Thursday, 14 April 2011

Dating with Diabetes

I went speed dating on Friday night with my friend Rob. I thought about mentioning the diabetes because it’s the biggest thing that has rocked my world in the last few months, however I stuck to the usual stuff such as my job, where I’ve been travelling and the penguins that look like the Rolling Stones that I’m making in pottery class. That said, the betes, as an American friend of mine calls it, was always at the forefront of my mind. I even felt a bit disingenuous by not talking about it.

The speed dating thing is socially complicated and it’s the first time I’ve done it. The rules of engagement are odd and different. The end was particularly weird. You stop the speed dating, which really isn't long enough at three minutes, and instead of moving on to the next person it just stops. I wanted to get the heck out of there but Rob wanted to stay for a drink. I stayed but think I should have gone because I really didn’t feel comfortable.

I thought I felt uncomfortable for a number of reasons, such as; leaving makes you look busy and shows people that you have other important things to do (even if you don’t), or secondly, and more appropriately for me, if I made a good impression in the three minute speed date I'm only going to mess it up by saying something stupid.

However the real reason I shouldn’t have stayed, on reflection, is that I felt a huge amount of pressure to have a drink. I wanted to avoid the question of why are you just having a coke? So I had two bottles of larger and a vodka and diet coke. Not at the same time I might add. I tried to order a vodka and slimeline/diet tonic but the barman didn’t speak great English so I gave up on it. I didn’t really enjoy the drinks and I didn’t really want them.

I know I can have three units a day, a pint or a vodka, but it still sends my sugars up and I get the dry mouth syndrome all over again. I’m just not enjoying it. Guinness doesn’t seem to be as bad and a friend of mine who is also a sufferer said tequila is sugar free. Of course I’m not encouraging anyone to drink either of these drinks because they all contain calories. (Wistful glance upwards) those days of excess are long gone.

I’m not sure I learnt a lot from the experience. I can’t avoid dating or diabetes so I guess I’ll just have to learn how to appropriately mix the two. I have a wedding coming up next weekend and I’m determined not to drink although I can imagine there will be a lot of pressure. I’m also not clear on how to handle the question of not drinking. We are a nation obsessed with alcohol. Perhaps I’ll say I’m driving. Perhaps no one will ask and I’m just being somewhat neurotic. We’ll see. Every day brings a new experience and I’m going to try to be positive about each and every one.

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