Dinner in the Dark

IMG_20141110_172816Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend a Dinner in the Dark, a benefit for the New Hampshire Association for the Blind, hosted by Giuseppe’s Restaurant in Meredith, NH.

Dinner in the Dark is a unique sensory awareness experience where participants eat their meals blindfolded, using only their sense of taste, smell and touch, to experience what is is like to dine as a blind person.

This was an experience I will never forget!

 

Here are some of the insights I had while dining in the dark:

  1. Noises in the room were magnified so much that I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying at the tables nearby. It was even difficult, at first, to hear conversations at our small table of four. It made me realize how much we utilize our sense of sight to understand someone when they are talking to us by watching their lip movements, as well as facial expressions and hand gestures.
  2. My sense of smell and taste were also magnified. I could smell my wine and food better. I could even smell my salad! Everything tasted wonderful, but the butter, onion and lemon ingredients in my meal became overpowering after a few bites. A blind person might prefer less of certain ingredients because their sense of taste is so heightened. This is something that never occurred to me before.
  3. Perception of distance seemed different. The table I was sitting at wasn’t that big, but it felt like it was. When the people around me became silent, I felt so far away from them.
  4. Also, time went slower, and I ate slower because I was conscious of every moment and bite.
  5. I didn’t talk as much as I do when I have my sight. Imagine that!
  6. My posture was lousy. I leaned into the plate more because I didn’t want to make a mess. I’m sure if I always had to eat like this, I would suffer from constant back pains.
  7. When talking with others at the table, I felt more engaged. We passed around our wine glasses to smell the different aromas, and had to touch when doing so. I thought it was intimate and every movement and word was important between us. When no one at the table was talking, though, I felt a little lonely, even with the loud background noises.
  8. I didn’t eat everything on my plate and that’s unusual because I eat everything in sight. But, of course, I didn’t have my sight and for some reason I became fuller faster (hmmm, maybe I should dine blindfolded more often!).
  9. I wish I would’ve been able to see what my food looked like. It’s like I missed out on something big. Two days later, I’m still wondering what it looked like!
  10. After the meal, when I took my blindfold off, the light in the room, although dimmed, was almost unbearable. It hurt my eyes and I was overwhelmed with all the sights around me all at once. Until my eyes adjusted, I had a strong desire to put the blindfold back on.

As I mentioned before, it was an experience I will never forget. If you ever have the opportunity to participate in a Dinner in the Dark, don’t pass it up. It’s very “eye-opening” and a great benefit for a very worthy cause.

 

 

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2 Responses to Dinner in the Dark

  1. Diana Thomas says:

    What wonderful insights – thanks for sharing.

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