I promise that I am not just some psycho mom who is hooked on a fad diet and set on making everyone else’s life hell because of it.
“I promise that I am not just some psycho mom who is hooked on a fad diet and set on making everyone else’s life hell because of it.”
That headline is how I closed an email I wrote to a caterer, after accidentally receiving the response he wrote to the organizer of an event that was to take place, with our home as the venue.
See, the event organizer asked if I would like this to be an adults only event or not. I pondered this, as I have children myself and think I’m pretty child-friendly, but ultimately decided that I would prefer adults only, since I don’t know these parents, and they might bring snacks that aren’t gluten free. I didn’t want a bunch of kids with gluten all over their grubby little hands to touch all of my kid’s toys and make it a cross-contamination nightmare for my family.
I didn’t feel I was being picky. It was a choice that was given to me, and I chose option “A”. As the organizer had copied the caterer on her email requesting whether I wanted kids there or not, I replied “all” as a courtesy. He, apparently, intended to reply to her, but replied to me only, instead.
The tone of his email insinuated that I was some uber-high-maintenance, psycho-mom on a fad diet and he encouraged them to change venues. I know I am sensitive to gluten comments, but just so you can judge for yourself, here are a couple of the lines from his email:
“Sounds like she has de-contaminated the house? Wierd…”
“I see some RED flags coming up that I don’t want to deal with here….”
Now, I should point out that it was known FAR in advance that any events held here have to be gluten free (with the exception of beer, since people don’t tend to stick their fingers in it and then touch all of my furniture and all of my kid’s toys before washing their hands….I digress.) So, in theory, this caterer already knew that all of his food had to be gluten free.
Second, I should also point out that we have had 4 events catered here in the last 10 months. One was for over 250 people. All of them were gluten free. Most of our guests were “normal people” (ie: they can have gluten, unlike me). And all I heard was how awesome the food was.
So, either he wasn’t planning to be that diligent with the whole “gluten free” thing, OR he thought that me mentioning things like cross contamination made me a freak not worthy of hosting an event featuring his food.
Whichever it was, I am irked.
After writing a reply (which I nicely copied the event organizer on, who I should mention is a lovely, well-educated woman who knows about celiac disease), I am still irked.
I have to admit….my email was less than kind, although always civil. I explained that it wasn’t just me being picky – that both my daughter and I have celiac disease. I explained about cross contamination, about 20 parts-per-million, about the very real increased risk of lymphoma, about my skeletal toddler, about her $38k hospital bill, about the feeding tube that was down her nose for months. I then explained that chefs had done this before, that it wasn’t new territory. THAT BEING DILIGENT ABOUT TAKING CARE OF MY HEALTH DOES NOT MAKE ME A CONTROL-FREAK B! AND THAT LOOKING OUT FOR MY DAUGHTER’S HEALTH DOES NOT MAKE ME A PICKY-PSYCHO-MOM. Of course, in my email response, I phrased it differently. It might not have been super-friendly…but at least it was gluten free.