Just so you know that despite all the critical things I say, I believe the governor and his people are good and decent folk, gently reared, I share the following exchange.
Next week, I'm to be the governor's guest at the annual pre-State of the State briefing luncheon. Cindi and Warren will be there too, along with editorial types from elsewhere in SC. It's a standing ritual. So Joel Sawyer writes to ask me:
Office of Gov. Mark Sanford
So I wrote back as follows:
First, please don't bother. It's more trouble than it's worth. I have a lifelong habit of just grabbing a bite later.
But in answer to your question, my main allergies are to:
milk — anything with even a trace of dairy products, from butter to cheese to ice cream
eggs — which means no mayo, and other things that may not be immediately obvious
wheat — which bars anything from a bakery, and less obvious things such as gravy thickened with flour (or cream, of course)
chicken — and no, I don't know which came first, this or the egg allergy
nuts — especially pecans.
See what I mean? I'm more trouble than I'm worth. Always have been, unfortunately.
Why, you may wonder, did I not just stick with the "Don't bother," and not go on? Because it's so blasted awkward. At a public occasion like that, I don't care it there's nothing I can eat (really; I'm used to it, and I'd rather not take risks on ingesting a hidden fatal allergen inserted by a well-meaning cook who thinks cream means quality). But I find it often bothers my host more than it bothers me that I don't eat. Also, others who don't know the score will see me pushing my food around or ignoring it entirely and think I'm being petulant or intentionally rude or something. Really. It happens. If I can avoid that by having at least something I can eat while pushing everything else around on the plate, that's all to the good. I don't mean to overdramatize, but my systemic weirdness does make dining in public more awkward for me than for most folks. (It has had larger consequences, such as keeping me from serving in the military — I could never have survived on K rations or MREs. It sounds stupid to people who don't live like this, but it's my reality.) I grew up not wanting to draw any attention at table, but knowing that the only way to avoid such attention is to let my host put himself out in my behalf, which is another kind of awkwardness. Then there's always the possibility that the host WILL put himself out for me, but fail in the effort (I can generally tell at a glance if I can't eat it), which is twice as awkward. But what am I supposed to do?
Of course, I could stay away from the luncheon, but it is a useful occasion. And if I don't go, what does that say? Anyway, I look forward to seeing the gov. I don't think we've spoken since this event last year. (Or maybe the one before; I forget.)
This post is just to let you know that I have no problem with putting my life into the governor's hands — or the hands of his staff. And that's something I wouldn't do if I had as low an opinion of the governor as some of y'all think I do.
Now Blagojevich — I'd never eat anything he put on the table.