Dude note: To help celebrate and promote Celiac Awareness Month, I will be writing 30 blog posts over 30 consecutive days (weekends excluded) with the theme “30 Days of Helping 30 Celiacs”. Each post will be aimed toward helping one specific person or group of people. If you or someone you know needs help, guidance, advice or a shoulder to cry on, please contact me and I will do what I can to help. On the 31st day, you’re on your own. Totally kidding.
Today’s 30 for 30 blog post is for: Monica (not her real name) whose fellow employees may have good gluten-free intentions but she’s unsure how to approach them.
We’ve all been there. People with good intentions insist that the food they made is totally safe for us to eat. And if guilt overcomes our good senses, we could be in for a world of hurt.
Remember these words…It’s NEVER worth it.
Monica…take it away:
I have been following your blog for a while now. I love the variety of topics and just how relatable everything is. I do not have diagnosed celiac, but got tired of listening to doctors that don’t know what they are talking about and gave up gluten on my own three years ago. Thank you for being such a strong voice in our community.
With that being said, I have a problem. I am a hairdresser and work with fifty women. Pot luck is the last Friday of every month. I used to work Fridays when I ate gluten, so it was never a problem. I will now be working Fridays again and am having some major anxiety about going in to work today.
My coworkers know I’m “the one who can’t eat anything” and who is always the pain at restaurants if I even go along. That doesn’t bother me. Being gluten free has taught me to be an amazing cook, so I would rather eat my own food! But with pot luck, my coworkers are going to be attempting to make things so I feel included.
How do I approach the topic of me not trusting their dirty, gluten filled kitchens without sounding unappreciative? I know they are trying to be nice, but some of them roll their eyes when I say I can’t have it. My manager thinks it is a choice and refers to me as vegan. Every once in a while, I get the question “what can you eat?” with a look of non-concern and irritation.
I have tried time and time again to explain, but they don’t take me seriously because it isn’t celiac or because it is such a fad. So many people that they know say they can’t have gluten, but drink beer and eat whatever when they “cheat.”
I would love some advice on how to deal with going to work one day a month or some words of encouragement from other people.
Thank you so much!
Stand your ground Monica. You don’t owe anybody an explanation.
I’ve happily gotten to the point where I have no problem informing people “thank you so much, but I can’t eat that.” Period. Guilt-free.
That being said…it’s not like I don’t trust anybody. We have friends who have done an amazing job making safe meals for me, but they always ask Mrs. Dude 100 questions beforehand. And I’ve never gotten sick.
There is never a need to apologize to anybody for being gluten-free. If they’re too ignorant to understand that, it’s on them, not you.
Bring your own food and enjoy the company.