Missed Manners

12 Oct

I am officially lactose-intolerant intolerant.

If you can’t eat dairy, let me assure you that as a frequent hot fudge sundae consumer, I sympathize.  However, just because dairy messes up your insides, you need not answer the question “would you like cream with your tea?” with “I’m lactose intolerant.”

By now we all know what lactose intolerance means and we are well aware of the many ways it can manifest.  When you say you are “LI,” you have now introduced an array of sights, sounds and smells that have no place at high tea.  Two words best left private.

Essentially, you are somewhat allergic.  Say that if you must.  Drop an “I’m vegan” if you want to appear righteous.

For an even simpler reply that leaves your inner workings out of the exchange, try “no thank you.”

When my mom offers me fruit, for example, I don’t answer that I’m “pesticide intolerant,” likewise using her bathroom (“single-ply intolerant”) or when borrowing wrapping paper (“dollar store intolerant.”)  I simply say “no thank you” or, in the words of my thirteen year old, “I’m good.”

As the mother of a thirteen year old, I assume that when he says “I’m good,” what remains unsaid is: “Oh!  Thank you.  Dearest Mother.  Giver of Life.  I know that my meager words will never adequately express how truly thankful I am.”  But we moms assume a lot.  In reality, he’s probably thinking: “I hate apples, why can’t we ever get soft toilet paper and wrapping paper kills trees.  Way to go, Mom.”

And I’m okay with that.  We learn from the children; committing a lie of omission is a skill that we often lose as we age.  Like when I ask my spouse if I look chunky and he forgets to omit.  The ideal answer here is: “you’re good.”  Two words that work.

There are many things that none of us should tolerate: racism, pollution, greed, ignorance, bad grammar, Dancing with the Stars, corruption- the list is endless.

All I’m asking is for ice cream and pizza to be left alone.

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