Willing to make a culinary sacrifice? How to date with food preferences and allergies in tow.
The Kiss of Death
The consequences of ingesting gluten? According to Jessie, they are explosive. As in "quick onset of explosive bowels." Surely anyone would prefer to come off as a picky eater than suffer that on a date.
While contrary to original reports it was not the case that a Canadian teen died in 2005 from kissing her boyfriend hours after he ate a peanut butter sandwich, many couples must be careful about this possibility. Peanut allergies are not to be trifled with.
Nor are shellfish allergies. According to a Mayo Clinic Report released after a 20-year-old woman needed emergency room treatment after kissing someone who had eaten shellfish, kissing and even touching are potential routes of contact with offending proteins. In other words, it's not only about what you ingest at mealtime. However, your mate can detoxify by brushing his or her teeth, drinking lots of liquids, and letting a bit of time pass.
Those sensitive to gluten may take similar precautions. Molly, a 27-year-old Bostonian with a gluten sensitivity, makes her girlfriend Rebecca brush her teeth after eating pasta–to which Rebecca says: "Hey, it's not such a bad habit to brush your teeth after meals."
In fact, Vanessa, a 31-year-old from San Diego, says brushing has kept the love alive between she and her boyfriend, Sam. Vanessa, a strict vegetarian, made a game of it with her carnivorous partner when they first began dating. "We brush up to get ready for a 'make-out session,'" she explains. "The habit stuck, and four years later, the romance is still going strong. I attribute it to all the kissing!"
When love strikes, considerations such as mindful dining and better hygiene are not true obstacles, much less deal breakers. No one worth the time would consider another's dietary restrictions an annoyance, much less grounds for putting the brakes on a budding romance.
Besides, it's the one with the dietary restriction who is truly missing out, not the mate who must sometimes sit through the detailed analysis of a new restaurant's menu or make culinary sacrifices in the kitchen. If anything, the situation presents an opportunity for the omnivore in the relationship to show sympathy and make accommodations for the other's special needs…and score points doing so.
To return to our heroine, for years Sally's dietary preferences were fodder for Harry's incredulity. But in the final vignette, it is a converted Harry who lovingly explains how they made the caterers serve the chocolate sauce on the side of their magnificent wedding cake.