When I first started this job, I had only recently figured out that I am gluten intolerant. So I didn’t know any better. Whenever there would be an office party with cake or other floury treat, I would decline and say “No thanks, I’m allergic to wheat.” I felt a brief explanation was a way to be polite, so they wouldn’t feel I was being standoffish.
As it turns out, when you say “I’m allergic to X,” what some people hear is “I feel left out because you’re all eating X and I can’t.” And those people then make it their personal mission to find food that doesn’t contain X, or a restaurant with X-free food, or otherwise bend over backwards to accommodate your allergy.
And I really hate that. I’m a damn grownup, if I feel left out because I can’t eat the food, I’m perfectly capable of getting some food I can eat. If everyone else has a favorite restaurant they like for lunch, I’d prefer they just trust that I will say something if I really have a problem with that place. I don’t want people making a big fuss over where we can go, or trying to find some special kind of treat for the office party that I can eat. I appreciate that they’re trying to be considerate, but after the first few times I tell them it’s not necessary it’s no longer considerate. I want them to go on as normal and leave my dietary considerations to me.
So when I finally do get a new job, I’m not going to mention my stupid food allergies. If I’m offered food with wheat, I’ll decline politely with nothing more than “No, thank you,” because I’ve finally come to realize that an explanation is not required for good manners.