No, not ‘poor Ruth’… NEVER say this!

This is a rant and I may be being unreasonable again but don’t pity me. Don’t look at me and think… poor thing. And NEVER EVER say, “Oh Poor Ruth!” when a table of food is mostly off limits apart from a few safe things.

Don't pity me... I have allergies. It's not so bad. My life is so rich in other ways

Don’t pity me… I have allergies. It’s not so bad. My life is so rich in other ways

Just don’t do it. DON’T DO IT!

I don’t have lots of money but I am not poor. I’m pretty sure no one with any kind of disability wants to be referred to as ‘Poor anyone’. It made me cross.

But why? The person isn’t meaning to be rude and I know this.

Am I just being over sensitive?

I don’t think so. It seems to happen so much… from friends, from work colleagues and from family.

It’s just something to think about. Would you say to a person in a wheelchair, ‘Oh poor you… you can’t walk…’

No you would not. Not unless you were incredibly insensitive.

And I’ll tell you why it’s so horrible. Because as you say this… “Oh poor you. What CAN you eat?”
You are usually tucking into whatever wheat or dairy filled delicacy you have in your own hands. It comes across sometimes as a bit smug. Poor you hey… but I’m OK Jack!

And if we are somewhere and there is NOTHING I can eat. Still… please don’t pity me. I will usually have food squirreled in my bag and am not going to starve from missing a meal.

It’s my life and I’m pretty happy most of the time.

Just don’t ever say those two words to me or one day I might get REALLY cross with you… you have been warned. I… am… not… poor! Despite the cost of freefrom food I’m doing quite OK thank you 🙂

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. Ken Keene says:

    Poor you!

  2. i hear you i get the same thing when i go to cook outs and have to skip over many of the items because of my gluten allergy

    • I’ll share me safe treats with you Daryl. Thanks for the comment. This week I’ve had the opposite experience at a work away day. My ‘special’ food was so amazingly well thought out and not just an afterthought that quite a few people had the ‘special needs person’s food envy’. Where’d you get that amazing salad? Can I have one? No you can’t! This is for special people 🙂

  3. Poor Ruth really was powerful stuff. Remember the Radio 4 disability show “Does he take sugar?”. Thought yours was just as provoking!

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