1) You talk about your gluten allergy at parties.
Have you ever been at a cocktail party and heard someone say “I just found out I’m allergic to ragweed, and boy was it an eye-opener!” Nope, because that doesn’t sound cool. Allergies are not cool. They’re the domain of nerds and dweebos, kids who sit in the back of chemistry class and suck air from an inhaler. I should know, I was that kid. Gluten Allergies however, somehow have become awesome. But no actual sufferer would ever brag about them. Because we know that when you say “I can’t eat gluten,” you’re not saying I’m unique and original, you’re actually declaring, “If I lick a crouton my insides fall out.” And insides falling out is not the sort of thing one discusses at parties.
2) You drink beer.
Beer is gluten juice. You can’t drink it. To the people who say gleefully and with great surprise that beer doesn’t bother them, I would say that there’s a very good reason for that: you’re not actually allergic to it. Stop being ridiculous.
3) You’ve used the phrase “I’m trying to watch my gluten.”
That would be like me saying “I’m really trying to cut back on my rat poison.” The last time I ate gluten, I almost went to the emergency room because I thought my appendix was bursting. If you’re not a faker, you know it’s more than a “try to watch” situation. I mean, do the characters in Alien try to watch that spider monster thingy so it doesn’t put an alien baby in their stomach? Or do they go all the way and watch it?
I think they watch.
4) You watch “The View.”
I defy anyone to watch more than 10 hours of The View without wondering whether gluten has been secretly ruining their life. It’s all they talk about. Gluten-Free Summer BBQ TIps! Gluten-Free Weight Loss Secrets! How Going Gluten-Free Saved My Marriage, My Children, and Also Probably My Dog! It’s enough to make you want to put a gluten-free bullet in your gluten-free head. Elisabeth Hasselbeck doesn’t eat wheat, and I guess the producers are so excited to find a topic that she’s marginally qualified to talk about that they let her run with it. The end result is bad TV and bad health advice. Yippee!
5) You say “I don’t know why, I just feel better without gluten!”
Like it’s some mystical new age therapy with intangible healing properties. It’s not Kaballah, it’s a food allergy. Are you into reiki, homeopathy, or the healing power of crystals, magnets or Head of the Class reruns? You might be a phony celiac. And thanks for casting this whole web of doubt and illegitimacy over going gluten-free, we sickies really appreciate it. I love seeing that look in a waiter’s eye when he decides “is this a hipster crackpot, or someone who actually can’t eat flour?” Really, thanks.