For me, having a food allergy would be like Derek Jeter being allergic to baseball. As an equal opportunity eater, I feel avoiding certain fare is discriminative and hurtful.
However, after numerous indulgent lobster dinners for my birthday last year, I attributed feeling under the weather to a reaction to shellfish. I thought this might be God’s way of telling me to remain Kosher. Just to be safe, I decided to only eat things without a shell (with the exception of MnMs, of course). Finally, I made an appointment with an allergist to find out if there would be more tarter sauce in my future.
When I got to the office, they handed me a paper describing what they would be testing me for. It listed items like ‘scallops,’ ‘crab’ and ‘oyster’. I told the nurse it all looked delicious and I’d like to order one of each. She told me this wasn’t a menu.
The results showed it was safe for me to eat shellfish (phew!), but they said if I felt uncomfortable trying it on my own, I could reintroduce the foods in their office. I asked if I could bring a friend and if they were treating. I laughed to myself at the idea of showing up there on a date with my husband, lobster bibs in one hand, insurance card in the other.
Now I have a year’s worth of meals to make up for, but knowing that I’m not allergic makes me just about as happy as a clam.