For us, gluten is Public Enemy No. 1. It holds the power to ruin first dates, tarnish your reputation at work, and bring a good day to a screeching halt. An inconvenient stomachache at your desk is one thing, running out in the middle of a meeting to vomit into a trash can is quite another. Especially if that trash can just so happens to belong to the CEO. Gather around the campfire, kids – it’s time to tell gluten-free horror stories.
We’ll kick off the storytelling with a few tales of gluten gone wrong from people just like you, but we also want to hear your tales from the crypt. We’re offering an awesome GFB prize package to the person (victim?) who shares the ultimate GF horror story. Hilarious, heinous, or unbelievable – now’s the time to make your story known. Share your story in the comments section at the bottom of this post. The winner will receive a case of 12 GFBs bars and 3 bags of our delicious Bites. Winner will be decided on 3/31/16.
#1: The conference from hell
Submitted by Lauren A.
As a finalist for a competitive fellowship program, I attended a 2-day interview event at a local upscale hotel. I informed the hotel of my dietary restrictions in advance, and they even provided special place settings at each meal for those with allergies and restrictions. After half a day of marathon interviews, we gathered in the hotel’s banquet room for a catered lunch and guest speakers. With my “gluten-free” place setting in plain sight and a verbal confirmation from the waiter, he served me a hearty-looking pita sandwich and a side of soup. Impressed that the hotel had such legit GF options, I ate half the pita while networking and chatting with other guests. I put the other half in my bag for later and headed out for another 3 hours of interviews.
A few hours later, right in the middle of my very last interview, it hit me. I was queasy, dizzy, and my stomach felt like a war zone. I knew it wouldn’t be long. I stumbled through the end of the interview and barely made it to the nearest bathroom before throwing up. I spent the rest of the evening in my hotel room getting sick, missing the evening’s dinner and the keynote speaker. It turns out the server was new to the job and didn’t even know what gluten-free meant. Needless to say, I didn’t get the fellowship. The only silver lining is that I didn’t eat the entire thing and get sick right in the middle of an interview.
#2: The worst first day of school ever
Submitted by Gluten-Free Mom
This story comes to us from Gluten Free Mom and chronicles her daughter’s difficulty eating gluten-free at the University of Washington. She reports that these issues have now been largely resolved, but her daughter Alex’s first day of college was pretty awful – and we bet there are other GF college freshmen with similar experiences.
Prior to starting her freshman year, Alex’s family had several meetings with UW staff, trying to create a plan for accessing safe, GF meals from the school cafeterias. On her very first day, Alex braved the dorm cafeteria for dinner. She even texted the chef in advance to let him know that she would be coming in.
Despite that, she ate what was allegedly gluten-free pasta with marinara sauce and got so sick that her friends had to walk her back to her dorm room. It turns out that the kitchen had prepared the sauce in the same kettle used to boil big batches of non-GF pasta. Alex spent her very first week of college recovering from being glutened, and their family spent much of her freshmen year fighting for safe GF accommodations. That’s not exactly what you picture when you imagine your first week of college. Read more about their experiences on Gluten Free Mom’s blog.
#3: Bridezilla strikes again
Submitted by Jillian R.
I stood up in a close friend’s wedding last year. I’ve known her since kindergarten, and she remained one of my very closest friends at the time of my diagnosis at age 17. Although she’s never quite seemed to get it, she was by my side as I adjusted to the new diet and lifestyle, and for years she’s witnessed me struggle through restaurant menus, asking question after question about their gluten-free options. After nearly a year of expensive, time-consuming wedding activities, from dress fittings to the bridal shower to the bachelorette party, her wedding day finally arrived. The day began at 9 AM for the wedding party, and when the reception rolled around, we were all starving.
Not a single thing on her wedding menu was gluten-free – not even the potatoes. Instead, I had to leave the reception during dinner to go buy myself Chipotle. While I was gone, they ended up playing the Bridal Party video and doing the first toast – I missed the entire thing. So, I did what any jaded bridesmaid would: I took advantage of the open bar until I had bought back my dinner, dress, and wedding present.
What’s your gluten-free horror story?
Share your wildest, funniest, and most unbelievable GF experiences with us in the comments below for a chance to win an awesome GFB prize package! The winner will receive a case of 12 GFBs bars and 3 bags of our delicious Bites. Winner will be decided on 3/31/16.