Eight days ago I made what some might consider a significant life choice, and I feel it's now time to share it with the world.
I am now gluten-free.
Yes, you heard me. I am now one of those people. I know, I know. You're thinking, "Jesus, another one of those freaks? But didn't Joey used to make fun of them and muse about how gluten intolerance was a completely fictional psycho-somatic affliction that really covers for the fact that people can't moderate their own diets?"
And now I'm thinking wow random person whom I may or may not know, you've got quite the memory. Yes, I did say those things. Granted, it was a number of years ago, and I'm slightly more mature these days. Now I make fun of people for things they chose to do, like still having cable TV or thinking SNL is funny this season.
In any case, I was either wrong and these are my just desserts or I was right and I am the exception. I prefer the latter obviously, but YMMV.
This decision is health-related. In short, I was getting a number of strange painful rashes, mostly on my face, feeling generally foggy-headed and faint. This culminated a couple weeks ago in me falling over in a coffee shop while a super-red rash on my face burned with the heat of one or two suns.
While at 33, I am past the point of being able to take my health for granted, that's still too young to be fainting all over town. So I decided to start experimenting with different things and observing the effects. I started by removing gluten from my diet and within a few days, the rash had faded, my dandruff was gone, and the fog lifted from my head.
OKAY...BUT U SURE IT GLUTEN?
No, not 100%. I'm 8 days in and this seems to be working for me, so I'll stick it out as long as I can.
Of course, I could go see a doctor. But all they can do is test for celiac. If that comes back negative, they'd most likely say "yeah, you're probably gluten intolerant but there's no test for that." So...there you have it. Our billion-dollar healthcare system at work, telling you things you can figure out yourself for free. Thanks, Obama.
My Nag-free Gluten-free Promise
Before you reconsider inviting me out to brunch, let me promise you that I will do my utmost to ensure that my new gluten-free lifestyle will not hinder us in any way.
I am promise you:
- I will never mention this fact when we're hanging out
- I will never proselytize the merits of gluten-free diet or try to convert you into my fold
- I won't make you feel bad for eating bread and cookies
- I will never ask for special accommodations at a restaurant
- Likewise, I will never ask the server if this or that usually glutenful thing is miraculously gluten-free or if it's possible to make it gluten-free
- I will never complain about the lack of gluten-free options
- I will never allow my diet to hinder my choice of cuisine
- I certainly will never let it stand between me and consuming what's honestly become a rather worrisome quantity of alcohol (thanks New York)
This is my cross to bear and I will happily march from one end of Golgatha to the other without troubling you one iota. Internalizing is perhaps one of my greatest talents, so let me put it to use.