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Two in a Room

October 14, 2008

I recently started visiting a new church in NYC. It’s a small church, only a couple hundred members, with 2 services, one in the morning on the Upper East Side and one at night in Union Square. I’ve been attending the Union Square service, which is made up primarily of young professionals or college students, so it’s easy for me to fit in.

Every few weeks they host an informational evening where new attendees can find out more about the church. I missed the September meeting because I was in England, but when I found out they were having another one, I decided I should sign up.

I took the train into the city after work and had a quick dinner at McDonalds before taking the subway over to the apartment where they were having it. I got a bit turned around (it was dark, and I headed west instead of east) so I was a few minutes late, but the first bit of the evening was just a mingling time anyway so no one noticed.

I didn’t recognize anyone from the service, and everyone there was chatting with someone else. I know this might surprise some of you, but I hate big groups of people. Well, I hate big groups of people where I don’t know anyone or where I don’t know what I should say. It’s awkward. I don’t like it. That’s why I tend to try to get people I do know to attend events with me (hence me harping about diabetes events and whatnot – don’t make me go alone!).

But at this point in the evening, I was still all by lonesome, so, like any awkward party-goer, I went for the food. I grabbed a diet soda and a homemade krispy treat bar.

A guy came over to where I was standing and poured himself a drink, took a glance at my name tag, and said, “Hey Allison, how’s it going?”

I smiled and said fine.

“Are you a diabetic?” he asked.

Now, this might sound like a really odd question to ask a complete stranger, but I was wearing my insulin pump on the outside of my pocket (instead of on the inside like I usually do because this pocket is a little small to fit it comfortably). I figured he had a friend or family member with diabetes.

“Yeah,” I said.

“Type 1 or type 2?” This question, I’ve learned, is no longer such an odd question given my age but when I was 18 or 19 it used to sound so strange when someone asked me this.

“Type 1”

“Me too!”

Huh? Seriously? I laughed. I told him about the bizarre meeting with another type 1 diabetic in D.C. last fall when I was visiting Jill. He’s had type 1 for 9 years and works on staff for the church.

After the discussion was over, I scribbled my blog URL on one of the pastor’s business cards and handed it to him. So he could very well be reading this (Hello!).

I seem to have a knack for meeting diabetics in the most unusual places. In August, when I was purchasing my iPhone, I found out that the sales clerk selling it to me was a type 1 diabetic when I asked him if there was a case for the iPhone that came with a cover. I casually mentioned that I had something similar for my insulin pump and he said that he was a diabetic too. Small world!

A lot of people ask me how I meet people, and I honestly don’t think I have any kind of secret trick to this. The only things I can think of are the fact that my insulin pump is usually fairly visible – which gives people the opportunity to ask me if I’m a diabetic – and I also mention it casually in conversations, which gives people the opportunity to tell me their own connection if they have one. I try to not be too overbearing with the diabetes. I never go up to someone and say “Hey, I have diabetes!” But I think I’ve become more comfortable with mentioning it as a fact about myself, similar to how you might say, “Oh, I like to shop here” or “I work at this company” or “I grew up in this place.”

Or maybe my insulin pump has some kind of tracking device in it and that’s how they find me. Could happen.

  1. October 14, 2008 3:32 PM

    Very cool! So what did you think of the church? Is it a good fit?

  2. October 14, 2008 3:45 PM

    George: I think so. I like it so far. I’ve been going for about a month. I am going on their women’s retreat this weekend and I’m trying to get plugged into a community group, but getting started in this stuff is always a little awkward but luckily there are quite a few new people who I am meeting.

  3. October 14, 2008 5:28 PM

    That rocks! I rarely meet others like that, but I think it’s cool.

  4. October 15, 2008 3:17 AM

    Haha, that’s awesome. Church sounds very cool. Hopefully this will open some doors for you to meet more people there.

  5. October 15, 2008 7:52 AM

    Pretty cool!! I’ve found out that one of the instructors at another branch of the dance studio where my husband & I take lessons has diabetes. I see him every so often, but I’ve been kind of shy about going up and talking to him about it. Weird, huh? I know he wears a pump, because he clips it to the back of his waistband when he dances. I were mine tucked away though, so he’s probably never noticed it. I think I’ll go talk to him next time we’re at an event together.

  6. Corri permalink
    October 15, 2008 5:10 PM

    I’m with you on the “hating big groups” thing. You are amazingly good at making friends, though. Me, I’m a bit antisocial, but things seem to work out anyway.
    I just wanted to say hello–I hope you’re having a good week!

  7. October 15, 2008 9:15 PM

    Cara: I swear it does not happen to me that often! It just feels like it does… maybe just in comparison to other people, I guess.

    Christine: I hope so. People seem friendly, but it’s always a challenge to get used to a new group of people.

    Karen: You should totally talk to him! I would! Maybe even just covertly mention that you have diabetes without saying anything about him having diabetes and see what he says… that way it doesn’t come across like you’re stalking him or something.

    Corri: Hey!! How are you? I am pretty good with making friends, but only when I am one-on-one with someone. Otherwise, I have a really hard time saying anything because it’s easier for me just to sit back and let others talk. Not the way to let people get to know you, of course. BTW – are you still blogging? I lost the URL and if you are, I wanna see my little cousins.

  8. October 18, 2008 10:02 AM

    I’m always excited when I see people wearing pumps and I go right up to them and ask.

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