So if you saw my Colbert Report interview, then you heard some of my comments about dating women in New York City. Too many vegetarians, too many sugar addicts. (This gourmet cupcake trend cannot die too soon. The more expensive they are, the easier it is to justify them as a special occasion.)
Near the end of the interview, Colbert and I joked about how my ideal woman is a meat-eating, lactose-intolerant celiac. And this is where I got my "Colbert Bump". If you watch Colbert regularly, you know that the Colbert Bump is the boost in popularity that guests receive soon after their appearance -- in book sales, politics, whatever. Well, my bump was in emails from "celiac chicks" (as my gmail label is called). I received emails from celiac women not only from all over the country, but all over the world. It was pretty crazy. The first wave of emails was from women who saw the show. The next wave was from women whose friends had seen the interview, sent it to them, and physically forced them to email me. This did wonderful things for my ego.
But what was amazing about all these emails was how many of them commented that they had never viewed celiac as a positive trait. It was a disease, a condition, a debilitation. Yet when you take a step back and look and the broad sweep of human history, you realize that eating grains is a relatively recent development. Taking the long view, not eating grains is actually quite normal. And so this evolutionary perspective was a way to create a positive, normal identity. And in some ways, not just to feel normal, but to feel superior. As crazy as it may sound, celiacs are actually lucky to have a body that clearly tells them what not to eat. Pretty cool. I used to casually smoke in college -- "I only smoke when I drink" -- but I never became a regular smoker because my body rejected it. I'd get sinus infections if I went through a whole pack myself. This ended up being a good thing. Kind of like celiac.
If you view celiac as an abnormal condition, then you try to "eat normally", by buying all sorts of gluten-free imitation products...many of them just as heavily processed and unhealthy as the real thing. But if you view celiac as a useful signal from your body about what's healthy, then you can create a new normal. This message came through loud and clear in the emails I received, which was totally awesome and unexpected.
Anyhow, to all you celiac chicks, I've been seeing someone I met about two hours after the Colbert taping, so I've been slow to reply. But my comment was only partially in jest. Most folks thought it was funny that I might prefer someone with a "disease" like celiac, but everyone would agree that it's good to date someone who holds similar fundamental values as you do. Food and health are a big part of that. The prior girl I went out with ate pizza and Sprite and that's about it. A few weeks in, she asked me, "If I still eat the way I do a few years from now, are we still going to be going out?" I paused, looked at her, and simply said: "No." (Honestly, I think telling her no just made her like me more.)
Keep up the good work, celiac chicks.