by: Rebecca Taylor

Affordable, yummy and easy, good old reliable peanut butter, or at least that’s what I used to think but now I’m not so convinced. I married a man who is extremely allergic to peanuts. Everywhere we go I am afraid; grocery shopping is ever so hard. We’ve only been married six months and I, Genevieve Palmer Corbin, am turning into a different person. My love for him is tearing us apart. He seems oblivious to how serious his condition really is. Now he wants to have children, a little boy he can teach to play catch, and a little girl he can build dollhouses for. He even has their names picked out:  Kieran Andrew and Tara Beth. He’d make a great father but what if they were also allergic to peanuts. I’m already terrified of losing Rob; I don’t think I could go through that with children. I can’t believe I didn’t really realize the implications of his allergy before we were married. Whenever he came over, I’d make sure that the peanut butter was locked away and that nobody had used it in a while. I stopped eating peanut butter altogether because I didn’t want it to get on my clothes or have even a bit of the scent left on me. His allergy is like a terminal illness or death sentence waiting to happen; only we have no warning. I live in fear of losing what means the most to me. I have to read every label on every product I pick up, I’m so tired of reading MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF NUTS on labels. Even a simple candy bar is often forbidden. What if he goes to work one morning at the law firm, someone comes in who had a PB & J sandwich for lunch, and got some on their blouse, my husband smells the peanut butter and goes into shock. Our house is a peanut free zone or at least I hope it is. At work I have warned all the people I eat with that peanut butter is off limits if they care about me, they have agreed that they will be very careful too; they also think I’m rather obsessed on the issue and need to learn to relax. I can’t protect my husband from everything, I’m not trying to, just the peanuts. My husband has tried to make me feel better about the whole thing saying, “I drive a car, I could just as easily get hurt doing that, a filing cabinet could fall on me or any number of other things could just as easily affect anyone in this world,” like he thought that was going to help me feel better. Gee thanks, now I have a whole list of other things to worry about. Six months of marriage and a year of dating, and every night he always comes back to me. He carries a special injection should he come in contact with the nutty substance and he’s been dealing with this ever since he was in grade school and he has always been okay. There have been a few peanut scares but he has always made it through okay, maybe I just have to learn to not sweat the small stuff so much after all we all have a predetermined path, what will happen will happen and Rob is twenty-five, he probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I held his hand every step of the way. We can make it through. I need to face my fears and accept my life for what it is. Maybe some day we’ll even have children, but not yet, I need to learn to slow down and not be so crazy first, after all I’m this way with my husband; I’d be an absolute nervous wreck with children.