No, not really.
But according to these fine examples of modern society, that's exactly what your friends think of you.
Conversation from above video:
Host 1: You're having a dinner party okay... and you're inviting a dozen people. And people have food restrictions.
Host 2: All it takes is one.
Host 1: I know. [Snotty face.] ...they're vegan, they're gluten-free, they're whatever, they don't like dairy ... la la la!
Host 2: [Naming off weight loss diets.] Stay home and eat your pre-prepared meal!
If you require a gluten-free diet, don't you dare come to my dinner party because I don't want to make the effort to understand that this is a medically necessary diet for Celiac Disease.
I certainly hope the above comments are only the thoughts of two uneducated ladies and that our friends and family will be better informed.
I think part of the issue lies in the fact that gluten-free seems to be the new trend... and people are trying it out for all the wrong reasons (such as to lose weight). People have been given the wrong impression of what it really means to be gluten-free.
Don't EVER compare eating gluten-free (or having an allergy) to someone who willfully chooses to follow a certain diet. It is not the same thing.
And before all the vegans or vegetarians get on my case about this... please keep in mind that I have been vegetarian for 13 years (that's 7 years before this whole Celiac journey). I have dealt with the awkward glares when I refused a meat dish. And I understand the glares. I made a choice to be vegetarian.
Being gluten-free -- as a result of a disease -- is a whole different ball game. Intestinal damage will occur if I do not follow my diet. I didn't choose to be this way. I am not trying to make your life difficult. Trust me... as much as I want to eat your delicious homemade lasagna, gooey garlic bread and apple pie, it's probably best that you don't make a big fuss when I turn down your food. I can be feisty and I'm not afraid to speak my mind.
I can't help but think sarcastically to myself...
I'm sorry that my disease inconvenienced your life for an hour. It's something I live with every day and will continue to live with for the rest of my life. Do me a favour - deal with it and have some compassion.
Please note: I don't seriously think of Celiac Disease as a burden on my life. It is part of who I am. In the beginning of going gluten-free, of course I was bitter. But I realized that this disease is not going anywhere and I had to accept it.
In all honesty, it reminds me of a few occasions when I was planning a dinner outing with a couple of friends. They suggested locations that weren't particularly accommodating to gluten-free diets. We are lucky in Ontario (warning - shameless plug!) to have access to hundreds of restaurants offering gluten-free menu options. I believe we should take full advantage of this fact and show our support to these establishments by giving them our business in exchange for their efforts. I kindly suggested one of the restaurants on Gluten-Free Ontario and the issue was resolved.
I don't expect the world to bend over backwards for me... all I'm asking for is a little understanding. It's not fun (and totally unnecessary) to go to a restaurant to watch everyone else eat when there's a much more accommodating option down the street ;)
What are your thoughts on dinner party hosts who think of you as a burden?
Are your friends supportive of your