Two in a Room
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.
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.