I remained collected until the garlic bread came out. It looked so damn good and it smelled unbelievable. I'm salivating even thinking about it now. I anxiously bounced my leg under the table as I got angry with my circumstance. I just wanted to scream and accidentally happen to dump the whole basket of bread in my mouth. I was sensitive to everything in that bread basket with the exception of the olive oil. Looking over the menu, there wasn't a single food selection listed that I could have. NOT ONE. I knew this would be the case, of course. I had to look the waitress in the eye and tell her, "soooo I have a lot of food sensitivities and I was wondering if you could just give me a completely plain piece of grilled chicken- without any seasoning, and a side of steamed brocoli with nothing on it." She looked at me wide-eyed. I went on to explain that I can't have any butter, black pepper, garlic, or any kind of seasoning that would go on these two soon-to-be very naked foods. In an Italian food establishment, what I had just ordered was complete sacrilege. I knew it, she knew it, everyone at the table knew it.
I tried to focus on anything but the fact that I was in a restaurant. For whatever reason, it made me pretty emotional. The ravioli appetizers that got passed around the dinner table only added to my frustration. I was literally on the verge of tears- completely ready to start bawling, followed by me dramatically running away. I guess all I was able to keep saying to myself in my head was, "how the hell am I going to be okay in Italy?" I know I'm going to eat in Italy. I will enjoy those special Italian staples that everyone has to try on their visit to Italy. I will enjoy some in moderation and others may not be such a problem. Right now, my goal is to keep putting myself in these "practice" situations where I'm forced out of isolation. Who would have thought that this would be so challenging? I never would have thought that I'd be in this position in the first place. I keep telling myself, "health is worth all of this."