Boundary Issues

Boundary Issues

don’t take this personally

but I cannot set foot in your house


it isn’t you

but the peanuts


you must understand I have nothing

against you as a peanut eater

well not too much

but the fact that nuts

of any kind

have been in your house

prevents me from entering it


the smell remains in the air

it coats everything

I cannot come into contact

with even the lest vestige of almonds

walnuts peanuts

just saying their names

makes me nauseous 


it should be a criminal offence

for anyone


to be in public after having eaten

a peanut butter sandwich

don’t they realize the risk to 

those with allergies


so I can’t go into your home

can’t even shake your hand

lest your last contact with nuts

of any kind

has left even a trace amount of poison

in your sweat

on your breath


if you really cared

you would make 

that one 


sacrifice for me


while we’re at it

no meat either

A community centre I go to, that also has daycare, has signs posted in the kitchen about the dangers of peanut contamination. Parents are warned that even if their kids have no allergies they have to consider children who might. I’ve read of children being sent home from school when it was discovered that they had peanut butter on toast for breakfast. Halloween candy comes in boxes marked ‘nut free.’ People who enjoy nuts are almost criminalized for their thoughtlessness. I wonder how the nut industry is doing in the face of this criminalization.


So that was what sparked this piece. There is an underlying resentment too in this sense that I am responsible for sorting my halloween trees into piles & then asking the kids nuts or no nuts – this year we opened for potato chips to avoid that. 


The piece also about accommodating others – often not even knowing who those others are. I recently attended an event that was ‘fragrance free.’ I’m not even sure how that is possible. What about the scent from my laundry detergent? Does the smell of my coffee count? How do I know who, on transit, is going to have a reaction to the cologne that got sprayed on me when I foolishly walked into the Bay? Who gets charged with the assault – me or the Bay?


I am pretty lucky in that these are not my issues to the same degree they are to others. But to be honest I do back way from people who smell of cigarettes, or of the joint they toked on two minutes ago. I hate walking behind anyone smoking. No one smokes anything in my home. I make that clear so they don’t have to guess. If you come to my house the peanut butter is safely behind closed doors.


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2019’s – sweet,eh?

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