Yesterday, Holly at Arnold and Me tweeted about a scene from Wednesday’s American Idol episode. In it, a pump-wearing contestant experiences a moment we’re all familiar with. The moment of glory comes around 1:53:
I thought this was well played, both by Crystal and Harry Connick, Jr. She clearly explained what she was doing and dealing with — without making a big deal out of it — and Harry Connick, Jr. (do I have to type “Jr.” every time I write his name?) acknowledged the awkwardness of the situation gracefully enough.
I started using a MiniMed pump around the time I graduated from college. I used one of those little leather covers with the Velcro flap, so it wasn’t always immediately obvious that the thing clipped to my pocket wasn’t a cell phone or, God forbid, a beeper. I started working as a hostess shortly after I graduated, and the first few weeks into my job, several fellow employees accused me of carrying my cell phone with me during work hours.
“Waiting for a call?” they’d say, and I’d pull the pump off of my pocket, open the Velcro flap, hold it up to my ear, and say something like “Oh! It’s my insulin pump calling. Looks like I have diabetes!” I’m not sure how well this type of response would have flown in a formal workplace, but in a restaurant, it worked perfectly.
Several years later, while I was at a bar with some girlfriends, a particularly obnoxious guy sauntered up to me and said, “You know, I saw on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy that it’s a major fashion faux pas to wear your cell phone as an accessory.”
Really? A) Even if this was a cell phone, that’s a ridiculously rude thing to say, B) Was that supposed to be a pick-up line?, and C) IT’S MY INSULIN PUMP, you asshat!
As jarring as comments like that are, though, I have to admit that I find a hilariously sick sort of satisfaction in pointing out to someone that he’s just inserted his foot — and his perfectly functioning pancreas — into his mouth. As annoyed as I was with Bar Guy, I’m pretty sure I got free beers out of him for at least the next few weekends.
I’d easily gone 5 years without anything more than the innocent, “Hey, what’s that thing?” question. I’m always happy to explain. Then, a few months ago, an acquaintance of mine said to me as we were walking into a restaurant, “Jacquie, that thing on your pocket always trips me out. It looks like some kind of fucked up medical device or something.”
At least he didn’t think it was a cell phone.