On gluten cheat days…

There is a phenomenon I’ve seen floating around the interwebs called “cheat day.”

A person with celiac disease or gluten intolerance posts a picture of cake with an assortment of hashtags such as #glutenintolerance #cheatday #Imsobad.

In sum, cheat day is when folks with celiac disease or gluten intolerance eat gluten in spite of any consequences.

I am NOT a fan of cheat day.

I’ve never had a cheat day. Migraines, skins rashes, diarrhea, risk of osteoporosis, risk of cancer, and risk of other autoimmune disorders are enough to convince me to never consume gluten again in my life.

The impact of cheat days extend beyond the individual doing the cheating.

Since I’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, I’ve gotten a range of responses when I ask restaurants about their food options.

The majority of restaurants are honest, and if folks can accommodate they will.

However, I once had a manager tell me, “You won’t have any reaction – unless it’s psychosomatic.” That was INCREDIBLY insulting to both me and my diarrhea.

I once had a restaurant bring me a wheat bun, and when I tried to confirm whether it was safe the eat the waitress said; “You’ll probably be ok.”

And every celiac I know has been served croutons on a salad, only to get the salad returned with crumbs from the tiny death cubes. As if picking off the croutons now makes the salad safe?

People don’t understand the severity of celiac disease. And some people think that gluten intolerance is a joke.

And people that have cheat days are NOT helping.

When you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease you are now a representative of the community. We represent less than 5% of the population. So when people meet us, they look to understand what we are doing.

As my husband says, “People are learning about this disease via you – so don’t be a dick.”

When you have celiac disease and eat pizza, people think I can do that same thing. But I can’t without getting sick.

When you have gluten intolerance and eat cake, people think you are a hypocrite. Do you really want to be that person?

So, for me, for the community, and for your own health – please don’t have cheat days.

And if you do, please just keep them to yourself.

 

On how to have a crappy marriage…

A few weeks ago, someone I know was going on endlessly about her terrible husband. Let’s call her “Mrs. Crankybutt.”

“I do everything! He NEVER does this! He doesn’t do that!”

After listening to Mrs. Crankybutt complain for an hour (yes, an hour) about her terrible husband, I told her, “If you want a happier marriage, you can start by trying to be nicer to your spouse.”

That didn’t end well. Mrs. Crankybutt came back at me with, “What would you know? I read your blog, and your marriage is perfect!” I’ve thought for several weeks about that last sentence. How does my blog portray my husband and my marriage? Do people really think my marriage is perfect? Do people think my husband is perfect?

What gets me the most about Mrs.Crankybutt’s sentence is the sheer irony. Maybe instead of listening to all of your friend’s pooptastic advice about how to “fix” your spouse, you should listen to the person standing in front of you that you think has a “perfect” marriage.

Both my husband and I are divorced, so I’ve tried to refrain from writing a blog on “How to have a good marriage,” because it seems exceptionally hypocritical given this is my second marriage. What does not seem hypocritical is to write the opposite; laced with all of the sarcasm I can muster.

How to have a crappy marriage

Publicly degrade your spouse

My ex-husband once had a group of guy friends over. They were playing a board game, so my ex-husband asked me to get the guys some drinks. When I said, “Sure” he looked at the guys and said, “See, didn’t I train her well!”

I was totally humiliated. I am not a dog. He was not my father. If you want a miserable marriage, make fun of your spouse. If you want a terrible marriage, mock your spouse in public.

Megaphone optional

 Hold onto past grievances

My favorite thing to do to my ex-husband was hold onto any error he ever committed.

He forgot my grad school graduation day. I held onto that for at least two years.

He didn’t get me anything for my birthday. I held onto that for at least three years.

I asked him to wash the dishes, and he didn’t. I held onto that for a few months.

Eventually, I held onto so many things that the resentment was untenable. This person I had loved became this person I could no longer stand to be around. If you want to hate your spouse, hold onto everything. Let it burn the inside of you until you melt.

He held onto resentment…

Blame your spouse for everything

During her one hour rant, Mrs. Crankybutt said to me, “I’m grounded. I’ve got my stuff figured out. But my husband – he needs to work on his issues.”

Mrs. Crankybutt. Is. A. F$%@&#$. Idiot.

Everyone has issues. Every person can improve him/herself.

My husband has the habit of leaving his clothing all over our house. I was once going to tell him to pick his pants up, but then I looked down and saw a clustering of my shoes surrounding his pants. I was so focused on what he was doing wrong, that I didn’t see my own stuff cluttering up our space.

If you want to dream of slapping your spouse, live in the ever-lasting denial that you don’t have any issues. Focus on all of your spouse’s flaws, and make sure to rub them in. Never take that log out of your eye, but focus on the stick in your spouse’s eye.

