About 75% of the human population is lactose intolerance. Whether or not they chose to accept it or not is their own business.
As a part of the 75%, I usually cringe at the sight of people eating straight pieces of cheese. There are other times I try to forget that I’m lactose intolerant so that I can enjoy a slice of pizza after a late night out like a normal college student. I’ve grown up reminding my dad daily that I am still unable to eat cheese but appreciate the thought of him making lasagna for dinner. Unfortunately for me, awkward first dates always seem to end up being made even more awkward when I’m taken to the guy’s favorite pizza joint or out for ice cream. Pizza parties and ice cream parties in middle school were misery. I’ve poisoned myself by forgetting to ask for a milk alternative in my latte or no cheese on my hamburger because the waiter was hot. And let me tell you Oreo’s dipped in soy milk is not the same.
So you’d think that knowing that I am lactose intolerant that I wouldn’t dare succumb myself to the torture of being surrounded by ice cream during the most popular time of year. However, needing cash and a summer time job, I decided to be an idiot and surround myself with the poison that is for me ice cream.
So behold, Scoop Handmade Ice cream; delicious, unique, local and a lactose intolerant’s living hell. Six out of the seven days of the week you could find me hanging out the window of a small little red food cart passing out ice cream cones in downtown Portland, Oregon or driving the ice cream truck from various events in the city.
When I first started working I never let on that I was lactose intolerant. Instead I became very skilled at explaining a flavor of ice cream I had never tried. I shocked people when they asked how I stayed so thin working around ice cream every day and answered with “by eating it for lunch” or that “the gas gage on my ice cream truck is broken so I sometimes have to push it home”. However, on the rare occasion that I let it slip, most of my customers found it very amusing that I was the lactose intolerant ice cream girl. In fact, sometimes having that tid-bit of knowledge slip, made a customer buy more ice cream to eat in my honor or an extra buck was added to my tip jar out of pity.
Although I could never indulge in the delicious handmade ice cream I surrounded myself with all summer long, I still enjoyed my job very much. I was able to meet tons of unique people, and make a lot of people happy with a sweet scoop of ice cream on a freshly handmade waffle cone. The other great thing about working in an ice cream truck is the fact that it attracts dogs and babies, two incredibly cute things. From working that job I learned to parallel park an ice cream truck on the busy streets of the city. I also never went home after a shift smelling like anything but vanilla and waffle cones. I developed one very toned right forearm and I made way better tips than I ever did being a barista. Overall, the good of the job outweighed the torture of being surrounded by ice cream almost every day. I also believe being able to parallel park an ice cream truck is a valuable skill that everyone should have in their back pocket and I would have never learned that working at a pizza joint.