Against the Grain

April 24, 2012

By Andrea Goto  ·  Photography by Chia Chong


I’ve never been one to go against the grain. In fact, I’m usually about 3 years behind every trend because I prefer to have others pave the way while I do a risk assessment from the sidelines.  Overtime, when the threat-level hovers around mellow yellow, I get on board.  I only recently bought a pair of skinny jeans and aviators.  Consequently, I’m perpetually chasing trends on their way out, but such is life spent swimming in the mainstream.

It’s not that I’m a conformist, per se; I prefer “silent subversive.”  I engage in political protest by avoiding eye contact with the people with whom I disagree.  I once went rogue on my husband, refusing to wash his dishes in an attempt to get him to step up around the house.  I lasted exactly 23 minutes.

I want to be a trendy hipster, but it’s just not in my genetic makeup.  (Speaking of makeup, I also wear the same brown eyeliner and shadow.  Every.  Single.  Day.)  A few months ago I considered jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon with the rest of my eating-disordered friends (call it what it is, people).  Long gone are the days when the gluten-free diet was for those with the celiac sickness—people you could only invite for sushi or breadless sandwiches made of air.  Maybe it’s because if you go gluten-free, you automatically gain membership into an exclusive club.  You get your own made-to-order lunches; your own brand of brownies and beer.  The anti-glutens are an affluent bunch and supposedly without the troubled tummies that the common folk endure.

I went gluten-free for less time than I allowed my husband’s dishes to “soak” in the sink. For me, it all boiled down to oatmeal.  And pasta.  And whole-wheat bread.  And, well, the freedom to eat whatever the hell is on my plate, or, more accurately, served to me at a Mexican restaurant.  Once again, I find myself unable to “go against the grain.”

That’s not to say that I’ll never go gluten free.  After all, it’s not just about being one of the cool kids; sometimes I wonder if my third-trimester bloat might be related to some offensive grains upsetting my gut.  As with most things in my life, I’ll manage to stick with the status quo for about five more years before I adopt this hipster habit—right about the time that gluten-free has given way to some new fad, like trying to get healthy and lose weight on a fat-free diet.  As if.

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