Kermit knows. He knows.

Don’t make your marriage a priority

Without asking me, my ex-husband told me he was going to go to law school. He then moved six hours away, and devoted all of his time to school. If I wanted a date night, law school came first. If I wanted to just see him, law school came first. After three years of not making me a priority, my ex-husband was no longer a priority for me.

I once heard of a couple that got a divorce because the husband wanted to play softball six nights a week, and the wife wanted him at home.

Some marriages are broken by alcohol and others by drugs. But most marriages break because one or both spouses make something else a priority – and they make it a priority for a long time.

If you too would like your marriage to break, prioritize other things above your marriage.

Also available with “I HATE My Wife”

May you all live crappily ever after!

Love,

The girl with the perfect marriage


Addition as of 6/24

Disclaimer: “Mrs. Crankybutt” is a fictitious character compiled from multiple recent events, and does not depict any one person. 

On what to do when your new house floods…

In the spirit of personal growth, I wanted to write a different style blog. A post to highlight my genetic sarcasm.

About two months ago we moved into our new house. And by new, I mean – this house was just birthed from the abyss of construction a few months before we moved in. New walls, new carpet, new flooring. New, new, new…

Two weeks after we moved in – and the day after our house warming party (see irony, check), our house flooded.

WHAT HAPPENED

Our washing machine was on the top floor. I loaded it up, and went for a one hour walk (if you just said “You should’ve never left the house while you were doing laundry,” you can stop reading. When was the last time a “You should” ever helped anyone?). When I walked into the house, I heard a waterfall-like sound. A waterfall-like sound is only beautiful when you hear it while you’re outside. I turned around the corner of the house entry-way, and there was water coming through a light in the ceiling. The washing machine hose got disconnected from the wall due to improper installation. The water flooded into two upstairs rooms, throughout our kitchen and living room, and through to the basement. That night, service master came, and in 5 hours they ripped apart and took out everything that was ‘new, new, new’ in our ‘new, new, new’ house. So for the last six weeks, our house has been a construction site. We’ve been waiting for fans to dry everything out, ceilings to be redone, and floors to come in.

Thankfully, insurance is covering the $20,000 (yeah, $20,000) cost to repair the damage.

Without futher ado….

HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR NEW, NEW, NEW, HOUSE FLOODING

1. Stop the source

You walk in. You hear water when you should be hearing silence. Don’t freak out (see step #2 and #3). Find the source of the water, if you can stop it. Seriously, stop that $hit.

If there is water coming through a light fixture, grab the nearest trash can. Take the bag of trash out of said trash can, and put it under the water source.

Find all of your precious towels and semi-loved blankets, and start absorbing whatever water you can.

2. Call your spouse/loved one/parent and freak out

Something like….

“Honey……….. noooooooooooo…………… our house. Come home….. quick. Our perfect house is (sob, sob, sob) RUUNIIIINNNNEEDDDDD FFOOOORREEEVVVVER.”

Hang up phone. Wait for spouse to come.

3. Freak the f$&@ out

Get on your knees, preferably not under that water, and throw your hands in the sky ala Platoon style.

Image result for platoon
“This is why we don’t have nice thingsss…..”

Loudly sob.

Scream things like, “This is why we don’t have nice things….. God doesn’t want me to have nice things….”

Move from your knees onto your back to both survey the ceiling water damage, as well as ensure you don’t keel over from your massive sobs.

Whilst on your back, scream things into the abyss such as, “Bahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…………. Nooooooooo………….”

4. Hug your spouse/loved one/parent when they come in

Hug your spouse. Take a few deep breathes (you probably need to catch your breath after that glorious freak out, I mean – wasn’t that amazing).

Find your homeowners insurance policy.

Call your agent. If he/she doesn’t respond, email your agent.

When your agent doesn’t respond, call the insurance company directly. Tell them your house is flooded. Provide your policy details.

5. Call service master

Holy crap. No company name has ever had a better name. They are truly masters of service.

Call service master. They take care of flood damage (and fire, and ‘home accidents’).

Wait quietly, powerless, for service master to come.

6. Drink a beer.

Or two. You need it.

7. Watch service master fix your life

Service master comes in. Like a knight in shining armor, they take care of the water situation. They rip out all of your new, new, new, stuff that needs to come out so black mold doesn’t take over your new, new, new house. They turn on fans to dry everything out.

Watch as they turn the thermostat up to 90. In May.

Watch as the cover rooms in plastic to quarantine your house.

Service master, I love you. Seriously. If I weren’t married….

8. Wait for the insurance adjuster

He’ll be here in 5 days? Seriously? How many homes does he have to adjust?

