Ms. Adventure

Ms. Adventure: Ever Try Dining Blindfolded?

Dining in the dark for a Lighthouse fundraiser proved quite a test for someone once known as Sloppy Jo.

  D​ining etiquette is difficult for me in the most well-lit of rooms, so one can imagine what an adventure it was for me to dine in the dark. Dining in the Dark is an annual dinner and auction that raises funds for Lighthouse of SWFL, an incredible nonprofit rehabilitation center for Southwest Florida folks living with blindness and vision impairment. Providing support to the visually impaired since 1974, Lighthouse of SWFL specializes in a variety of services, from vocational training to counseling to independent living skills and more. This year was the eighth for the popular event, which moves from restaurant to restaurant each year, with the theme of the event corresponding to the cuisine of the eatery. This time it was Latin Night at La Trattoria Cafe Napoli, and I was nervous. I have never been the most elegant of eaters. In fact, my dear Grandpa Jim nicknamed me Sloppy Jo (my middle name is Jo) when I was around 7 years old. My mother told me that no matter how much I tried to aim food into my mouth, I’d invariably hit my nose or my chin instead. It wasn’t so much that I had no coordination; “You just always got distracted,” she told me. And it’s true—while eating a hotdog, I’d see a toy, grab for it, and then have ketchup and mustard all down the front of my shirt. My Grandpa would laugh, “Oh, Sloppy Jo.” I never really grew out of it. Messiness has been a signature thing for me—and again, it
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