So here I am at another social gathering with food.
“This cake is delicious, have you tried it????
“No, thank you.???
“Oh, but aren’t you hungry? It truly is the best cake I’ve ever tasted.???
“No, I can’t eat it. My body has an awful allergic reaction to gluten. That really delicious cake will make me sick.???
“Ohhhhhh dear…that must really SUCK. (Insert a lot of really uneducated and thoughtless words here.)???
No. Stop right there. My life doesn’t suck because I can’t have gluten.
Please stop trying to relate with my diet by telling me that your brothers, girlfriends, cousin cut gluten from their diet to lose weight because it REALLY isn’t the same. Nor does it work.
“And Stacey looked and felt so great, but I just couldn’t imagine not eating cookies!??? Hmm, imagine that.
Please stop asking how I go without eating bread, cookies, cake, noodles and all that other delicious stuff that you THINK I’m missing out on.
“You can’t even eat an Oreo????? Do you know anything about the food you eat?
Please stop glamorizing it by telling me how skinny and great I look, and saying that it must be really healthy to not have gluten in my diet.
“You look so great, you must have lost a lot of weight!??? Yes, but mostly from starving myself becase I can’t find anything to eat at your stupid dinner parties you keep inviting me too.
Please stop telling me that it can’t really be that bad.
“Oh, but all of that stuff you can’t eat isn’t really good for you anyway.??? And yet, here you are…eating it in front of me.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. You’re wrong.
Having a gluten intolerance means that bread makes me so violently sick that when I see you stuffing your face with a turkey sandwich it makes me want to run for the bathroom.
“Don’t you miss just having a sandwich for lunch once in a while???? Um. Ew. NO.
It means having social anxiety so bad that I refuse to eat with people, mostly from having to explain over and over again that I cannot eat practically ANYTHING laid out at this public gathering. Oh…and also from falling ill 90% of the time that I trust someone to understand my diet.
“You can eat this…its white bread, not wheat!??? Did you just come back from Stupidville or something?
A gluten intolerance means that I cannot buy cheap body lotion from the dollar store, or that shampoo that smells like strawberries because it will literally turn my skin into a blotchy, itchy disaster zone.
“You can’t use the hand soap in the public bathroom? But why???? Who wants to shake the hand of someone with an unidentifiable rash on their hand?
It means that I cannot and will not go to someone else’s house for dinner without major (and embarrassing) preparation on both sides, which basically turns into me bringing my own food anyways and apologizing over and over because I feel rude.
“Why can’t you just trust me? Oh wait…that’s a wheat product???? Why should I trust you?
No more going out to eat without careful menu analyzation and bothering the poor waitress a gazillion times, when she probably already hates me…..and then still being sick for two days afterwards, anyways.
“No, ma’am, the bread-sticks are totally gluten free.??? Mhm. Tell that to my stomach.
It means people constantly asking about it…logging onto the never helpful WebMD…and telling me what they THINK they know about my condition.
“Well I read on the internet that they make a pill for it now!??? It must be in the aisle next to the pink fluffy unicorn.
It means awkwardly watching someone tear apart their cupboards when you visit trying to find something you can eat, when you insist that you’d really prefer not to eat anyways.
“You can’t possibly just sit there and watch us eat all this delicious food without something of your own!??? No, really…I can.
It means not being able to sit and have a beer with my friends or family after a long day, or at a gathering.
“You can’t even drink a beer? What can you even have???? Certainly not a night without teaching someone about what is in their food.
Ah, gluten. That tiny little phantom protein that wreaks havoc in my body and demands special attention that I’d really prefer not to have.
A special thank you for making parties’ hell and getting me into conversations that more than likely just make me feel awkward or hurt or embarrassed.
So in conclusion……please don’t try to feed me.
Please don’t poke and prod at me when I refuse to go to that dinner with you this weekend.
Please don’t ask questions unless you really need too.
Please stop treating me differently or like I’m being dramatic.
Please stop telling all your family and friends about me like I’m some kind of magical zoo animal.
And for the love of God, PLEASE stop telling me that having to be GF is not so bad, while you stuff your face with chocolate chip brownies.