Can Openers: My College Roommates
THEY DON'T BOUNCE CHEESE CURLS off the couch cushions!
This post originally ran in March. Nine months later — at the conclusion of my Fall term — it still stands. My Roommates are Food Allergy CAN Openers!
PHILADELPHIA — I’m sitting in my living room in my college apartment. Right now, if I wanted to, I could get up and lick my kitchen table. Yep, from one end to the other.
Don’t worry. Don’t worry. I’m not going to actually do it. First, that’s gross. Second, my roommates would probably kick me out.
But I could if I wanted to and — this is the big part — I would NOT have a reaction. How do I know? My roommates are incredibly responsible with my allergy. Our table is clean.
I remember reeling about this towards the end of high school. Avoiding the pizza myself wasn’t what I was worried about, but it was the thought of walking into my room and seeing my roommates’ friends sitting on my bed with a large pepperoni and breadsticks.
I had a heart-to-heart with my roommates before we signed the lease on the apartment, and I was fortunate to have roommates who care.
Do we have unsafe food in the house? Of course. My roommates can eat what they want to eat. But just because they have dairy and tree nuts in the apartment doesn’t mean they are gong to be bouncing cheese curls off the seat cushion. And if they would… they’d pick it up immediately.
Do they take a little extra caution? Yes. Am I more of a burden than a regular roommate? Probably. But like my roommate Noah said… “All friends are burdens.”
It’s important for people with food allergies to have safe spots. I can’t expect the Starbucks at 34th to be safe. That’s unrealistic. But my college apartment? Yes. I live there.
I remember when I was younger, I asked my dad, “What happens if my friends don’t understand?” I emphasized the word 'don’t' the way a child often does.
“Friends do understand,” he immediately responded with emphasis on the word ‘friends.’ “The challenge in life — not just for you, JJ, but for all of us — is finding friends.”
This week, I present the Can Opener award to my college roommates — Ben Goodman, Noah Katcher, Adam Domingoes & Cole McNeese.
What friends have been Can Openers for you and your family? Give them a shout-out below or Email us directly. Maybe we can present them with a Can Opener award in the future.