I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with the uncomfortable feeling of dining out with others when you have food allergies. Actually, seeing everything I do on social media, I know I’m not alone. What never ceases to amaze me is that know matter how many times I do it…I always clam up when it’s my time to order. I’ve even have friends who have jumped in and asked the appropriate questions for me. Why is that? It’s just food allergies so what is the big deal? I’ve never been able to figure out what the issues is but I wanted to share a situation with all of you on something that happened recently that really made me aware that it’s a real issue.
A couple weeks ago I was in New Jersey with one of my clients for the gluten and allergen free expo. I’m originally from New York so being back on east coast is so enjoyable and I honestly get giddy when I know that I’m going back. This was going to be a great trip for my client but I also had some high level excitement because I knew I was going to meet some gluten-free bloggers that I think the world of. We had been talking about it for months but I knew that I was going to be able to be in the same room as Gluten-Free School, Gluten Dude, Gluten-Free Labels and Jackie Ourman just to name a few. We had it all planned out. After the show on Saturday night we were going to grab drinks and dinner. Just the thought of seeing all of them was exciting because we have been chatting on Twitter for a long time and most of them I’ve chatted with on the phone too.
So as you can imagine everything was great. We had a blast chatting and having drinks in the hotel lobby. It was honestly like we’ve all known each other forever and we were just catching up. Then, we were off to dinner. The first night I was in Jersey I got “glutened” at a restaurant so the following night I got a recommendation from a friend that she promised would be safe. The restaurant was awesome and I asked all of them if they would be cool going there? Of course they said yes because it’s all about being safe and nobody wanted to get sick. Everything about that night was great but when it was time to order I felt myself clamming up even in front of them who totally get this. Was it habit? Am I the only one who does this? This is something that I’m working on and I know it’s probably in my head but it’s real to me and I thought I would share it with you.
On a side note, they are all awesome and I’m extremely thankful for each of them. I can’t wait to see them again and truly look forward to the next time. As for now, it’s back to the phone and Twitter but at least I can say that I met them IN REAL LIFE!!