That time I found out I was lactose intolerant

Do you know what’s worse than having a dairy allergy? Finding out you have one while wearing a onesie. Even worse, is when the zipper is out of reach, on your back. Yup, it’s a true story.

The first time I discovered I was lactose intolerant as a kid was one of THE MOST embarrassing experiences in my life. I had no idea my body rejected such deliciousness until I ate pasta with Alfredo sauce. I don’t know who Alfredo is, but all I know is that I don’t like him or his damn recipe.

Sunday, April 11, 1993 was the day that it happened. We were getting ready to go out for lunch at a local Italian restaurant to celebrate my neighbor Janice’s confirmation. To mark the occasion, I put on my brand new navy blue polka dot jumpsuit my mom had custom-made for me. I felt so cool wearing the ‘latest’ fashion. I topped the outfit with studded black clog shoes and a white cardigan. In retrospect, not the cutest look, but for an extremely shy kid, I was feeling pretty confident in the moment. Once we got to the restaurant, I strutted over to the banquette section of the reserved area to claim my spot. Well, I was about two courses in and that’s when it hit me. I started feeling the loud gurgling sounds in my stomach followed by an internal dropping sensation. Next came the sweats and then the panic. All I heard was a never ending combination of speeches and toasts with no room for interruption. All I wanted to do was yell out a loud director’s “cuuuuuut” and make a beeline for the bathroom. After waiting what felt like an eternity, I discretely tapped my mom on her arm to ask her to escort me to the washroom. That was round one. Let’s just say things got progressively worse. Five rounds in, my mom started to get annoyed about having to leave the table and escort me to a not so aromatic shoebox. Oh, it got even worse. My mom asked my old sister to assist me to the washroom. Things moved from being discrete to blaringly obvious since my sister was a key part of the festivities. The small group of celebrators started to ask questions, like “Is she alright?”, followed by statements of sympathy, like “Oooh, poor girl.”  I almost forgot to mention the fact that the one washroom in the restaurant was located right next to the table. There was nothing discrete about this situation at all. Everybody’s senses were fully stimulated at this point. The final straw for me was when both my mom and my sister refused to chaperone me and my mom unzipped my jumpsuit tableside. Whatever ounces of dignity I may have had left were quickly drained… literally and figuratively. Sorry, I went there. Over twenty years later and I have never eaten pasta with Alfredo sauce, nor have I ever stepped into a jumpsuit again.

Image via Cristina aka LUCKYMUSH

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