Today something very exciting happened, somebody remembered I had an allergy. That might sound really stupid and superficial, but I get so excited when someone actually remembers, because it somehow shows that they think it’s important – which it is! I suppose it’s because so often people forget, and then I have to do the whole awkward conversation of explaining it to them again, which for some reason I find really hard to do.
It came about because I was having a debate with a couple of guys in my seminar about the merging of sweet and savoury foods, like pineapple on pizza and savoury pancakes (both of which I oppose with my mind, body and soul!). We were on the topic of pancake toppings, when one of them mentioned peanut butter – “What about peanut butter?”, and just as I was preparing to launch into an explanation again he suddenly corrected himself – “Oh wait, you’re allergic aren’t you?”, so all I had to say was “Yes, I am!” and then “Would you say it’s savoury then, because I obviously have no idea.” and we were able to go down a really nice route of conversation. It was just so kind of liberating almost for me to not have to go over that hurdle again of “yep, okay time to explain the allergy”, and feeling like a bit of a conversation-killer. I was especially impressed because I couldn’t remember when I’d actually told him about my allergy, so if I couldn’t remember I have no idea how he could!
I guess it fills me with some sort of confidence when someone seems to be taking an allergy seriously, and it puts my mind at rest when I know that I’m not the only one in the room who’s aware of it. This is an example of how, if you get it into the conversation early, people will remember more often than not, and even if they forget it’s easier to remind them than having to tell them for the first time whilst they’re waving a cake in your face or something!
Always remember that your allergy, although annoying sometimes, is also a dangerous condition to live with – therefore people should know about it. If anything, they’ll feel bad if you have a reaction because they didn’t know, so you owe it to them to make sure they do!