Gluten Free Company Christmas Party


Hi! I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity three years ago and have not had any gluten since the moment I found out … except for a few times when I was served something to eat that was “supposed to be” gluten free. I also do not eat sugar because I like how I feel without it better than when I did. I have had enough sugar for a lifetime. 🙂

The company I work for hosts an annual Christmas party which consists of a cocktail hour followed by a very nice meal at an upscale restaurant. Each year when the person who arranges this party for the company sends out the RSVP cards I indicate on the card that I need a gluten free meal – but not to worry about the appetizers or dessert being gluten free. And every year it is an issue. She either forgets to check with the restaurant, or does check and tells me the main course “should be” gluten free. “Should be” is not good enough, I need to feel confident it is actually gluten free. So sometimes I have called the restaurant directly to speak with the host and make sure it is okay. This year, however, she told me that they made everything gluten free for the entire event because the restaurant said that’s how they handle it if one person needs gluten free food. Including the appetizers and dessert. She is really upset – she said she is not going to tell anyone it is all gluten free because people will complain and be upset about it. I am so annoyed with her because I feel like she is trying to make this my fault and feel badly that everyone else is having to “suffer” because of me. She could have handled this all sorts of different ways but instead chose to complain to me about it, which she has done every single year for the past 4 parties. I am spinning about this so I tried a model but I’m just not seeing how to feel better except to skip the party in future years, but that would not work either because then I would be upset about that. Can you help me with this? If you have ideas for how I can handle this entire situation in the future I would appreciate it … obviously what I am doing is not working.

….after doing the models below I actually did feel better … Can you please give me some feedback on them? Thank you!

Unintentional Model:

C: person tells me “Just so you know – all of the food will be gluten free. Everyone at the party will have to eat all gluten free food because that’s how the restaurant wants it. Such a pity to do that for just one person. I don’t want to tell everyone about the dessert being gluten free, they will all complain.”
T: what a bitch
F: irritated
A: be upset, tell her how she could have handled it differently with the restaurant by just finding out if the food for the main course was already gluten free (steak, mashed potatoes, veggies … should be, but I had asked her to double check) … she didn’t have to make it a big deal, vow to never go to the party again since I am such a “problem,” consider complaining to co-workers but decide not to, write models, think of all the other times being gluten free is hard (weddings, dinner parties, etc), feel sorry for myself, wish I could eat like a “normal person”
R: feel bad and not look forward to the party at all

Intentional Model
C: same as above
T: awesome! (ignore her complaint completely and focus on the fact that everything will be gluten free)
F: happy
A: go about my day and do not worry about her feelings / recognize she is choosing how to feel and I have no control over it / no one is going to “suffer” by eating gluten free food and if they are upset that’s fine, it is not my problem to solve
R: look forward to the party knowing I can eat whatever I want with no concerns