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Asking someone how much they pay for a cup of coffee at their local Starbucks probably seems like an innocent question just like offering someone a slice of pizza seems like a nice gesture. The problem is you aren't like anyone else and other people often don't understand your perspective or where you are coming from. Where I live food represents more than just something to stave off hunger. In Wisconsin, food is used in social settings to bring people together. When I have parties no matter how many chairs there are in the dining room, living room or family room, people congregate in the kitchen around whatever egg, gluten, dairy, soy free food I've set out.

When parties are not at my house I want to be a part of the fun and partake of the food and drinks being offered but if that means compromising my health and safety I have to stay away. People around me handle this in one of several ways. Some people, the cool ones, realize that I have a medical condition and tell me that if there is something else they could do for me I should let them know. Other people go way overboard as if the pepperoni pizza in front of them is going to come to life and attack me. Even if it did I would probably be okay since I'd have to actually eat the pizza for it to do any damage.

Most of the time people are kind and understanding however there are those few who make life difficult. They ask questions like: "Are you allergic to everything?" Or: "Why'd you even come here if you can't eat anything?" Most of the time the best way to handle these questions is to ignore them if possible. I don't know how anyone else feels but I did not grow up having a very restricted diet. I was allergic to nuts and shellfish however my family rarely ate out and when we did no one ordered lobster or crab since my family couldn't afford those items.

I grew up eating pretty much whatever I wanted and as soon as I was old enough to make my own money I started buying food that I liked. My mother didn't really teach me to cook but she let me experiment in the kitchen. When I was in third grade I bought a Peanuts cookbook for children and started making recipes out of that. After messing my mother's kitchen up numerous times and wasting ingredients I eventually learned a few things about time, temperature and chemisty. My mother put me in charge of cooking breakfast for my siblings so I've been making things like pancakes and eggs for longer than some of you have been alive.

A blogger I follow states that you have to retain your sense of humor if you are one of the unfortunate people who has to deal with food allergies. No one wants to have them however rebelling against your own body is futile and could possibly be fatal. A woman I know has a friend with a shellfish allergy who loves crab legs. She uses her Epi-Pen, eats and apparently is fine. I carry a twin pack of epinepherine because sometimes one isn't enough and there's always the risk of a problem with injecting the medication since anaphylactic shock can come on seconds after exposure or ingestion.

This past April someone I work with called 911 after I had an allergic reaction. I still have no idea what triggered it but I had to have my former supervisor carry me out to the cafeteria since I couldn't walk. I had blood running down my leg, my hands were shaking so badly I couldn't manage to pull up my pants and it was really embarrassing to have people tell me that I was laying on the floor shivering because people were afraid to touch me. Now I lived to tell about that experience but it scared me and everyone I was with. Management was nice about it, I thought I had to come into work the next day but as I learned I should have stayed at home. After lying on the couch for over an hour I had to have the woman who runs our compression hosiery department walk me to the bathroom since my blood pressure was so low people thought I was going to pass out.

I've been sick at parties, at nodermeetings, on my trip back from California I threw up numerous times and narrowly avoided a trip to the nearest urgent care center in Las Vegas. When I was younger I used to be angry and bitter about many things. Through the years I've grown out of some of that however I get tired of holding my tongue when people are rude or inconsiderate and I'm expected to keep the peace when people are hassling me. My aunt has a saying about things being true and necessary. You should say things to people only if they are true and if whatever you plan on saying is needed which is where the title of this comes into play. Assholes are a part of life. Most of the time ignoring or avoiding them is your best bet but there are times when it feels really good to call someone out and put them on the spot by calmly stating: "No thank you, I can't have that."

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