An amazing thing happened to me today. The boy I am seeing participated in "the talk" with our waitress about my meal. And not just participated - he rejected a food preparation that I was about to accept. After four questions about potatoes and still not having any reassurance of their gluten-free-ness I was giving in to the "ugh, I don't care. I'll just risk it. So HANGRY!" internal stomach and brain conflict. I was half-way through a nod of acceptance when he simply asked that my hash browns be cooked in a skillet untouched by french toast. And she said yes! (Of course).
It was so hot. And also was a blazing reminder of how much I need to work on being direct.
I could get into a whole feminism discussion here, but that's not what this blog is about. If my best friend had done what he did I would think she was hot, too. Standing up for other people's needs is just plain hot. Another blazing reminder of something I should do more.
Anyway, the real point of this post is to tell you guys that I think I found a new strategy to get some Celiac Respect. Yeah, I went ahead and Title Cased that because it should totally be a thing, or maybe a hashtag, and also another excuse to blare my favorite Aretha song. People don't really respect the potentially volatile environment that is - straight up, IS - our intestines. It's fine. They don't get it.
Until you get glutened.
Getting glutened is the key to unlocking the g-free fighting potential of your dinner date. It's the magic password to make-out with a mouth full of freshly brushed teeth. It's the Elder Wand to unleash the g-free snacks in an apartment that's not your own. It's the security code to the vault of Celiac Respect lying deep in the uneducated hearts of everyone besides us.
Even better? If you get glutened because of someone.
You might be thinking to yourself, "say whaaaaaaaat?!" Maybe you've even thrown in a sassy "don't TELL me you're seeing someone who doesn't respect the severity of your life-saving, NECESSARY, MEDICALLY PRESCRIBED diet." And I'm not! I wouldn't. We know this.
This dear man friend of mine was just in the on-boarding process of dating me. It's complicated. I should probably come with a user manual. He knew about the g-free-ness and the seriousness, but we hadn't gotten through every conversation about every precaution I have to take every day. We were having too much fun learning each other's middle names and favorite guilty pleasure T. Swift songs. There was never an organic moment to work in the conversation that goes, "I HAVE to have original spiced Captain Morgan in my Captain and Coke because I know for sure that it is gluten-free. Yes, I know, 'all rum is gluten-free' until they add flavors and other bullish*t that usually are made from malt. What's malt? A derivative from barely. Yes I'm that sensitive. Yes even a sip of it will make me sick."
His simple interpretation of "rum and coke" from my request for a "Captain and Coke" landed both of us in an evening of misery. Special thanks goes to that well rum that indeed, was flavored with malt. I was only two sips in when I realized what had happened, but even then it was too late.
So, for hours he listened to me cry about nothing - literally, nothing - and talked me out of a panic attack or two. In the morning my sober, glutened self wasn't really an improvement as I could actually feel the nausea and full consciousness of being the worst version of myself, completely incapable of changing my behavior.
It was a simple, profusely-apologized-for mistake, that wouldn't have even been anything if I were a g-eating being.
But you know what is something? What he said to the waitress today. And when he wipes down his kitchen counter before I come over. And when he gives forehead kisses if he's just eaten a brownie (or cookie, or baguette). And that he still will hang out with me, even after experiencing the glutened monster enraged (so scary).
I know all of those considerations would have come with time, after we'd had every conversation about every thing. But the fact that I got glutened on his watch certainly accelerated him through the learning curve, and I can't help but be a tiny bit appreciative for that. Silver linings, people.
So, don't be stupid. Don't intentionally get yourself glutened just to prove its reality to the g-eating yahoos. But if it happens (it will) and they are around (they're everywhere) let them experience the monster too. Because the monster is very real, and very serious, and we need more people to get on our monster hating, gluten-free loving side, which is also very hot.