Festive events are often painful for people dealing with disability. Holidays can be a terrible disappointment, not only an awful reminder of lost enjoyment, but very hard work!
To avoid some of this heartache, preparation is your best tactic, and the telephone your best friend.
Phone your host several days ahead, and get as many details as you can:
- Who is coming? How many is that altogether?
- Is the dinner a buffet, or are you sitting down around the table?
- What food is being served (you may already know)?
- What lighting is the host planning?
- Is it a dress-up affair?
- What is the layout of the house? How are tables being set up?
- And of course, What can I bring? or better, May I bring?. . . whatever is easy for you.
You are saying to yourself, “I am never going to ask all those questions. My sister in law will think I’m rude, crazy , or obsessed!” You do have to be a bit tactful and it does depend how comfortable you are with your loss of sight and with your host. But it pays back big time to be brave! You can always ask the first couple of questions; then if you lose your chutzpah, call someone else who is also going and ask more questions.
If the second phone call is to someone who can give you a ride, you have a twofer reason for picking up the phone again!
Everyone is equal on the phone
Here’s the clincher to make you do this tough phone ahead stuff: No one can see on the phone (not yet anyway). So when you call for details your host will naturally use speech. “Duh!” you are saying, but if you can find your host at the dinner and ask the same questions, he may just point, or gesture, or say “It’s over there!”
The more you find out in advance, the more you will be in control, and have choices when you are at the dinner. Honestly it’s worth it!
Think about it
You will already know who is there, and who you want to sit next to (or avoid). You’ll be dressed right, you’ll know how the tables are set up and have a good idea what will go onto your plate. You will be back in control, back with adult status!
I bet there are other questions you would ask. Please add your comments and share your knowledge with the rest of us.
You might want to check last year’s post, Thanksgiving: How to Survive the Family Party
Next Week tips for the Thanksgiving dinner itself.