5.05.2007

It's a Wonder We're Still Alive.

I need a remedial class on how to be an adult. I am currently failing home ec.

Somehow I missed the lesson about how you're supposed to change your pillows regularly - at least every two years. One of the factoids I encountered today stated that 10% of the weight of a 2-year-old pillow is dust mites and their droppings. I am sincerely hoping that one is an urban legend. But even the staid Mayo Clinic has excessively gross things to say about dust mites: "The residue that dust mites leave behind in the form of their feces and decaying bodies mixes with dust and becomes airborne." Gag me with a vacuum hose. This came up when it was revealed to Elizabeth that I have had my pillow for a very, very long time. So long that I cannot even bear to post it publicly; let's just keep it at a very, very long time. Everyone was appalled, including me.

I have always been a sneezer. If you know me you know this is a fact-o-Katherine. I'm never sick, I just sneeze and sneeze and sneeze some more. Year round. I've always been dubious that I actually have specific allergies, but now I'm not so sure. I have been keeping company with hundreds of generations of dust mites.

So today, in addition to driving 350 miles and writing a sermon from start to finish, I stripped the bed, vacuumed every surface in the bedroom, sacked the pillows, and ran load after load of hot, multiple-rinse cycle laundry. I also made it to Target in time to buy two cheap hypoallergenic pillows. I think I'm going to talk Ben into replacing the top mattress, as it's more akin in cost and structure to a hefty mattress pad. My throat hurts. It is no fun to face one's dust, nor the fact that dust mitigation isn't about preventing the coffee table from becoming a Magnadoodle.

While at Target, I also purchased a broiling pan. Because apparently, you aren't supposed to broil meat on cookie sheets. Not only was I overheating ill-suited pans (thereby, as Matt pointed out, inviting unseemly chemicals to leech into the meat and air [perhaps gassing the dust mites in the process??]), I also was setting off the occasional smoke alarm and/or fire. I guess it helps a lot when the grease drips through the slats in the broiling pan.

As horrifying as these discoveries were, I'm more horrified by this question: what else don't I know?

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