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I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 04:01 PM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-05-30 16:08:56
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-05-30 16:13:42
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-05-30 16:28:03 Taking out some personal medical stuff. Doesn't matter to post

I can't tolerate gluten and it is getting worse as I get older. Now, even small amounts of things like Soy Sauce make me sick.

Here is the problem. I get invited to homes a lot for dinner, and for the most part, the majority of my friends know that I am gluten free. That being said, many of them are not as educated on the topic, because they still use things like soy sauce or they dust their cake pans with a bit of flour before baking.

Here is the issue I am having. Each time I go over the someone's house, I usually get sick. I want to spend time with people and I don't want to become anti-social. I also know HOW much of a pain it is to truly cook gluten free because of hidden gluten and cross contamination. I usually suggest going out to restaurants, and that works for the most part.

Here is the big issue I am dealing with. For the past 2 years, I've lied to spare the feelings of the host. I always call them the next day to thank them, and they always ask how the food was. I would praise a thing that is naturally gluten free "the steak was amazing!" without bringing up the fact that I spent the night in the bathroom sick from the other stuff.

I dug myself in a hole, because now, all these hosts think they did the " right thing" and keep preparing their meals the same way. I can't exactly back track to tell them that their cooking and cross contamination has actually been making me sick for the past 2 years.

As the summer approaches, I get invited to homes for dinner almost every weekend. My bf and I love going over to spend time with people, but I can't just NOT eat the food and be rude. I've brought a dish to share with everyone, but if it is a dinner party, I can't do that. If I start to bring my own food, people might question why I was fine for the last couple years, and why I need to bring my own stuff now.

Can I say that my condition has gotten worse recently, so I need to bring my own food? I've been declining dinner invitations, because I don't want to be a pain in the ass, but I keep getting invited over and over and I can't just keep saying no.

Shame for me for lying in the first place, but now I am stuck. Advice on how to get out of this in the most graceful way with the least amount of hurt feelings?

27 Replies to I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties

re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 05:06 PM
DON'T EAT THE FOOD. It's not rude to refuse to eat food that makes you ill. If they don't get it, eat before you go or bring your own food. A white lie is totally okay in this situation. But for heaven's sake, stop making yourself sick! It doesn't benefit anyone--neither the hosts, nor you!
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 05:35 PM
I wouldn't count that as lying. But don't eat it to save their feelings. Maybe just tell them that your intolerance has gotten worse recently and you have to be extra careful.

Host a dinner party yourself, if you are up to it. Maybe share some gluten free recipes that you enjoy. Try to enlighten them, maybe?
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 05:39 PM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-05-30 17:41:17
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-05-30 17:43:31
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-05-30 17:47:15
^ I don't eat the obvious things that have gluten in it like pasta, bread etc.

I eat things that SHOULD be gluten free, but I didn't know they added flour as a thickener, used a spoon that was cross contaminated, or someone used soy sauce in the meat marinate. ( or bread crumbs accidentally get into the salad)
They tell me they made it gluten free, but they seem to be uneducated on the subject. It is like a waitress adding a dinner roll on the side of my plate, thinking she is doing me a favor.

The last time I went, someone told me they made me a cake with gluten free flour, but they apparently used butter. I am guessing that the butter has bread crumbs on it or something.

Even using the cutting board for vegetables and bread make me feel sick.

So I guess I am asking, can I go to a sit down dinner without actually eating their food? I've eaten their food this whole time, so how do I make an excuse for not eating it anymore?
I think it would be awkward to be the only person sitting at the table not eating. Even if people tell me something is gluten free, I just don't trust them anymore after getting sick so many times.

I try to turn down as much dinners as I can, but I also don't want to be antisocial and lose friends over this.

I also host dinner parties at my house about once a month. I am just starting to feel rude about saying no constantly all the other times, unless we go to a restaurant.

