Last weekend I met two guys in bars who said they were gluten free. A year ago I would have thought, “No way! SOULMATES!” Now I try to suppress the urge to roll my eyes, and then ask them something like, “Oh really? Do you have celiac disease? How long have you been gluten free?”
One guy’s response was, “Well, I’m gluten free…on Thursdays!”
What are you even talking about, bro? Is that a joke?
Context: This guy was out at the bar for his high school reunion. Because the planning committee knew that he was “gluten free,” they actually brought Redbridge beer to the event for him. What was he drinking as he was blathering on about his “gluten free diet”? Bud Light.
So, that guy was obviously just a jerk. But, it’s an example of how nowadays it seems like everyone thinks that they’re an expert when it comes to celiac disease.
Typically I try not to make my celiac disease or diet a topic at bars or when meeting new people, because it’s kind of a downer and there are other things I’d like to talk about. But now that my job is all about food allergies, it usually gets brought up within the first five minutes of talking to someone, immediately following the “So, what do you do?” question.
Then I end up answering all kinds of questions about what I eat, what I can’t eat, when I was diagnosed, what I can drink, what I can’t drink, etc. Then I’m subject to whatever cliche or tired commentary this person wants to give me. News flash: just because you saw something on Dr. Oz doesn’t make you an expert.
Things like: “Did you know that Dominos has gluten free pizza now?”
Grr. That was like 9 months ago, and I would never eat it because of cross contamination. Thanks though…
Sometimes I think about what life will be like in 5-10 years. Will all of the trend eaters fade away and just let us live our celiac hermit lifestyle? Will so many people be gluten free that we can finally stop making it a topic of debate and bar conversation?
Until then I’m going to just grin and bear it, I guess.
Have you had any interactions with these gluten free wannabes? Dish!