We met online and have been communicating electronically for weeks now. We found out we have a lot in common and even live in the same town. So, it was only natural to take it to the next step. We made a date for lunch.
I suppose I was a little nervous; we were complete strangers. What if we didn’t like one another? What if we each thought the other was hideous looking and we were embarrassed to be seen in public together? What if one of us or the other was obnoxious and we felt trapped by the time the salads arrived? But, as soon as we met in the parking lot and exchanged big hugs, I knew we were going to be perfect for one another.
Now, before you think you’ve begun the first chapter of a modern day romance novel, or run to my hubby with news of me having an online affair, let’s get on the same page here. I’m talking about my first blind date with a new friend – my first lunch with a truly living, breathing, (and often laughing)fellow M.S. patient, Brenda. I have an old friend who has M.S., too, but we haven’t seen each other since my diagnosis. He, Jeff, had to go off and have a heart attack a few weeks ago. (The things some people will do to get out of having lunch with me)! This has been my first experience, outside of a meeting with the social worker at the local M.S. Society office, where I’ve sat face-to-face with someone else who has M.S.
So, there we were, at an old, Italian restaurant, just two blocks from the hubby’s homestead. By the time the Wedding Soup arrived, I knew we would become fast friends. Then, by the time the Chicken Parm hit the table, I couldn’t stop laughing! We swapped silly M.S. stories, traded symptom tales, and learned a little more about each other. As it turns out, Brenda and I likely have other things in common besides just happening to each have M.S. We work for organizations that do business together and know many of the same people. And, it sounds like we have similar hubbies — both with outrageous senses of humor and lots of patience for their M.S.-brained wives.
I have lots of new virtual M.S. friends, but this was a first for me – to be able to sit with someone else – at length – to share stories in a way that only someone else with our disease would understand. I highly recommend you try the same. I’m not suggesting that you have to run out and find a therapy group to talk with; rather, try to find someone who you can sit face-to-face with and just connect. If nothing else, Brenda and I agreed that if we have to have a disease, we’re lucky to have one that makes us laugh.