Saturday, January 12, 2013

Come watch your friends eat an aromatic, tasty meal

The stuff of my nightmares
An out-of-town friend was coming to visit. She wanted to meet up with some of the women from a local arts group I belong to, including me. She suggested an Italian place. I'm usually willing to meet at places I know I can't eat at--I'll eat beforehand and hide a small snack in my bag to get me through. It's all about the company, right?

But when I looked at the pictures of the establishment online, I just about freaked. Mind you, not only am I a celiac, but I'm allergic to dairy and nightshades (including tomatoes) as well. On the list of least-desired places to visit, Italian restaurants rank near the top. I wrote back and suggested we try somewhere else. But, in the end, for various reasons, the Italian place was going to be our meeting spot.

The lunch was yesterday. And I actually had a good time, conversation-wise. But there was literally nothing on the menu I could dare eat. Even the salads didn't look safe. I'd already figured that would happen, and had come with sliced fruit hidden in my bag. I got a coffee, using coconut-based milk I'd brought from home for creamer. But I spent a lot of the lunch with my hand defensively covering the coffee. The bread on the table was the sort that had to be pulled apart with some force. Bread crumbs flew. The aroma was obscenely hunger-inducing as I sat there munching a piece of browning apple pretending I didn't care that they were having one of the best meals they were going to eat all month. I kept telling myself it was about the company. And I did, really, enjoy the company. And I was grateful they weren't like some of my other "friends" who would just not invite me at all and exclude me from the social visit.

But I admit it. After over a decade of living like this, it is not getting easier. It sucks.