My brother, Uncle Fun, got all the good stuff when we were growing up. He was the one that got the roller-blades, the bunk-bed, and all the good allergies. Now, I’ll grant you this, food restrictions were simply not cool back in the 80’s, but they’re rip roaring trendy right now and I’m feeling a bit left out.
Not only do none of us have any riveting hipster names, like “Jansen” or “Ryker,” none of us here have any reason to read food labels. Having no food restrictions means we can’t claim, “I’m so sorry Aunt Myrtle, I can’t eat your Figgy Pudding because I’m allergic to figs,” at those horrific family get-togethers that require such atrocious pudding traditions.
You see, Santa, I believe some allergies could improve my friendships. Having severe allergies and near anaphylaxis has resulted in deeper relationships for Uncle Fun. Uncle Fun can tell who really cares about him based on how much epinephrine they store in their emergency kit at their homes, just in case he should happen to visit and accidentally pet a small Scandinavian pony standing in their dining room. By the time he was 25 years old, he had acquired a lineup 50 friends deep that claimed dibs on sticking him with an Epi-pen, should the need arise. Those are true friends right there, Santa, and those are the type of sacrificial relationships that I want too.
I’m only allergic to cats, which is rather boring and isn’t unfortunate enough to make me interesting. I’m just not trendy, and I feel a bit like an outcast. I feel entirely inadequate while meeting with other moms during play-dates or park rendezvous.
Discussing their childrens’ allergies, Amanda turns to Lauren and says “Stella is highly allergic to deep-sea-squid, shellfish, pine nuts, pine cones, pilot whales, airline pilots, bees wax, candle wax, ear wax, vanilla extract, felt, snowmen and anything the color of yellow.”
“I understand,” Lauren replies “Atlas is allergic to anything containing the word “cheese,” any type of pickled radish, calcium citrate, all herbs, fresh fruit, spring water, toothpaste and anything pre-packaged in plastic.”
“I know what you mean,” Meghan responds, “Finley is solely a peskatarian now, and his father and I are gluten-free-Paleo-vegans.”
The moms exchange looks of solidarity and I feel completely left out. Then I hand my kids CHEEZ-ITs and they quietly gasp, and exchange horrified glances they don’t think I can see.
My kids have been noticing the difference too. Just last week my seven year old came to me and explained the cake she wanted for her next birthday.
“I don’t want a plain old Betty Crocker cake this time,” she demanded. “I want what everyone else is getting. What I want is a gluten and dairy-free, vegan, non-soy gelatin, formed into a cake-like shape with carob icing. I want faux gelatto made from organic, hypoallergenic Peruvian goat-milk, from goats raised free-range on a mountainside and fed exclusively with “fair-trade” acorn and hemp-flour pellets.”
“Are you sure you want that?” I questioned her.
“Yes,” she whined, “I want it exactly like Crispin and Lavender had it, and don’t forget to decorate it with the dancing Narnian wood nymphs.”
So here we are. It appears I’m not the only one from my family trying to blend into mainstream society.
This year I’m asking for a bit of help, Santa. It may be too late to bring us vougish-mod names, but you could at least bring us some fashionable allergies and provide a reason for us to shop exclusively at Whole Foods. An extra Epi-pen or two would be nice for Uncle Fun if you happen to have some lying around somewhere.
Sincerely, Mrs.Diaz and family
P.S. I’ll leave you some soy-free, vegan, hemp chips and a tall glass of coconut milk. I know you’re trying to blend too.