I don't want them to cater to my needs, but I am just not sure how rude it is not to eat a dinner that is prepared for me? Casual occasions like a BBQ is fine, but I am talking more about a tablecloth dinner party.

I basically can't eat ANYTHING , including gluten free items they made because i just don't trust them.

We have been doing a lot more movies, nails, hikes and other activities that don't involve food, but I don't want to be that " weird and antisocial friend".
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 05:48 PM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-05-30 17:50:03 Changed bf to husband.
Adding an extra note, I appreciate your comments Dani and Majere. It might sound like I am arguing, but you brought up some good points that I initially didn't think of adding.

Dani, isn't your husband also gluten free? How does he deal with situations of cross contamination at other peoples houses? Does he just not eat or does he just skip in the first place?
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties (karma: 3)
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 06:58 PM
Edited by glitterfairy (42646) on 2014-05-30 18:59:20
Edited by glitterfairy (42646) on 2014-05-30 18:59:43
This is probably how I'd do it, pleading the ignorance card:

"OMG guys I just got diagnosed with hardcore gluten intolerance!!! :( Had some tummy upsets over the last few years but wasn't sure what it was exactly until I recently got it checked out. Doc has put me on an absolutely-no-gluten-diet for the foreseeable future... (no soy sauce, no flour-dusted gluten-free bread).

This also means I won't be able to eat a lot of your yummy homecooked foods anymore :( FML! But I still love you guys, so if it doesn't bother you to sometimes see me eating something different (and probably more boring) that I've pre-prepared earlier, I would still love to have you guys over for dinner, and vice versa :)

Lots of love,

Me :) "
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By RifleBuddy
On Fri May 30, 2014 07:11 PM
I don't think that telling your friends that your gluten intolerance has gotten worse is wrong. It's one of those socially-appropriate reactions to a situation so no one feels embarrassed, and allows you to stay healthy.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By imadanseurPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 07:33 PM
I totally wouldn't be offended if you brought your own food. It is so easy to cross contaminate by accident and many people don't think something like soy sauce has gluten. They only think bread, pasta, flour etc.

I think you need to say the condition has gotten worse and you want to spend time with them, but also don't want to run the risk of being sick nor do you want to trouble them with all the rules and regulations of cooking for you. So accept the invitation under the conditions that you will eat your own food and enjoy everyone's company!
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri May 30, 2014 07:52 PM
We either bring our own food or eat before coming to the function--luckily my mom is a nurse and has made a super effort to make things that are okay for him and I am really grateful for that. (His parents are a totally different story...they actually tried to trick him into eating stuff they knew wasn't okay for him.) Otherwise we'll try to do things like stick to the fruit/veg or cheese tray--stuff that's naturally gluten free. It's nice that people are trying to make an effort, but I wish people would just buy junk from the store since it's so well marked instead of trying to make it themselves if they're not going to read up on it properly. :-/
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By SLBdancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jun 02, 2014 02:08 PM
I would either host a party yourself so you are in control of the majority of food there, or offer to bring a dish or two to share that you can also enjoy when you go to one of your friends' places. That way you know there will be something you can eat, but its a dish for everyone so no one should take offense to it. I am not gluten free but i have other specific dietary needs so this is often an easy solution that works. Or you can take the message approach and let them know it has gotten worse, and send them some educational information/suggestions for you can/cannot eat because maybe they don't realize or understand it so just say hey if you want to know a little more about my situation, here is some info, please feel free to ask me more about it.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By boleyngrrl
On Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:29 PM
I agree with a lot of the above--just tell them it's gotten worse. It's true! People just don't think that way a lot of times. They take the spoon they were using for your GF stuff, use it for something with gluten, and return it and either don't register or just don't think of it. I think a lot of people don't realize it's a lot more than just not eating bread.

