For a few weeks I’ve been bugged about an advice columnist’s response to a plea and while whining to my husband he looked at me and said over the top of his glasses, “This, *ahem* sounds like a blog post.”
So I bring my issue to you to ask for advice.
I trust you more.
The basic question is this: if you have dietary restrictions—especially ones that are medical—how does one gently and helpfully get that information across when RSVPing to a wedding or any other event?
I was particularly moved by this from the original questioner:
Knowing that the couples are already under a lot of stress, I would like to avoid inconveniencing them with my dietary restrictions [GF/Vegetarian]. I would prefer to eat in my hotel room beforehand, but I would hate for them to pay for a plated meal that I cannot have.
I will be traveling from out of town to attend these weddings, so skipping the reception is not an option. How do I share in the nuptial celebrations without troubling anyone?
This is how I find myself often feeling—how do I make this not a problem for anyone else. This often involves me bringing my own food, which can also be a problem because some people can get offended from that. But when soy sauce can put me down for three days… it seems the prudent way to go.*
But not an option at a wedding.
The Advice Columnist’s answer was wrong, I feel, on almost every level. She went to a vegetarian expert rather than a gluten-free/vegetarian (if you think I’m being over-the-top let me point out that there is only one hard-to-find fake meat out there that wouldn’t make a GF person very ill indeed. All the rest have wheat) and she didn’t answer the basic question:
How do I deal with this—not being able to eat ANYthing with wheat in it (i.e., fried in the same oil as battered food, made with a roux, breaded with breadcrumbs)—without troubling the hosts more than necessary.
I’m planning an event for this fall and I know that I would prefer to know this kind of thing in advance rather than see someone having to bring their own snack food with them, but if no one puts a
____ dietary restrictions
line on their RSVP card, then what is one to do?
*Gluten hides in everything and I no more expect non-GF folks to know the dangers of or intricacies involved in GF cooking than I would expect my nine year old to know how to drive a car (i.e., he knows there are pedals and a key and steering wheel, but he wouldn’t know how to make the thing go, safely).