings while wearing a product that’s made me sick (sometimes for days) when attending family events, well then, the more presents they received in their gift basket ♥
Getting relatives who have a hard time understanding about chemical sensitivities to go fragrance free is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Ever. Getting a whole class of students I barely know, has been, at times, easier (with the support of teaching staff, who help set up the FF culture to begin with). So, when I blogged a couple of weeks ago about 20 Ways to a Fragrance Free Christmas, this was from my heart: trust me, it’s something I’m really good at; cause I know my shit when it comes to this issue! (So, watch out for the specialised post: ‘How to Get a Relative to Go Fragrance Free’, coming to your inboxes soon.)
And you know what? Christmas was a success… It was outside. It was fragrance free: Two relatives wore clothes I had washed previously for them; two others who I (and others) usually have to plead with to get it right, actually did (Out of respect for my boyfriend I’m sure. But, hey? Who cares? So long as they didn’t make me ill!) and the rest did it naturally because, bless their human souls, they understand: this is how it is for me.
So, I’m happy to share this success with you. But I’ll also share this: the weeks leading up to it were filled with worry, and peace eating anxiety. And, perhaps, just maybe, I wrote that post to fill myself with the type of bravado that I don’t think is in my genetic make-up (really, I think it’s something I have to fake); or, perhaps, that hair cut, I finally got around to having, added some spunk to my walk and talk, enabling me to just get things done? Really though, it’s probably none of those things that’s led me to becoming an expert at getting others to go fragrance free; it’s all the failures that I’ve experienced while trying to get them to go fragrance free in the first place that has created this for me. Fear of pain is my motivator! (And there is no turning back now. Fragrance Activist, anyone?)
Coming up. ‘How to Have a Fragrance Free Birthday Party!’ (*That should be fun.*)
Making my way through the vast array of human’s sensibilities can be like making my way through a labyrinth—and, I’m pretty sure it’s not even the way out of here, just clearing the air amongst its tunnels, making it easier on myself (and maybe the next person they meet who suffers with this affliction!) to find the bloody way out of here…
Have you had to get anyone to go fragrance free lately? How did you go with it? If you’re not sensitive to fragrance, would you go fragrance free if someone asked you to (even if it was for a relative who you don’t really like or admire much)?
(Wubbulous image source: Redkid)