I just about heard the first calling of my name above the hubbub of the wedding, clinking classes, laughter and loudly, if wrongly, recounted memories of the happy couple.
There it was again, louder this time, is it me they want, who’s calling my name? I looked up to see the waiter poised with a plate in his hand. That’s when it struck me, desert! Someone, not me, but someone has ordered me a special diabetic desert. I had to stop him from singling me out or everyone would ask the question – what’s up, why have you got a special desert?
If that happened I’d have to tell people that I’m diabetic, and not just people, but people who I hadn’t seen for many years and would likely not see for another few years, people who didn’t need to know, people who I had no interest in telling. Not because of who they were, on the contrary these are old family friends who only have my best interests at heart, but because there was just no need to talk about it.
I saw him, plate in hand, not really bothering to look but just yelling out a name, like when you’ve answered the phone and the caller wants to talk to a family member who isn’t you. It’s lazy, but in this case surely he’s aware that any diabetes sufferer doesn’t want their personal medical history announced to the world, and certainly not to a table of people at a wedding. So I began to splurt out ‘I’m here’ but didn’t get past the ‘I’m’ before I heard again;
“Andrew, with diabetes!”
I was stunned, shocked, shell-shocked. This waiter couldn’t have exposed me more if he’d made me strip at gunpoint and dance naked on the table, making everyone else clap and shout, ‘dance, dance, dance’. Even writing this now I’m cringing inside. Would this idiot waiter have done the same thing if the condition was cancer or herpes?
“Special meal for the person with the sexually transmitted disease! Who’s got the herpes? Come on, I’ve got a special meal here!”
I didn’t know where to look. I wanted a hole in the ground to open up and swallow me. What I wanted to do was to shove that small, rather pathetic, platter of grapes right up his ... well, you know. I hope he feels bad. I seriously hope he has sleepless nights about his lazy arrogance. Of course no one said anything, after the astonished laughter died down. But that was it, the whole evening changed for me. And sure, maybe I am too sensitive about it, especially for someone who is blogging about it to the world. But at least on my blog I am in control. This guy took that perception of control away from me and laid me bare.
I’m still very angry.