You have good friends who try--that's a big part. It shows that they at least acknowledge/care about you and your situation, and are willing to try and to compromise. I would be honest, and tell them that you don't want to inconvenience them so you can either bring your own food or eat beforehand. I'll bet that once they understand, they'll either be open to this or try to cook you food themselves. You can even offer to send them some sample recipes if they'd like. Just in case, always keep a "safe" snack food in your car. That way, if they realize there's been a cross-contamination or they forget or something goes wrong, you'll have something to eat.

People usually are willing to try to help you, especially when they care about you and the party isn't too big. Sometimes, even the best intentions go awry (for instance, my Aunt made a fruit salad for a get together our families had a few weeks back and she peeled the apples so she thought I could eat them. I couldn't because I can't eat non-smoothied raw fruit, but the fact that she was willing to make that effort meant more to me than I can express.), so it's best to have a backup, but I don't think you're in trouble. It's hard to tell people that you got sick from their cooking, especially when it's not their fault in the slightest. Just stop downplaying it now and you'll be good.

Good luck and I hope you are feeling well!
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties (karma: 1)
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 05, 2014 03:43 AM
Do NOT tell them it's gotten worse. No hostess wants to hear the details of everyone's health issues. Tres gauche. Just say you're on a restricted diet, but don't worry, you'll bring your own dish. And then just make sure you bring enough to share. Easy as that - no specifics needed. Now, you can certainly answer their questions IF THEY ASK. But you shouldn't volunteer any unnecessary details.

And this might seem obvious, but it's worth repeating... Be sure to avoid the term "explosive diarrhea".
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jun 08, 2014 04:06 PM
Stop eating foods that have a likelihood of making you sick. Or invite people over to your house instead.

I think you're totally within your right to explain that your health issues have gotten more severe over time and that you have to be even more careful about what you eat. You can mention that even the smallest amount of soy sauce has been making you sick. Dietary issues are common, and I really don't think your friends will take offense to you talking about yours, so long as you're not using graphic details. If it makes you more comfortable, tell them before they invite you over, in a conversation unattached to an invitation, so it doesn't sound like their cooking is poisoning you.

A little unrelated, but I'll throw it in for good measure...

Have you been to see a gastroenterologist? Self diagnosing a gluten intolerance is all fine and dandy, but what if you actually have something more complex/serious? My ten year old brother recently died from a complication of his ulcerative colitis. Yeah, UC. Inflammatory Bowel Disease affects approximately 1.5 million Americans and is pretty common. It probably would be more common if more people went to the doctor and got formally diagnosed. However, not the point. Point is, he's dead from a complication of a completely non-critical stomach problem. Go to the doctor.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Sun Jun 08, 2014 05:06 PM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-06-08 17:16:39
Sara. I'm sorry to hear about your brother :(

I have been to a doctor about this. I don't want to go into too much detail about my medicial issues and GI issues on the internet, but I am being monitored by a general physician and he has recommended me to see specialists. Next month, I am going to have further testing done.

Panic, I'm glad you brought this up. I wasn't sure if people wanted to hear details, because I don't usually talk about my allergies and health issues in real life. My friends know about the gluten thing, but I don't really go into detail about it. Don't worry, I would never say I have explosive d. Do people even say that?! Haha

Thanks everyone, so far, no one has asked me to their house and we have just been eating out . It is way too hot to cook in the home right now! I'm glad you guys agree that it is ok for me to just bring my own stuff. I just feel like such a social outcast to turn down dinner invites, and I didn't want to rub people the wrong way and be rude.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:50 AM
If it's a good friend, then sure, you can talk about whatever you want. But if it's a co-worker or a casual acquaintance, it is impolite to talk about your health problems. So by all means, take Sarah's advice if you want to seem like you were raised on a farm by pigs. Otherwise, stick to talking about the food and not about the details of your gluten intolerance.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 09, 2014 05:28 AM
LOL that's a good one. Guess all the nurses of the world were raised on farms by pigs, because nobody thinks twice about mentioning a dietary issue with work acquaintances where I work.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By Kettricken
On Mon Jun 09, 2014 07:54 AM
Growing up, I had one friend who was vegetarian. Since my birthday is in July, I always had a pool party, and we grilled out. Knowing about my friend, we tried to have several things for her as far as side dishes and whatnot, but she actually suggested early on that she bring something of her own to throw on the grill. My dad is one of those super handy, practical, grease monkey dads and the first time she handed him a mushroom to grill, his face was priceless.

