Misfits Worth Saving
I attended a brunch at a banquet hall to honor the volunteers that work for me at the shop I manage. It was a lovely event, except for the fact that I was unable to eat most of the food there due to celiac disease. I carefully helped myself to fruit and a piece of bacon, skipping past the countless silver trays lining the buffet table offering waffles, cheesy potatoes, pastries, and much more. Almost nothing seemed safe for someone needing to avoid gluten, but I thought I made the smartest choice I could. I took an insulin injection to cover the fruit and ate slowly so that everyone else could enjoy their large meals without feeling like I was sitting there hungrily watching them eat.
I’m pretty sure I got glutened which meant a week of joint pain, difficulty breathing through my nose, and other fun symptoms. I had just been trying to live a normal life. These days eating anywhere other than my house becomes a fear-filled mission. I felt a little depressed after the volunteer event. This saddened me because I have attended that event for 10 years and had always looked forward to it before the gluten issues made me feel like an outsider.
I spoke with a friend that lives with Type 2 diabetes and told her that with my Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and thyroid problems, I feel like a misfit toy. I just don’t seem to fit in anywhere anymore. Like the 1964 Rudolph Christmas special, I am the toy that is broken and on the verge of being discarded by friends that can no longer enjoy a lunch or dinner out with me for fear that I get glutened.
Instead of a car, my garage currently houses several pieces of old furniture that I have rescued from the inevitable garbage heap. I purchased them when they were clearance priced due to their inability to sell. Some contain wood carvings but their finish has been worn away over the years, and their drawers no longer stay closed. One has the strong smell of perfume in the drawer from a previous owner’s oops. I intend to fix them, to refinish them and make them beautiful and desired once again. It is a slight source of upset for my husband, who would like his garage back. When I requested his help to unload two pieces of furniture from the Jeep the other day, he exclaimed “Why do you feel the need to bring home all these misfit furniture items?!”
He continued to tease me a little bit about these sad little misfit furniture pieces. And then I saw the reason for my obsession. It was my “aha” moment that they speak of. I can’t bear to see something pushed aside that is beautiful and unique underneath. I may feel broken and like my finish is dull because of my diabetes and celiac, but I know what is underneath it all. Just like these furniture pieces, I can see the potential for happiness, longevity, and beauty. I know that these misfits, including myself, are worth saving.