How I tolerate comments about being gluten-free
Some people are well-meaning; others are astonishingly rude and ignorant. Yep, I’m referring to people who make loud observations about gluten-free food.
The ones stemming from curiosity usually go under my radar. You know, questions I had myself when I first had to go gluten-free like, “Is couscous okay?” and “Is there any point buying bread when it’s so expensive?” (They’ve got a point. And for a long time, I didn’t eat bread except when some kind soul bought me a loaf.)
Slightly annoying is when people think you do it to lose weight. It’s difficult not to wonder whether you need to shed a few pounds (perhaps squeezing into last year’s shorts was a mistake) or if they think you’re only capable of being thin because you deny yourself a particular food group.
But know-it-alls who suddenly claim to be more informed than the entire medical profession (despite never having got beyond GCSE Science) are good at raising my blood pressure. Although it’s a rare occasion anyone makes an ignorant comment to my face, the number of times I’ve been glutened without knowing why makes me wonder what’s going on behind the scenes. The person who thinks I can have a trace of gluten is mistaken. It only takes the tiniest amount to set off symptoms in a Coeliac. And anyone who slips me a dish with gluten in because they think the reaction is psychosomatic (like I made up those years of stomach cramps and diarrhoea) clearly thinks I’m some kind of masochist.
I hope you’ll make a note that these people should go straight to jail without passing Go. Preferably with some duct tape firmly sealed over their mouths.