Hey my fellow allergy unicorns and regular muggles alike. As a person with severe food allergies I often get asked a lot of questions when I meet someone new. These questions tend to be the same ones over and over again and honestly it gets a bit tiring. Some are also, I’m sorry to say, completely stupid. So if you’re a fellow allergy unicorn I hope you find yourself and some hilarity below. If you’re a person without allergies who has questions, a BFF or significant other with allergies, or is just plain curious please read below before questioning your allergy unicorn.
So…, what can you eat?
Well Debbie, we can literally eat anything that is edible that does not contain our allergen. For example in my case I am allergic to dairy and eggs, thus I can eat anything that does not contain dairy or eggs. Remember apples, Oreos, peanut butter, vodka, honestly the list is endless Debbie.
You never eat out, like ever?
The answer to this will very unicorn to unicorn. I personally have certain restaurants I will eat at and that’s it. Some will eat out more often than others depending on their allergies and some won’t eat out at all. In general, no Sandra we don’t. We don’t love putting our lives in the hands of minimum wage paid employees. If anything please ask this question in the following way: ‘where do you like to eat out’ as opposed to the above phrasing.
Omg you've never tried [insert product here]
No Paul, no we have not. I realize it’s shocking and upsetting for you, we ourselves are still trying to cope.
When did you find out about your allergies?
Finally a genuine question! The answer will again very depending on when and where your unicorn first learned of its unique abilities. Some are affected with-in the first 6 months (like myself) and some develop them later in life. We don’t love answering this question in front of crowds (i.e. your house party) but we’re happy to talk with you about it.
How do you live without ice cream?
Well Debbie, I personally have never tasted dairy ice cream so I couldn’t tell ya girl. It honestly just comes naturally.
But what about, [insert well-meaning but stupid advice here]
We usually get this question from waiters, friends, parents or teachers. We know you mean well, but could you kindly stop talking? You can continue to offer us things off the menu, or from your pantry but we’ll continue to say no. We’ve grown up with this, we’ve navigated this for years, you learned about our allergies five minutes ago. You can offer us this product or that product, you can give us advice and things to try but honestly you just make us want to go take a nap.
What is the extent of your allergies
This is the best one on the list so far. Sadly we don’t usually get this stated so nicely, it’s more like people freak out and we calm them down. The answer to this will vary significantly, as will not only the extent but the unicorns comfort level with being around their allergen. Please just ask us calmly and freak out on the inside. Trust us we know it’s scary, but we know our comfort zones and severity. For example if we’ve been sitting across from each other and then 10 minutes into the conversation our allergies come up, don’t freak out about the sandwich you’ve been eating right across from us. I promise we’re going to be fine, as we have been for the previous 10 minutes.
Geez that must suck.
First off, this is really more a statement than a question Paul. Second, thank you so much for your kind words. Honestly it depends on the day for us, sometimes yes it sucks ass but sometimes it’s freaking awesome. Like when Disney upgrades you to a suite because you need to cook all your own meals, or when you’re playing never have I ever and you want to be a dick so you go ‘never have I ever eaten Pizza’. It does not however have to depend on the day for us to tell you that you’re an ass Paul.