carolyn cote / culture

Being Gluten Free Sucks But Your Attitude Sucks More

I’ve paid almost $9 for a loaf of bread, and I’m not proud of it.

My body can’t digest wheat. Not even a little bit. As a result, I’m completely gluten free and I have to do what all gluten free-ers must do: suffer.

It’s not the food that’s bad (I’ve learned that I’ll probably never eat a croissant in my life again and buckwheat crepes are, you know, almost an acceptable substitute for the real thing). It’s not even the price (although paying $4 extra for a pizza crust that won’t make me feel like I’m dying really rubs me the wrong way sometimes). The real problem is other people.

There’s the patronizing dinner date who thinks you’re on some fad diet.

“I don’t know why you’re dieting, it’s not like you really have to lose weight.”
“You’re not that big to be starving yourself.”
“I think you’re pretty skinny. What’s the big deal?”
Check please.

There’s the waitress who doesn’t even understand what gluten is.

“No, there’s no wheat, just bread crumbs.”
“That has seasonings on it, so you can’t have it.”
“What if I just put the bread next to it?”
Ten points if they pronounce gluten like glutton.

There’s the Facebook warrior with “facts” about gluten.

“Being gluten free doesn’t even make you lose weight according to Buzzfeed!”
“Most people who are gluten free don’t even know what gluten is in this video!”
“PETA says being vegan is better for you.”
I will unfriend you, watch me.

And of course, there’s the uncle who doesn’t believe in gluten allergies.

“If it’s real, how come no one had this when I was growing up?”
“These doctors are making these diseases up so they can make more money.”
“I can eat wheat just fine so can you.”
I’m actually going to stab my eye out with a fork at Thanksgiving one year.

I’m not saying I expect everyone I come across to be knowledgeable when it comes to my allergy. I am totally fine with bringing my own food to parties and having to explain to moms everywhere that I can’t eat the delicious cookies they just made. But please, for the love of all that is carbs, stop being so rude. All I’m trying to do is not die.

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