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"Napkin Slippage Syndrome" — new non-motor symptom

When dining out, do you find it difficult, if not impossible, to keep your napkin on your lap through an entire meal? Do you find yourself asking your server for a clean napkin four or five times in one sitting? Are you paranoid that you are being profiled to determine whether you are “one of those people” who fill their purse with napkins and sugar packets to go? Have your favorite restaurants posted your photo on the “no serve” list? If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, welcome to my world.

I believe that “napkin slippage” (for lack of a better term) is not caused by tremor or dyskinesia, because it happens even when I am sitting perfectly still. More likely, I’ve stumbled upon an as yet unrecognized non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease.

Whether my napkin is paper, plastic, or cloth, the result is the same. Within minutes of putting it on my lap, it slides off and onto the floor, coming to rest in no man’s land under the middle of the table -- way out of anyone’s reach, let alone mine. Tucking my napkin into my shirt collar doesn’t work any better. The only thing that does is tying a plastic bag around my neck like a cheap bib. If that isn’t classy enough, imagine the bag displays the slogan, “I got the crabs at Bob Chinn’s.”




WPC - Montreal, Canada 2013

Sheryl eating dinner

I know the adult bib category is saturated with options many find helpful, but I don’t want a bib. I want something that looks like an ordinary napkin, but remains in place until I pull it off.  Meanwhile, I’ve become skilled at picking up my napkin between my feet, pulling it back towards my body, and lifting the napkin just enough for my husband to reach under the table and grab it from me. As you can imagine, this maneuver cannot be completed discreetly, leaving me to wonder what those seated around us must be thinking. It reminds me of the famous line in the movie, When Harry Met Sally: "I want what she's having." 


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