Monkey’s birthday was delightful. I didn’t even mind getting up early to make cinnamon rolls for him to bring in to school to share with his buddies, because he’s just so darn delighted by it, and it doesn’t hurt that our intrepid Hippie School head teacher always tells me what a great baker I am. Yes, it’s all totally selfless, when I do this. Pay no attention to my preening in the corner. (Hey, I take affirmations where I can get ’em, people.)
I’d actually made the dough the night before, and done everything short of baking them and making the icing—the rolls were in the fridge proofing overnight in baking pans. This is the best way to do it, because 1) they end up really light and fluffy and 2) you get warm, ooey-gooey rolls first thing in the morning. AH-MAY-ZING.
Monkey awoke on Friday to a happy birthday phone call from his sister, then he padded downstairs and sniffed the air in the kitchen just as I was pulling the pans from the oven. “Nothing smells better than that,” he said, with a happy sigh. I slapped a big glob of icing on the largest roll and set it at his place at the table. Nothing but the best sugar coma for my birthday boy, you know.
Monkey fairly hummed his way through his breakfast, and even Otto—stoically sticking to healthy raisin bran, himself—commented on the delicious aroma. I finished glazing the rolls and then set about packing up a couple of containers for the boys to take to school. (Friday was a “we’re not officially back in session, anyone who wants to come can come” day, which was nice, because despite my multiple offers to do a party for him this year, Monkey maintained that really all he wanted was to do something at school and then maybe go out to dinner. I like that kid.) Once both portable containers were filled, I still had a few rolls left over. And the house continued to smell like Cinnamon Decadence even after most of the rolls had exited the building.
You know where I’m going with this, right?
They just smelled SO GOOD. And I, I have been SO GOOD for SO LONG. How long have I been gluten-free, now? Years. Over three years, actually. And to recap (what, you don’t remember ever little detail of my personal history? HMPH), once upon a time I did a brief stint on a pretty strict Paleo diet because I was just feeling crummy all the time, and I suspected something I was eating was messing with me, and I figured I’d eliminate all likely culprits and then slowly add them back in to see if I could pinpoint the problem. While eating Paleo, my skin—always problematic, from eczema to full-blown adult acne, I FEEL PRETTY—settled down and became LUMINOUS. But I don’t think Paleo is a sustainable life choice (at least for me), so I added wheat back into my diet, thinking that was probably the LAST thing that might be causing a problem.
Hahahahaha. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. My skin told a different story. Major, immediate outbreak of All Kindsa Ugly. I cut the wheat back out, and things were better.
Now. Is my skin perfect? No. It’s better than it was, sure, but I still struggle with it, some. Do I have Celiac? I doubt it, because I don’t experience intestinal issues with wheat. But do I have… a sensitivity? An allergy? It certainly seems plausible. So I don’t eat wheat anymore, and my skin is happier. (Note that the “not perfect” part is probably because I am kind of lazy about cross-contamination and “may contain” items. My own fault.)
But Friday. The whole house smelled good. The boys were gone, and it was just me and the dog. And the cinnamon rolls were sitting right there on the counter. MOCKING ME. Who would know?
Readers, I’m not made of stone. I ate a cinnamon roll. It was INCREDIBLE. I felt no remorse.
Why, by mid-afternoon I was thinking that maybe my years of gluten-abstention had been silly, even. Maybe I was confused! Maybe I’d recovered from whatever issue I’d had before! WHY DEPRIVE MYSELF OF CINNAMONY GOODNESS FOR NO REASON??
Monkey came home from school and then Otto came home from work and Monkey opened presents and we talked to my folks on the phone and then we went out to dinner and out for frozen yogurt, after. We ate ourselves silly and a good time was had by all. After Monkey went to bed that night, Otto and I sat down to watch a movie.
During the movie, I noticed that my face was kind of itchy. Huh. I may have rubbed at my eyes a little, but no biggie. I mean, until the credits started to roll and it was time for bed and I realized that hey, my eyes are REALLY ITCHY. (Mind you, we’d been watching this movie in the dark.)
You know how in a horror movie when the heroine goes into the bathroom and flips on the light and suddenly sees that she’s covered in blood or there’s a loved one dangling from a rope in there or whatever? That’s pretty much what happened when I got up and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Hey, it’d been an awesome day! And a fun evening! And a great movie! And *click* OH DEAR GOD MY FACE!!!!
Remember how a few years ago I started developing eyelid eczema as a super-special allergic reaction bonus? No? Good for you for blocking it out. On Friday night when I beheld my face in the mirror, I looked like some sort of demented eczema raccoon. Both of my eyes were perfectly ringed with fiery red lesions and flaking skin. I had been FINE just a few hours earlier.
“OTTO!” I called, because why keep that sort of sexy all to myself. “OTTO, LOOK AT MY FACE!”
Otto meandered into the bedroom and looked at me and tried really, really hard to pretend he wasn’t shocked and disgusted. “Whaaa… oh, my.” He is a man of few words.
“I ate a cinnamon roll,” I told him. “ONE LOUSY CINNAMON ROLL. It was gooey and delicious and NOW I HAVE LEPROSY.”
Needless to say, I started a course of steroids the next day. Which meant that all weekend long I Cleaned All the Things and laundered and put laundry away and organized and peeled wallpaper and did all manner of things and OH HEY PREDNISONE I LOVE YOU AND YOUR COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR SLEEP OR EVEN HOLDING STILL EVER. I’m on track for a major crash very soon, but in the meantime, my face is clearing up, and it smells a lot like Clorox ’round here.
So. Yeah. I guess if I needed any confirmation that I really was not imagining that whole wheat connection, I’ve got it. GLUTEN-FREE 4EVAH, etc. Yeesh.