As an avid reader of Dear Abby of all generations, Ann Landers & co., Miss Manners, Cary Tennis, and anyone else with a big mouth who wants to tell us all what to do — I was delighted to see the advice column address dining out etiquette in a gluten-free world. Here’s the dilemma:
Q. Dear Abby: I was recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant. My question is, when dining at a restaurant, while everyone else is eating the bread that is served, is it acceptable to discreetly take a few gluten-free crackers from my purse and snack on them so I’m not starving while waiting for dinner?
My husband thought it was inappropriate, so I didn’t take them. I did ask the waiter if he had gluten-free bread or crackers, but he didn’t. I have many medical issues. I try to eat only what is healthy for me and thought providing my own crackers was a minor deal. What do you think, Abby? — Gluten Intolerant in Florida
While Abby, or whoever is carrying on the Abby tradition, answered pretty much perfectly I think she might have held back in one particular area. That would be the area of, “Your husband is a douche, and you might be off your rocker.”
First the obvious: Your husband is a douche. Abby gave him the benefit of the doubt by saying perhaps he had “a bad day,” but I know what she really wanted to say was, “Dude, your husband sucks it.” While 100% Abby-appropriate, I would love to have seen her slap that guy down in a public forum. Which may be why I should totally be an advice columnist. I’ll call your husband a douche, no problem-o. I probably already do behind his back. Moving on.
“I have many medical issues.” Listen, I feel for anyone with many medical issues. But I’m wondering just a wee bit, if this lady’s husband isn’t being such a jackass because pulling out gluten-free crackers isn’t the only thing this lady does in public. I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt — especially because Celiac disease can come with lots of other issues. If that’s the case, I’m sorry for what I’m about to say: Maybe your husband really hates dining out with you because you’re the most embarrassing person in the world. I’m sorry, it just had to be said. However.
No one should be shamed for bringing in their own gluten-free crackers. If there is a cheese plate on the menu, you bet your ass I’ve got gf crackers in my purse. In fact, you can bet I’ve got gf anything on my person whenever I’m away from my home. But I never ask my husband if it’s okay. I just do it, because, you know, I like to eat cheese. Can I eat cheese without gluten-free crackers? I can, and I will. It’s more of a little pick-me-up in my purse when I remember to bring along a lovely cheese transportation device.
One more note. If you’re starving by the time you wind up in a restaurant — and it happens to the best of us — order a gluten-free appetizer right away so you don’t freak out and go all Taxi Driver in the middle of the establishment. That way you don’t have to dig in your purse for sustenance, and embarrass your douche bag husband.
You’re welcome, Gluten Intolerant in Florida. You. Are. Welcome.
Anyone else need some advice? Bring it.