2012-02-09 / Et Cetera

Dear Abby

Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I was recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant. My question is, when dining at a restaurant, while everyone else is eating the bread that is served, is it acceptable to discreetly take a few gluten-free crackers from my purse and snack on them so I’m not starving while waiting for dinner?

My husband thought it was inappropriate, so I didn’t take them. I did ask the waiter if he had gluten-free bread or crackers, but he didn’t.

I have many medical issues. I try to eat only what is healthy for me and thought providing my own crackers was a minor deal. What do you think, Abby?



DEAR G.I.: It’s good that you were diagnosed, because gluten intolerance can cause serious digestive issues. Your husband may have had a bad day when he criticized you, because I see nothing wrong with someone on a restricted diet taking emergency rations in case a restaurant can’t accommodate his or her special needs.

Gluten intolerance has gone undiagnosed in many people, but in recent years food manufacturers have created many products that are safe for them to eat.

Accommodating a customer who is gluten intolerant shouldn’t be an insurmountable problem if the restaurant is asked in advance.

DEAR ABBY: I was standing in front of a restaurant with my mother-in-law and a group of relatives when she “felt up” my back and backside. We were facing the others when she put her hand around my back, first sideways and then all around until she got down to my rear end. It felt like she was searching for something, but the weather was warm and my blouse was very thin, so I couldn’t have hidden anything. When she reached my behind, she pressed her thumb hard on my hipbone and rubbed in a circular motion.

I feel extremely violated because her hand should not be anywhere near that region. My husband says I misinterpreted what she did, but he has no explanation. I think her behavior was incestuous! When she visits, she also insists on sleeping in the master bedroom. Am I overreacting?



DEAR “ VIOLATED”: Unless your mother- in- law insists on sleeping between you and her son when she comes to visit, I do think you’re overreacting. What she did was give you a back rub. In most families, a gesture like that is one of affection. Lighten up!

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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