I'm Gluten-Free Because It Annoys You
Why am I gluten-free? Because I enjoy annoying you.
I also enjoy inconveniencing those closest to me. I like making special requests when invited to a meal. I find this lets people know I am difficult, a fact about which they should surely be informed. I don’t want to stop at making life difficult for others though — it is important to also create unnecessary difficulty in my own life.
To this end, gluten-free living does not disappoint. As part of this lifestyle, I am able to deprive myself of my most favorite foods. Soft bread thickly coated with butter, pasta with creamy sauce, and (drool) fresh-baked cinnamon rolls dripping with icing. Without living gluten-free, how would I justify this painful, long-term self-deprivation?
As an additional bonus, gluten-free food tends to cost 4 times more than its gluten-filled counterparts. This is especially attractive to me. As a single mom who works part-time, I often have trouble maxing out my food budget. 4-dollar packs of spaghetti and 7-dollar loaves of bread have considerably lessened my stress in this area.
Speaking of children, my son was the main reason (after annoying you, of course) for making this huge change. It was important to me to increase the difficulty of parenting. By the time he was three, I had a firm handle on how to deal with a strong-willed, smart-mouthed child. I had made the discovery all parents make at some point — parenting is easy. I needed a new challenge.
Enter gluten-free eating.
Children require snacks everywhere they go. It’s a strange phenomenon, but one I am quite grateful for as it allows me to inconvenience even more adults by requiring them to feed my child differently from all other children. This serves a dual purpose, as my son is afforded the opportunity to feel singled-out everywhere he goes during the obligatory snack time.
There is an additional bonus as well. I am notoriously inadequate in the field of all things detailed. So by requiring myself to prepare for every venture outside the home, my inevitable failures to bring a snack to church/cake to parties/whatever food for whatever thing will result in countless instances of me having a justifiably disappointed child. I am able to feel inadequate in my parenting, which I hope will (eventually) lead to growth in the area of detail orientation. #WorthIt.
If I am honest, however, the root reason for my choice to go gluten-free is this: I am a sucker for a fad. I leapt blindly onto the Seattle Seahawks bandwagon as a child and have remained there out of sheer stubbornness — such is my obsession with all things faddish. So when this fad made its appearance, a fad which would cause so much inconvenience, double or even triple my food budget, and create additional difficulties in parenting, I couldn’t help but be intrigued.
And when I discovered how this one decision, so simple to implement and easy to maintain, could annoy such a great number of acquaintances, well, it was settled.
I am gluten-free.
This article was originally published on