I love a party as much as the next person. But going to a party, gathering, dinner, can be a bit overwhelming when you have Celiac's. At least at first. Luckily I've always carried a purse big enough to carry a small dog in, that I always make sure I'm prepared. I always back a couple Larabars, or KIND bars, Gluten Free Tamari packets, If I have room, some granola, cookies, or rice crackers. When possible I'll also bring a dish to share, a dip with some lentil crackers, Salad with a unique dressing, something that will stand out, and when people find out it's gluten free, they see there are some great choices out there!
As a plus I live in the suburbs of Chicago, I'm never far from somewhere we can stop to get something to eat, if needed. But I always am prepared for a party. What if they aren't serving anything gluten free? Will they notice that I'm not eating and be offended? I've learned that if I don't want to make a big deal, I can pull off no one noticing I didn't eat at their party. I always have a glass of something to drink, and I'll offer to hold someones plate as needed, it's easy enough to get by without eating. I always make sure to eat something before I go out, at least to hold me over. I'll look for a veggie tray, cheese plate (sans the crackers!), hummus, shrimp cocktail or a salad are the usual things I look for first. If I strike out, I know I have my back up snacks in my purse if needed! Even if I just nibble on them in the car on the drive home.
I feel fortunate I have some very amazing friends who are really understanding and have no problems making sure there is something GF, or that look forward to the dish I bring to try.
Today we had some party hopping luckly in a very populated area of the burbs. I had a KIND bar with my coffee on the way to the first party, they had veggies, salad, and deviled eggs, so I had lunch! Party #2 didn't have as many options, but a bag of chips was enough to hold me over until dinner, which we stopped and had on the way to party #3. It was crazy, but we're use to the routine. While driving we started pointing out options along the way, to figure out where we'd stop. It has opened us up to trying different places, and becomes like a scavenger hunt to find something new.
The main thing is, I don't fear parties, I know I'll be ok, and that in the end, it will be just as fun as before.