My friend told me about how understanding gluten has changed her life, and it truly helped me understand mine. Because it is never too early in a conversation to turn it around and make it about me.
Her: So after all of those tests, and camera yo-yoing through my innards, and treatment for ulcers and years of Claritin for sinus infections and who knows what else, I finally understand: it’s GLUTEN. I can’t eat gluten. I’m allergic to gluten.
Me: So long gluten!
Her: And there is awesome stuff all over the Internet about being gluten-free, and shazam, my entire life is better.
Me: You are a recovering gluten addict. I’m so happy for you. Is it like peanuts, where I shouldn’t breath on you with gluten breath or open a jar of gluten around you or you might pass out?
Her: No, just don’t cram a bagel in my mouth or my body will resist in 8 ways. I’m intolerant. I absolutely will not tolerate gluten.
Me: Oh, that’s what’s going on for me. I’m intolerant! It finally makes so much sense!
Her: You are gluten intolerant? Wow…
Me: No. Kool Aid! I am Kool Aid Intolerant!
Her: You mean the food coloring? It’s true, those agents are…
Me: NO! Kool Aid. As in “Drink the…” I’m intolerant to memes and rules and agreeing with the Kool Aid pushers.
Me: My body rejects Kool Aid 8 ways. 9 ways! 10 ways! I scream and gnash and puke. Don’t make me drink the Kool Aid!
Her: Kool Aid intolerance is like peanut allergies. Even Kool Aid dust can set you off.
Me: Yes, if I so much as hear a foil-paper package open I’m on guard against the Kool Aid. Kool Aid is the devil’s eye drops! Kool Aid kills, man, Kool Aid kills. I should become the Kool Aid Avenger, ninja kicking that pernicious smile off the Kool Aid jug and flushing the Kool Aid down every drain until the water finally runs clear.
Her: What can you really do, though? Kool Aid is everywhere. I think it’s like gluten, as soon as you read the labels, you’ll see it is everywhere!
Me: At least I can explain all of my reactions. I’m Kool Aid Intolerant. I need to be Kool Aid Free. KF 4 life.
Her: How about a Sprite? No dyes, no caffeine, nice fresh aftertaste, no obligation to agree with the party line. Will that be okay?
Me: Make it a 7Up chasing a whiskey. For therapeutic purposes. Oh, but, sorry, whiskey has gluten in it, right?
Her: Nope! The distillation process makes whiskey safe for gluten-frees! But you can keep the 7Up for yourself.
Me: Cheers then! Here’s to knowing exactly what you can tolerate, and what you can’t!