Of all the dating stories I have, the one where I eat Skittles off the bathroom floor of a Chicago bar is up there in entertainment value for listeners.
Getting low at the bar, (low blood sugar-hypoglycemia, impending death for lack of cellular energy) I had the option to order a soda or something. But the bottle of wine had just been opened and my glass poured. It would look super gauche to then order a Sprite. I’m a lady for god sake and this Tinder match did not yet know of my cyborg condition.
I excused myself to the bathroom, hoping the sweat I felt on my forehead was not noticeable, my CGM app blaring an alarm as I stood (CGM-continuous glucose monitor, a device I wear that sends my blood glucose to an app on my phone).
I sat on the open toilet. This bar was swank but not swank enough to have toilet seat lids. I was wearing heels and nylons and a dress that was oh, so cute. I plopped my purse on my lap, sweat now dripping down my face and ruining my perfectly styled blunt-cut bangs. I opened the Original Skittles, now paranoid I was taking too long, and then it happened.
The life saving Skittles spilled all over the floor, making sad sounds as they plopped off my vintage heels. It happened in slow motion. When my blood sugar is low, my vision gets blurry and also looks like life is happening in stop motion. Like each second is a still in front of me that blends into the next second. It feels like I can’t keep up with what is happening in front of me, even if nothing is happening.
I stared at them on the floor, head now resting on the wall as I sat on the toilet, while also feeling in my purse for more Skittles, glucose tabs, fruit snacks, whatever. Nothing. I looked at the brightly colored candies on the tile floor and was mad at them. How could they do this to me? I sat for a few seconds wondering if I should just take a nap or something. I could curl up in the corner of the stall and get a good rest, wake up totally fine. The tidal waves of hypoglycemia confusion had set in. I pulled myself together and knew what I had to do. Kneeling on the floor in my heels, purse pressed in my lap against my chest, I ate the Skittles one by one off the bathroom floor, saving my life.
Once I could stand without looking drunk, I fixed myself in the mirror, now feeling like I had abandoned my date for 30 minutes (it was less than 5), and walked back to the bar. Miraculously, the apps were delivered! I now had complex carbs to help stabilize my blood glucose!
Dating is really hard. The current climate with on-line dating makes it more so. Navigating this world with type 1 makes it so much more difficult.
Be careful out there, my type 1s looking for romance. And please carry more than one bag of Skittles.
WRITTEN BY Angela Wing, POSTED 01/26/17, UPDATED 10/06/22
Angela Wing lives outside Chicago and has had type 1 since 1999, age 18. She is a single mom to two teenagers, has a cat that doesn't seem to like her, performs improv weekly in Chicago, and writes her little heart out hoping to make dollar bills. While she loves fruit snacks, she really wants a cure for type 1 (T1). Until that day, she will use it as a comedic tool and excuse to get out of speeding tickets.