Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Roses are red, gluten is blue (at least, that’s what it makes me, and probably you too)

Loyal readers will have noticed that I’ve been quieter than usual the last few weeks. There are a few reasons for that—some of which I’ll be talking about soon—but I do expect to get back to my twice-a-week schedule eventually.

In the meantime, it’s Valentine’s Week, and in case you’re worrying I don’t love you, I thought I’d reassure you with a poem. Then—because you deserve it, and “less is more” is a lie—I decided to reassure you with a bunch of poems.

This is a gift that keeps on giving, because it means this year you don’t have to confine yourself to blowing a kiss (air kisses are guaranteed gluten-free, even if hubby’s been cheating on you with cookies) or making one of those heart-shaped chocolatey things everyone’s been posting about since January. You can do your boo one better and make your card gluten-free, too!

Jot one of these puppies down in a lopsided heart for guaranteed romance:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
If I could eat gluten, I’d share it with you.


Roses are red, violets are blue,
I quit eating bread, but I’ll never quit you.

Or if you, like me, will instead be observing SAD (Singles Awareness Day), or if your taste in chocolate tends more to the bittersweet, I’ve still got you covered. Try this:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’d rather get glutened than make out with you.


Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’d go on a date, but I’m sick with the sprue.

violets are blue

. . . violets are blue . . .
Photo © M | Flickr

Then, for the descriptivist, there’s:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Quinoa is white, and sorghum is too.

And, for dear old gluten:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
You hate my guts, and they sure hate you.

Normal small intestines mucosa

. . . and normal small intestine mucosa are pinkish-purple.
Photo © Ed Uthman | Flickr

If you enjoyed, spread the love! It is almost Valentine’s Day, after all.

Share your own gluten-free riffs on the classic in the comments (bonus points for using any rhyme other than “you”—it’s tricky!), and have a happy SAD week.

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Because nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like a flowchart

Today’s post was going to be an OkCupid profile for gluten, since, as you may recall, we broke up last weekend. Unfortunately, gluten’s not ready to move on, still hanging around trying to wheedle his way back into my good graces—refusing to pick up his tTG collection, sending me flours. I’ve told him and told him, but he’s a sticky little protein composite. Maybe by next Valentine’s he’ll have cleared out for good.

In the meantime, to keep my resolve strong, I thought I’d remind myself of my other options. The world is just full of prospective dates, after all. And sure, needing to date someone who maintains a strict GF diet (or at least waits four hours, eats something else that’s gluten-free, then brushes his teeth before kissing me, just to be safe) narrows the pool to something more like a rivulet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have options. I just have to find someone who likes me. Simple. Oh, and he has to meet a standard or two, but that’s reasonable enough, right?

flowchart begin

Click to start down the warped and twisted way to my little celiac heart.

The fact that I spend my off-work hours making things like this—rather than, oh, I don’t know, dating—may be a minor contributor to my being single this Valentine’s Day. But anyone I ever date will have to like me as I am, flowcharts and all. Plus be funny. And well-read. And employed. I also realized I finished the chart without ever adding vegetarian. Factor that in somewhere between cute and Boggle. Me, picky?

So, enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, my family, my friends, my new blogosphere buds, and yes, even you, gliadin and glutenin. As for you, avenin? Jury’s still out.

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Dear gluten,

I never loved you anyway. I mean it. Oh, you had your sweet moments. I’ll always remember the cookies, the birthday cakes, the Boston cream pie, the brownies, the yogurt-covered pretzels, the chocolate chip muffins, the stuffed croissants, the cookies & cream ice cream, the . . .

What? No, just something in my eye. Back on topic.

The truth is, I was always unhappy. Everyone saw this coming. Ask my parents how many sandwiches I accepted in my school lunch days. Ask my friends how I feel about pasta dishes being everyone’s default vegetarian option. Ask just about anybody how I feel about ordering pizza. Even before you started to hurt me again and again, I didn’t need you.

I’ve always had other options. Beans and rice—gluten-free! Baked potatoes—gluten-free! Hummus and falafel—gluten-free! (Except when they aren’t.) Pad Thai—gluten-free! (As long as the soy sauce has no wheat.) Brownies—! (Well. There’s always almond flour.)

So I wish you’d stop hanging around, hiding in the French-frying oil and clinging to my colander. It’d be much easier to quit you if you’d leave me alone instead of showing up at my friends’ dinner parties and getting in the way every time I want to kiss someone. And stop trying to sneak in and join me on my lunch break at work. We’re. Not. Getting. Back. Together. The sooner you realize that and move on to someone whose intestines will love you, the better. For both of us.

It’s not me, it’s not you, it’s this darn HLA-DQ2.

But let’s not place blame. The truth of the matter is, I’ve wasted some of the best years of my life on you, gluten, and now it’s over. I’m better off without you. In six months I will be, anyway. Or two years. Or eventually. But I’m not worrying about that right now. Right now, I’m letting the healing begin.

So please, make this easy on me. Go away, and take all of these autoimmune antibodies you’ve left lying around my bloodstream the past few years. I never liked them, either. When you’re gone, I’m redecorating. It’s going to be villi, villi everywhere, just the way I like it. You’ll see.

Actually, though, you won’t. Because you’re not getting back in. We’re through. And what I said earlier, about those other intestines? I take it back. I wouldn’t wish you on anybody.

But I do wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, gluten. And good luck finding someone to love you by then; I hear you don’t have the best reputation these days.

Yours no longer,

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