Links: 07/18/14

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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July 18, 2014

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  1. Rain

    Love the linky goodness! Though, I lie to waiters about allergies too. Here is why: allergies. For example, tree nuts? Will kill me. Get an almond or a pecan in my dinner and it’s epi-pen and ER time. Gluten will not kill me, nor corn, but if I get them, there are hours of bloating and pain and, erhm, “distress” in my future. Dairy? Lactose intolerant (this is not an allergy, per se) see above under “distress.” My doctor (a real live MD) says no soy. The only real legit allergy up there is the nuts. But I just tell waiters, “I have allergies. This is the list.” So, lie. Yes. Horrible me. Here’s the thing. It isn’t their business that one will kill me but the other will just make me wish my guts would fall out. It isn’t their business and they don’t care (in my experience). What is true (in my experience) is that the eye rolling and not getting taken seriously begins if I use words like “sensitive” and “intolerant” while ordering food. Those things get blown off. And I get sick. So now, after years of dealing with bitchy, insensitive waiters who want me to somehow legitimize my food choices to them, I lie and say allergy when it is somewhat else. And I don’t get sick. The waiter will get a nice tip, the restaurant gets a nice plug on yelp as allergy friendly, and we are all happy. I am not alone in this. Most of the legitimately intolerant (but not gonna die) folks I know say “allergy” for the same reason. It isn’t the waiters business to know the actual diagnosis. Really not. Don’t wanna talk to my waiter about the relative merits of severe GI distress vs need for an epi pen when ordering my entree.

    Key for me here is me not getting sick.

    I also don’t order a slice of cake after putting my waiter through that, because it’s a “little gluten.” Because, sick. And, stupid.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      For me, intolerance definitely falls on the allergy spectrum because I know people with intolerances that have become allergies! But my dislike of mushrooms is not the same as an allergy and I’ll ask about mushroom content and I’ll see if they can hold the mushrooms if possible but I’m not going to lie and say I’m allergic when really I just think they taste like dirt and have a funny texture. Same thing for people who are eliminating entire food groups for weight loss–that’s not the same thing as an allergy, nope nope nope. I had a link either 2 or 3 weeks ago about restaurants that have really great processes to help customers with allergies have safe and delicious meal times and I really liked the idea in it of having separate menus. And I know some places, like Legal Seafood, have dedicated gluten-free zones in their kitchens, too.

  2. delagar

    That list of conservative fiction — whoa.

  3. Lampwick

    I had an idea while reading about Elise’s horrible experiences, though I’m not sure how good it is. Could people who support Elise, and who support safe conventions in general, wear Elise’s jewelry during the convention? Wearing the jewelry would say, I’m a friend of Elise (even if the only way you know her is by her jewelry), I will support her and other folks I see being harassed during this convention, and I will call people on their shit. And this way a serial harasser might come to know that it would probably not be a good idea to talk to people wearing this jewelry. (And, of course, her jewelry is terrific.)

    • Natalie Luhrs

      I would hate to see Elise’s wonderful and inspiring art be reduced down to that. I love her work so very much (am wearing a necklace right now) and both it and her are so much bigger and more important than Jim Frenkel.

  4. Polenth

    You also get the thing where people would start demanding to know why others aren’t wearing the jewellery, because don’t they support her, etc. It’s bad enough as behaviour when it’s a badge or a ribbon, but you don’t want to be doing that to nice things as it’d spoil the associations of that thing.

    (Though on the ribbon topic, WFC had a ban on ribbons… which when they announced it, I thought meant ribbon as in the fabric. But they meant issue ribbons. Maybe they thought attendees would punch each other for wearing the wrong ribbons. “How dare you wear a breast cancer research ribbon! You’re RUINING SCIENCE FICTION!”)

  5. Lampwick

    Yeah, that does make sense. I’d just like to do _something_, y’know.


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