Gluten Free Manners aren’t something you’re going to learn in school, so I decided to teach a “class” on them here at my place. I am pulling from my own experiences with living Gluten Free in addition to some other things I feel need to be covered.
With that being said, let’s get started on today’s “lesson”.
Rule #2: Do NOT use someone else’s allergy or intolerance to make yourself look good.
Eating something different from the group you’re sharing at . . . hmm . . . let’s say, a dinner party is not necessarily the most comfortable position for you. Making a big deal about it doesn’t help the situation feel less awkward. If you think accolades will come from touting your “compassion” as a host/ hostess by preparing a special meal to suit your guest’s dietary restrictions, I believe you’re sorely mistaken.
For example, you’re at this dinner party, and y’all are having steak as the main course. Now let’s say you wanted your steak medium rare as opposed to well done, and the host/ hostess walked around bragging to everyone how great he/she was because he/she cooked your steak medium rare, and displaying your medium rare steak to all the other guests at the table. It’d seem a bit odd, wouldn’t it? That’s how it feels when people announce that they’ve cooked something special for someone with a food allergy or intolerance. Just as you hopefully wouldn’t have made a huge deal over that medium rare steak, you shouldn’t feel the need to find kudos in your choice to make a gluten free option for me when I didn’t ask for one.
Let me explain something here, having an intolerance or allergy to any kind of food isn’t fun in the day to day. You already feel a wee bit freaky because you have to adapt to or account for so many variables in deciding what’s safe to put in your mouth. The last thing you want at that point is someone pointing out your intolerance or allergy for their own benefit or accolades. I personally don’t want to just be known solely for my dietary restrictions or have the virtual banner cast around my neck because you want to be patted on the back.
In conclusion, the golden rule is a great rule of thumb for this type of situation. Treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Would you want your special dietary restrictions or preferences put on display, or would you prefer to be left to eat your meal in peace without drawing any further attention to the fact that your plate is loaded with salad minus the stuffed shells and chunky slabs of baguette slathered in garlic butter? I can usually find something at most meals that will not compromise my need to eat gluten free, and I will bring my own food rather than have attention gathered around me from your efforts to make accommodations specifically for me.
If you find yourself in the situation above, first off, I’m sorry for the inconsideration of that type of person. The best advice I can give you is to not mention it to the person in front of a group. If you know the person well, I’d suggest maybe mentioning privately at a later date that you’d prefer they not draw attention to your special needs publicly in the future and explain how it made you feel. If you don’t know the person well; bite your tongue and demonstrate the graciousness they’re clearly lacking.
Did this post strike a chord with you? Have you experienced a similar situation? Let me know in the comments!! 😉
Until next time y’all!