I’ve been told more than once that I’m a bit Pollyanna-ish when it comes to living gluten-free. I eat better tasting food – both at and away from my house – than I did when I ate gluten. We probably travel a little more now than we did before going gluten-free. My point is that for the most part, I have nothing to complain about when it comes to being gluten-free.
But everyone has days where things just get on their nerves – or rather people do. For some reason, several odd things have happened recently that really got under my skin. No one involved meant to be annoying at all which makes it hard for me to admit I feel that way I do about these insignificant things. Even so, like everyone else, I have my bad days on this sometimes strange gluten-free journey.
Obviously, when someone is gluten-free their family and friends either accommodate their needs or they don’t respect them. I’ve been fortunate that most everyone I know has been wonderful about my dietary needs and lifestyle. I have celiac disease and can’t eat gluten even if I wanted to. This isn’t debatable, period.
When someone has a lot of gluten-free friends, their experience is very different (in an awesome way!) than the average gluten-free person that doesn’t have a large gluten-free community in their area. Both my gluten-free and non gluten-free friends are usually so very thoughtful that I can’t complain. Whether it’s letting me pick the restaurants we dine at or calling me to inquire about ingredients someone is serving at a party, everyone knows my diet is to be taken seriously and that I can’t have even a smidge of gluten.
Every so often, you encounter situations where you realize that in the end, people who are not on a restricted diet really don’t truly “get it” when it comes to your diet. I can only speak for myself, but I’m pretty sure I was the same way when I wasn’t on a restricted diet so this is perfectly understandable. But that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying at times.
There will always be times when you can’t choose the place you’re eating at or at least you find yourself with severely limited (and often unfortunate) options when it comes to dealing with the glutenoids in your life. In those cases, you do the best you can even if that means you eat before an event if need be.
The truth is that most people don’t mean to seem uncaring or less than thoughtful. How would they know that places with extensive menus don’t necessarily have something safe for us to eat? Talking about cross contamination issues is like speaking gibberish in some cases. Many people have a hard time believing we can’t eat fries that are fried in a fryer that is also used for gluten foods. And when I first heard of that issue, so did I.
People don’t know how it feels to pass on the bread basket and dessert when gluten-free options aren’t offered because they don’t have to do it. Trust me when I say if they did, they’d be much more concerned that we eat at places that offer specialty gluten-free menu items.
In the end, I have to remind myself is that unless (or until) a person has to pay attention to what is in every morsel of food they take in 24/7, they will never really “get it” when it comes to my diet. To think otherwise isn’t fair to anyone involved – especially those of us on special diets.