So it wasn’t a gluten intolerance after all, you tell me. And now you have filled our kitchen with real bread, with pita chips, with French’s crispy onions. You say, Let’s get pizza, and you get the real kind, with the real crust, the kind that holds together when you pick it up. I am jealous of you and your newfound freedom, your ability to “go big” at bakeries. I am jealous of your cake. I am jealous of your biscuits. I am jealous of the crumbs delicately clinging to the surface of your chicken.
We used to be in this together.
The other day, you remember, when we went to Hibachi Super Buffet? I ate an entire fried bun. It was light yet thick with the taste of Chinese oil. I picked the one with the most sugar, a crust that cracked between my lips and dusted my plate of hardboiled eggs and fried rice with its sweetness. I told myself just one bite. But I ate the whole thing, I couldn’t help myself. I ate the whole thing in three bites, and you laughed at me. You laughed at me, and almost immediately I felt the stomachache. That gluten malaise, behind my eyeballs and under my tongue.
I think, I’m taking this whole “one flesh” thing too seriously. Your newfound tolerance shouldn’t give me such license to indulge, but it has. Can I hold out like this for the rest of my life? Every time someone brings muffins “for the group” will I be able to resist, politely refusing and going on with my day like I am not thinking about those muffins? You said yourself it’s hard to imagine doing anything for your entire life without getting exhausted.
It’s easier for me to indulge in other ways now, too. I know you see me browsing Modcloth while we’re watching TV. I have lost hours in the Target just sniffing different shampoos. Yes, I’ll pay extra for the guacamole. It’s harder for me to turn my alarm clock off in the morning. I think you resent me for that.
I’m afraid this is how I will lose my allure.
And when we split that gluten free bruschetta board, do you also now secretly resent me for the $2 upcharge?
Once, before I knew you, I chewed up an entire cinnamon bun and then spat it out in my sink. I do not regret this. The generous give of the pastry between my teeth. The way the cinnamon coquettishly melted into the sugar. We can grow cow’s meat in a lab, but science has not yet devised an adequate substitute for the cinnamon bun. Now, I think I would just swallow it all, intolerance be damned.
Remember coconut flour? Remember how terrible it is? We used to laugh about it together. Now it is irrelevant.
Just tear me off the tiniest corner of your naan. Just the tiniest. Just the tiniest corner is all I want.
I think Gwyneth Paltrow said once that going gluten free will make you live longer. What if she is right? What if you die many years before I do, and I am too old or too sad to start over? What will I do then? Without you? Without cookies?
They say you should never try to change your spouse, but what if I only want to change you back?
At least we’re both still allergic to dairy.
Remember cheese, dear one? Remember real milkshakes? Remember being able to buy gas station lattes? I picture us growing old together, standing outside an ice cream shop with our noses pressed up against the glass.
Fuck you, mint chocolate chip, you say.
Go to hell, salted caramel, I reply.
For this, baby, I have never loved you more.
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Annie & Jack
Love. Marriage. Teamwork. Art. Offsetting the patriarchal footprint. These are some of the things we're thinking about.