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A Silly (Gluten Free) Goose! June 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor, People.
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Last Saturday, at the Farmer’s Market, we sampled a delicious gluten-free pizza, which came with an un-ordered side of dietary advice.

As we took our first bite, the vendor suggested that we stop eating gluten.

Effective immediately.

While we chewed, she listed the symptoms of gluten intolerance.

We listened, nodded, swallowed, then said, “we don’t have a problem with gluten.”

Unhearing, she proceeded to insist that we abandon wheat, barley, rye, and other gluten sources, then and there, on her say so.

“We eat pasta and bread every day and don’t suffer from any of the ill effects you’ve described.”

She ignored us.

And, despite having a sign on her booth that said, “only  doctors can diagnose dietary ailments,” she droned and intoned that we must be ignoring symptoms caused by ingesting wheat because she’d met several people who’d switched to a gluten-free diet and they felt better so we owed it to ourselves to abandon gluten, at least for a while, to see if we didn’t feel better too.

“But we feel fine . . . ”

She didn’t believe us and continued to insist that we should abandon a diet that is working for us to jump on the gluten-free band-wagon with her.

We thanked her for her misplaced concern, and continued on our way, stopping at the next booth to sample raspberry strudel made with (horrors!) wheat flour.

The melt-in-your-mouth strudel did not cause us to suffer from bloating, gas, indigestion, or any other recognizable symptom of gluten intolerance.

And it was G-O-O-D!

Our GFF (Gluten Free Friend) is an enthusiast.

Enthusiasts are willing to substitute their judgment for yours on any number of subjects:  the food you eat, the clothing you wear, the writing styles you pursue, how you relate to the world at the level of spirit, when and where you exercise, etc.

As an added bonus, they’ll often diagnose previously undetected medical conditions . . . free of charge . . . saving you from  making an office visit to someone actually trained in the medical arts.

As you no doubt noticed, our GFF (like many enthusiasts) gave us her diagnosis and launched into her spiel without taking the time to ask a single question about us ~ all the while ignoring our protestations that we felt fine.

And our GFF wasn’t the only enthusiast at the market on Saturday.

A few minutes after leaving her booth, the folks at the YMCA booth asked us to complete a short 4-question survey.

“Sure, but we’re not interested in joining the Y.”

The people in the booth ignored the caveat and started a sing-song routine about why . . . it’s fun to play at the Y~M~C~A (sounding like drunk line dancers at weddings warming up to do The Locomotion).

Shaking our heads side to side, “Thanks, but we would rather work out on our own, outside, close to home.”

{{La-La-La . . . we’re not listening}}

“We don’t want to join the Y . . . we enjoy walking on the beach, biking around the neighboring Preserve, and swimming in our neighborhood pool.”

They continued to rattle off the benefits of exercising . . . at the Y~M~C~A. 

“We don’t live in Sarasota.  We live 20 miles away.  It’s too far to drive just to exercise.  It would be a waste of time and gas.”

Undeterred by the mounting evidence that we really were NOT interested, they proceeded to pepper each sentence with . . . it’s fun to play at the Y~M~C~A.


It’s not the sharing of information that annoys me ~ I’m always interested to learn about new people, places, and things, including diet and exercise options, as long as it’s in the context of an actual conversation.

With enthusiasts, however, I often feel like a goose being force-fed unwanted and unnecessary food . . . in order to produce foie gras for someone else’s benefit.


Enthusiasts, like our GFF and the Y~M~C~A cheerleaders, start spouting canned rhetoric and dogma based on the unsupported and unsubstantiated belief that they somehow know their audience (me!) better than I know myself . . . when they haven’t taken the time to know me at all.

Aah . . . that’s better!