On my way home from weaving in Santa Fe tonight, I picked up a new bookshelf I had ordered at the furniture store (I know, I know--those of you who know me are thinking, well that is one step down the slippery slope to complete book take-over and we're going to find her buried under a pile of hiking books one of these days... but really it is a small bookshelf, and I needed more space for all the books about treating kids I've had to buy lately to do my job--good excuse, right? They're heavy--maybe I should put them on the bottom shelf just in case.)... and on my way home I stopped for McDinner at McDonalds. I was sipping on my carcinogen-laced Coke and eating my hamburger straight out of Fast Food Nation and reading, of all things, an article in Yoga Journal called "Diet for a green planet." (Those of you who have read books like Fast Food Nation will recognize the irony in that.)
My excuse for stopping for McDinner is that I have celiac disease. At McDonalds, you can get a hamburger served in a plastic salad container without a bun. I usually have to tell the clerk three times, "No bun" (You said no bun? Huh? "Yes, no bread please" Are you sure? "Yes, I'll go into anaphylactic shock and die in your restaurant if you as much as let a crumb touch my burger" This is definitely not true, but putting the fear of god into someone in the food business is my last best way to make sure I don't get sick.) I was diagnosed in 2005 and found that many things in my world changed after that. You don't realize how much of our social structure revolves around food until you can't eat just any old thing anymore.
For instance, potlucks are mine fields (Sally SAYS there isn't any wheat in her salad, but then she remembers later that she used soba noodles, not rice noodles and she is so so sorry), restaurants are a guessing game (can I trust this waiter who refuses to go ask the chef if the ginger sauce has flour thickener, modified food starch, or soy sauce in it?), and your elderly aunt just can't understand why you won't eat her cookies no matter how many times you shout in her good ear that you can't eat wheat (Peat? You can't eat peat? Who would do that?). If you have celiac disease, you know what I'm talking about--the body's revenge for screwing up can be fierce and unrelenting--it forces you to do things like note which public places have bathrooms you can run into without anyone giving you the evil eye for not being a customer. Just the other day I found myself running across a parking lot and ducking into Wells Fargo because I knew they had a bathroom in the lobby. If anyone asked, I was going to tell them I was pregnant and it was an emergency. (That isn't true mom, sorry).
So I was sitting in McD's reading the latest issue of Yoga Journal and cutting my hamburger with silverware thinking about improving my fitness level and how eating at McDonalds probably condemns you to hell for eternity. Maybe I can start by getting the 100 pound bookshelf out of my car. I hope I don't give myself a hernia. I'm a pretty spry chick, but although it is only 2 feet wide, it is 7 feet tall and made of oak (I know I said it was small, but clearly it is bigger than a bread box)... Maybe I can store the books in the shelf in the car for awhile. Or perhaps I can just tell my neighbor I'm pregnant and get him to carry it inside for me.