If these are friends you're hanging out with that often, I think they would appreciate knowing the severity of your intolerance. If my friends had something like this, I would hate to know I'd been suggesting things that clearly wouldn't work for them out of my own ignorance. Educate them a bit, and you'll all be happier. I also don't think it would be bad to ease the blow a bit by telling them your intolerance has gotten worse.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 09, 2014 09:41 PM
LOL that's a good one. Guess all the nurses of the world were raised on farms by pigs, because nobody thinks twice about mentioning a dietary issue with work acquaintances where I work.
That was my point. You're not exactly the first person I'd run to for etiquette advice.

Look under "topics to avoid" and you'll find "Nitty gritty details about a health problem".
etiquette.about.com . . .

soooo-EEEEEEE!!!
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:06 PM
Ignore Panic, he is incorrect. And didn't even read his own source since it specifically mentions that nitty gritty details may be mentioned if you work in an environment with people used to body fluids.

Nitty gritty details does not mean "My allergy to ____ has gotten worse." Nitty gritty means "Soy sauce gives me explosive diarrhea for days." or going on and on and on about weird details of going to doctor's appointments and tests and stuff.

www.quickanddirtytips.com . . .
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 10, 2014 07:38 AM
Back atcha, honey buns.

Saying "I have Celiac, gluten makes me very sick" is essentially no different than saying "I am kosher and my religious observance prevents me from eating pork" as far as etiquette goes. As I already mentioned, obviously spare the graphic details, but one shouldn't be ashamed to tell people that they have a medical condition involving food. It's really not that big of a damn deal. But perhaps your immature group of acquaintances believes it is. Sad, really.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 10, 2014 09:39 AM
Furthermore, go ahead and google "most boring conversation topics" and you'll notice health is usually near the top of the list. But obviously, some people don't care whether they seem like impolite boors. And that's ok. You can lead a pig to slop, but you can't make it eat.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:01 PM
Informing the cook about food allergies/intolerance and what she can and can't have, and having a full out conversation about health at the dinner table isn't exactly the same.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 10, 2014 08:12 PM
Duh. That was my point. But people are advising her to explain that her intolerance has gotten worse, to provide specific symptoms, to give details about her dietary habits... These are all things you should NEVER say unless you know the hostess very well AND you have some reason to believe she would be interested. There is no need to go into details. There is no need to make up some elaborate story.
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By fairy_dustmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 10, 2014 08:17 PM
Personally, I think it's perfectly fine to say you have celiac or gluten intolerance, or even just that you have a medical condition that doesn't allow you to eat wheat. No need to give details, pretty much everyone nowadays has an idea of what celiac is, and saying something along the lines of "I can't eat wheat/gluten because of medical issues" is not near the same as "I get explosive diarrhea if I eat wheat/gluten". If I were hosting a dinner party and a guest told me that they can't eat whatever food because of medical issues, I would appreciate that the person told me so that I can make it a point to avoid using ingredients that could make them sick. After all, a legitimate medical condition is not a matter of "this food looks yucky, I won't eat it".
re: I got myself in a pickle by lying. Dinner parties
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Wed Jun 11, 2014 05:42 AM
panic wrote:

Duh. That was my point. But people are advising her to explain that her intolerance has gotten worse, to provide specific symptoms, to give details about her dietary habits... These are all things you should NEVER say unless you know the hostess very well AND you have some reason to believe she would be interested. There is no need to go into details. There is no need to make up some elaborate story.

The OP's referring to dinner parties her friends are hosting, right? :)
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