So, a blonde, a lutheran, and a celiac walk into a bar…. Wait, that’s not quite right. Let me try that again.
So, a blonde, lutheran celiac walks into a bar….
(you’re expecting a punchline, aren’t you?)
Sorry to disappoint…you thought this was a joke, but it actually was the introduction to a biographically accurate portion of my life. I am all of those above things (blonde, lutheran, and celiac…not to mention huge fan of the Oxford comma).
Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, my boyfriend / fiance / husband (same guy, different time periods) and I would go out with friends or co-workers for happy hour every now and again. I remember that another couple would meet us at “The Spur” for late night happy hours on Fridays or Saturdays and we would get some Mich. Golden Lights (er, I would….the guys had other beers which I can’t even pronounce), and then we would order about 4 appetizers,usually the nachos, potato skins, wings, and quesadillas. Yummm…
Sorry, lost in a moment there for a sec. Where was I? Oh, yes…..edible bliss.
Then, over time, we all grew older and suddenly kids came into the scene. Life got busy and hectic (and non-alcoholic, since 18 months of that time was spent being pregnant, plus all that time nursing…uy!) In the midst of all that my daughter and I got diagnosed with celiac disease. Now here I am, more than half a decade past knowing if “The Spur” is even open anymore, muchless what and when their happy hour specials are…but now the kids are somewhat more independent. And while I can’t honestly say that I would have the energy to even consider a late-night happy hour, I always thought that going out with other adults to have a drink or two and hang out would be something that would eventually pop back onto my radar.
But now I am facing the upcoming prospect of going out with some girlfriends for happy hour in a few weeks (yes, that is how old I am…we now schedule these things weeks in advance…), and I can’t say I am that enthused. Don’t get me wrong – I am looking forward to seeing these gals again and catching up. (how are the husbands? how are the kids? blahblahblah…) And I am looking forward to a couple of hours spent talking to other adults without having to take a time out to change someone’s pull-ups or pick crayons up off of the floor.
It’s just that this kind of social event has really lost all it’s spontaneity for me. And not from just having gotten old and everyone having such busy schedules. (I really don’t mind the “planning really far in advance” part.) I just think that “going out” is so predictable…. Think about it: it doesn’t matter where we go…what restaurant or bar….regardless of what theme they have, I know that my drink selection is either a glass of wine or a hard cider of some sort. I can all but guarantee that my beverage is NOT one of the happy hour specials. And speaking of happy hour specials, I can also pretty much guarantee that none of the appetizer specials will be gluten free, either.
So while back in the day we’d get a round of (fill-in-the-blank) beverages and a smattering of whatever appetizers looked tasty, I now get my solo drink and sit there (craving the deep fried platters before me) eating nothing, unless I want to spend a fortune ordering a meal or a side that never gets brought to the table at the same time as everyone’s apps.
And while some people take these occasions to expand their alcoholic-literacy by trying out a new beer every time they are out, I can pretty much say that I have sampled all of the gluten free beers and ciders in the area. (and this from someone who doesn’t even get out much anymore anyway) Are their good beers and ciders? Yes. Are there less than stellar ones? Sure. Either way, it is hard to get too excited.
If all the bar has for GF beer is one that I am not overly fond of, I will still probably get it…. I will end up spending as much for a single bottle of crappy rice-based beer at the bar as I would on half a 6-pack of bottles of a hard cider that I actually like. And even then, I doubt I’ll finish the whole bottle. So why even bother? Ahhh…we are back to our joke again…
Why does a blonde, lutheran celiac walk into a bar?
To get to the other side, of course.
Not to get all “Alice in Wonderland” on you, but sometimes I feel as though I am on the other side of the looking glass. I think that deep down (but not in my intestines…hahaha, get it? there’s a little bit of celiac humor for you), I am waiting for all of the social settings in life to stop feeling as though I am an alternate universe where I am invisible observer watching an incredibly realistic 3D movie whose plot line revolves around food. I mean, I’m IN the scene….and yet, I’m not.
It is this quasi-real presence in social settings such as this that really tends to throw me a bit off balance. (no pun intended, it wasn’t supposed to be a quip about the effects of alcohol.) To be honest, it is a social experiment of sorts for me to see if I will ever be able to get back to that sense of existing in “real time” when it comes to social settings that primarily revolve around food and drinks that I cannot take part of.
I keep hoping that, just as I have matured and aged, eventually I will come to terms with this whole mess and I won’t feel like such an oddity in those situations anymore. Each opportunity to confront this social absurdity is both dreaded and anticipated.
So, in a few weeks, this blonde, lutheran celiac will walk into a bar….I guess I’m expecting a punchline, too. Let’s hope it is worth a good laugh.
P.S. In case you wanted some dorky celiac humor after all…(warning, this isn’t really that funny…but you try to come up with a celiac joke….seriously….do try (I don’t have a “comments” section for nothing).
A celiac walks into a bar.
The Transylvanian bartender asks, “Vhat do you vant?”
She replies, “Is it true that you’ll have gluten free beer on special for happy hour…?”
The Transylvanian bartender replies, “Oh, VILLI ?!”
(ack, ack, ack….. )