I'll Guess I'll Have the Chicken and Rice
This makes the fourth time this has happened since my second date story several days back. The good news is that it's not an anaphylactic reaction, which would truly be terrifying. But it definitely seems that my body has stepped up its McCarthylike paranoia about food. On the date, the culprit was (presumably) pine nuts in the gnocchi. A few days later, it came as the result of a salad with vinaigrette. Vinaigrette apparently contains walnuts (why don't they have labels on stuff like that? Warning: contains ingredients!), and I missed two stories at the storytelling show I was attending while I ran across the street to buy some Benadryl. Then, while I was still recovering from that and with my lips returned to normal size, I went to a diner an hour or so later and ordered a chicken club (I was, after all, still hungry, since I hadn't even had half a salad), and damn if I didn't get the reaction again! Not from the chicken, but from the fries. This time the servers thought it might have been because the fries were made in the same frier as the shrimp. Sorry! They should have mentioned that!
Could be. All I know is, I'm jumping at everything now, like a psychic in a ghost town. I'm happy to report that I managed to eat at a restaurant with two friends of mine right before the Jonathan Richman concert. It was a Thai restaurant, and as I went over the list of things that were probably in the meals and that I didn't want to risk (peanuts, soy), I was able to negotiate simple chicken and rice--no sauce!--and it was just fine. It wasn't exciting, but apparently I'm not meant for exciting things.
The list of things that definitely want to kill me with an allergic reaction:
The list of things that, while not sending me to the nearest Benadryl, seem to cause me digestive collywobbles, from worst to most benign:
The good news is that most of this stuff isn't great for you in the first place, so I predict I'll be losing a bit of weight in the best way possible: by eating well. But I'm starting to see my future. I live like a bubble boy, eating everything in carefully prepared meals at home, since the discussions with waiters have been terribly time-consuming and embarrassing for my nearby friends. I foresee never venturing into a restaurant for anything more exotic than a Caesar salad. ("Hold the cheese. Put the dressing on the side. And do the croutons have garlic?") I'm currently eating spelt bread and millet-vegetable pasta (with organic tomato-and-basil sauce that hasn't hurt me yet, but just give my body time) and if they made a documentary out of my life they could call it An Imitation of Food. The only upside to all this is that this is saving me a little money in the long run, which I can safely spend on wine and whiskey ("hold the lemon wedge, please!").
But just wait: if my body decides it's allergic to that, too, I'll be screwed. The only high in my life will come from spinning around till I'm dizzy. Oh, and sex! Thank goodness! At least no one's ever been allergic to orgasms. Please tell me I'm right.
Labels: Dave Update