Why He’ll Never Suggest Lettuce for Lunch Again

We’d been driving for a day and a half and were only halfway home. The high winds across the Kansas plains and the oversized trucks creeping into our lane forced my husband to keep a hands-of-steel grip on the wheel while I kept eyeing the sky for a tornado.

An Allergic Foodie and her husband don't always agree on where to eat

We were a little on edge.

And we were hungry.

When we finally decided to stop for lunch, we began quarreling. For us, quarreling involves a lot of silence.

Husband-Who-Can-Eat-Everything wanted to stop at Taco John’s. With my soy, dairy, gluten, and corn allergies, I didn’t even want to breathe the air in Taco John’s.

Besides, Husband-Who-Can-Eat-Everything knew I wasn’t looking forward to the three-day-old tuna and garbanzo beans I’d packed for myself. He knew this because I kept opening all the apps on my iPhone–Allergy Eats, Find Me Gluten Free, YoDish–and reading the reviews.

Still, he said, “Taco John’s has salad. Did you bring salad dressing?”

“Yay, more salad,” I said.

“The lettuce looked fresh last time.”

“How would you like a bowl of lettuce for lunch?”

Silence.

I pulled up Taco John’s list of allergens on my iPhone. Just about everything has milk, wheat and/or soy.

Except maybe the lettuce.

“I just thought you ‘d want to order something while I ate,” he said.

“Lettuce?”

More silence.

Food Allergies and relationships are a difficult journey

A few exits later, my husband of 20+ years tried to explain how he thought he was being thoughtful. Almost six weeks ago, on the drive out, he’d gotten Taco John’s to-go and taken it to Subway; a food-allergy app had given the Subway salad bar a good review.

While standing in the salad line, I watched the worker make pizza with gloves, then dip the same gloved hands into the salad ingredients. Even if he changed gloves, the tomatoes and lettuce and cucumbers were already contaminated with wheat.

I passed on the salad. My husband ate his tacos and I ate my fruit and almond-milk yogurt in one of the Subway booths.

It was a little weird. But if  an employee had said anything, they’d get an earful about how anyone with celiac or a gluten intolerance would get sick from Subway’s unsafe practices.

So this time around, my husband didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable by eating outside food in a Taco John’s booth. That’s how he was being considerate. To me, suggesting we go to a grocery store and picking up food we both could eat would be considerate. But that’s just me.

Here’s the thing: I GET IT!  My food allergies are not only a pain in the butt for me– but for him, too!

After a long difficult drive, he wanted tacos. He didn’t want to have to drive around looking for a grocery store or a safe place for me to eat–and allergy-friendly options are limited in Colby, Kansas.

Still, if he’d just said, “I’m sorry you can’t eat tacos or burritos or nachos, but do you mind if we stop at Taco John’s?” I would have been okay with it. Sometimes I just want confirmation from my husband and others that they get how food restrictions make life’s road bumpy.

Just don’t tell me to eat lettuce for lunch.

Why He’ll Never Suggest Lettuce for Lunch Again first appeared at Adventures of an Allergic Foodie.

9 thoughts on “Why He’ll Never Suggest Lettuce for Lunch Again

  1. Oh Amy I so understand your FRUSTRATION! Been there, done that. It isn’t fun having someone be able to eat while whatever is there whether it is in a restaurant or at a get together and there you are eating your own food. During Easter weekend I had salad with chicken, kidney beans, and sliced egg two days in a row while my husband ate whatever he wanted to eat. I am sharing this post on my blog for all those who suffer with food allergies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Preach it girl!! I know how you feel, I don’t have any food allergies (that I know of) but I can see where you are coming from. I don’t know any man to be considerate, anytime they try to be…it’s really in a selfish way…amirite? I love salad, but with your allergies you can’t really have any of the good stuff :(, so I don’t think I would like it so much by itself. And I had never thought about Subway and them touching one food with the same gloves that they touched something else, until you said it and I was like uh yeah they shouldn’t do that. I would have asked them to bring fresh ingredients out for me…but I’m a b***h like that :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dawn, I’m thrilled that someone without food allergies read this and learned something from it. And I love your idea about asking Subway to bring out fresh ingredients; I guess I was so turned off from the pizza-making (why is this sandwich shop making pizza now anyway?) that I didn’t even think to ask for new ingredients! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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  3. I found this reposted on Kathryn’s site and I am so glad I did!
    Thank you… I could so relate. I, too, am Gluten Free. And it was hard enough with that restriction, but it has now been strongly recommended that I eliminate corn and milk, too (everyhting is So GMO’d that it looks nothing like the ancient grain it was born to be! sigh,)
    I have found traveling to be the most difficult. My tummy grumbles, too, yet I can’t just stop at the local dine and drive like my all-he-can-eat husband can. And you always find yourself in the smallest of towns when this happens, right?!
    Eating out at all is a challenge. I get so sick of salds!! And everyone always acts so upbeat, “oohhh, yum, look at the tasty salds you can have, Tam” while they order scrumptious looking melts, wraps and the like!
    Luckily, I live in a city that is intruducing more and more GF options (I even ate at a pasta place the other night that actually knew how to prepare GF noodles!).
    But, mostly its easier and safer to make my own food.
    One thing I’ve discovered.. I need to treat myself on the road, too.. My husband gets road trip cravings of bad for you food and I want to feel like I’m on vacation too. So I stock the car with things I can eat but don’t neccesarily always buy (maybe they’re higher in calories, or pricier). I try to pack foods I don’t usually eat so I feel treated too. I’ve now found that my husband gets jealous of my choices and wants what I’m eating!
    Just a little pick me up thought 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your idea of packing some special treats when road tripping. And I’d love to make my husband jealous of my food for once. LOL. Yes, gluten free is hard enough but add corn and milk and you’re really out of luck. I eat Wendy’s baked potatoes without anything and Chick Fil A’s fruit cup and fries. Oh boy. I do have to say that we’ve discovered some pretty good food places using the allergy-friendly apps like Allergy Eats and Gluten Find Me when we are in bigger cities. Of course, if the place is entirely gluten-free, my husband will whine a little bit, but we’ve discovered some BBQ places that are allergy-friendly that even he likes.
      I’m so glad you wrote. By the amount of email I’m getting I think this one struck a chord with other food allergic folks out there. And my husband is hanging his head in shame. 🙂

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  4. KW says:

    Thank you for your blog. Three years ago I began my journey with food allergies and intolerances. Last week my list grew longer after more testing with my immunologist. I even have a reaction to water. It is comforting to know that there are others out there. I believe the more we speak up then more funding will be available for research and effective treatment methods.

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