We don’t need new carpet? I bet if this were his mother’s house she’d get new carpet.

Whatever ‘Chad,’ if that is your real name.

9. Call the insurance company’s contractor. Get an estimate.

You can be here in 5 days. Fine, whatever.

Your estimate is $5,000 over the adjuster because the adjuster missed the flooring, the ceiling, and a slew of other stuff. Yeah, not surprised. Never trust a man named Chad.

But insurance covers the difference because we used their recommended contractor? Well, that’s sweet.

10. Wait for your contractor

They’re on their third try of the ceiling, and they can’t match the texture?

They redo the ENTIRE ceiling, and it isn’t right.

Whatever.

11. Wait longer for your contractor

He said he’d be done June 10th, and now he says it’ll be closer to July.

Because they took too long on the ceiling.

Because they can’t find the right flooring.

Whatever.

Whoever prayed for me to be patient… I will find you.

12. Wait longer for your contractor

The flooring finally came, but its wrong because the guy that originally put it in can’t read a number on a box.

What. The. F$%#. Ever.

Just burn the house down and let’s rent. (not really, this is sarcasm)

13. Write a blog. Vent.

Check.

14. Pray

15. Pray some more

16. Pray even more

17. Read Lamentations for perspective

18. Read Job for perspective. Job had it super bad

19. Read terrible news stories for perspective

20. Chill. Chill. Chill.

21. Be Chill. Chill Chill.

22. #WhitePeopleProblems

23. #SomePeopleDon’tHaveFood

24. Everything will be ok. Whooosaaaaa……

25. Everything will be ok…… Thank God for homeowners, service master, and good husbands…
.
26. Whoossaaaaa…..

On the other side of grief…

I wrote this several months ago and was waiting to push it out until I was ready. It turns out, I was ready today.

Why do we feel grief?

No, I don’t mean the obvious answer of “Well, because there is a loss.”

I mean, why do we even feel loss in the first place? If change is all part of life, and change involves giving, receiving and loss – then why do we feel grief over a loss?

Being created in the garden, I’ve heard it said that we feel grief because we were never meant to know loss. We were created to live in a world that was meant to be perfect. If you’ve been around this world, you know we are far from that intent.

As a result, we have change. As a result, we have loss. As a result, we have grief.

But what is on the other side of that grief?

Last week, I woke up and could not stop crying. I told my husband I wasn’t going to work. For two days last week, I did not even work out. Working out is like – my thing. I hadn’t gone that long not working out for over six years. My husband was so concerned that he called his mother and my mother.

I was in depression, which is a stage of grief.

In the last few months, I have lost the ability to ever eat anything with gluten. During this transition I have:

  •  Given up 50% of the food I use to eat
  • Gotten rid of all my make-up (a lot of make is made with gluten)
  • Given away: our pots and pans, our waffle maker, our griddle, our cooking utensils, and over $100 worth of food
  • Lost the ability to safely take communion at church (although my husband makes up for it by doing communion with me later – he’s so good)
  • Stopped going out to eat – to nearly ever restaurant. Gluten free is NOT the same as celiac friendly
  • Learned how to tolerate the eye-rolls, jokes, and comments from people that don’t understand that this lifestyle is hardly a choice
  • Lost 10 pounds from being too terrified to eat, or from getting sick of accidentally eating gluten (and if you’ve seen me, I don’t need to lose weight)

Yes, I am grateful to be healthy.

Yes, at least I don’t have to take medicine (but really, how crappy is it to compare my illness to a worse one. What does that do to the person with the ‘worse’ illness?).

Regardless of any positives, I have lost my way of life. Ignoring that loss will not reduce the pain.

The way things were will never be the same again. I cannot go back. I can only move forward.

Grief does not last forever. In the words of my husband, “I love you babe, but you gotta get the hell over it.” This depression came. I let it sit for a while. Then I picked myself up off the floor, and moved on. Because that is what you have to choose to do.

Fortunately, something beautiful lives on the other side of grief.

Last week, Del and I went to Kroger and were able to buy new food for me. Instead of spending money going out to eat, we’re going to spend it on trying new food.

I have new make-up, which is a lot more expensive. But I no longer get physically ill from my cheap-o lip gloss. And holy cats people, expensive make-up is really nice.

I am aware of my body more than I ever thought possible. I use to ignore my pain, thinking it was normal. Now, when I am in pain, I stop and take care of myself. My body is happier with me.

On the other side of grief lies acceptance. And as we go through each stage of grief, we come out closer to the garden. For on the other side of acceptance lies one of the most beautiful thing of all… redemption.

Redemption for our pain. Redemption for our loss. Redemption for our grief. It’s going to take a lot of to get there, but it’s worth it.