Tag Archives: blind

Why Is Allison Woolbert, a Guide Dog and a Plastic Bag on a First Date So Memorable?


Allison Woolbert had been out of the dating scene for quite a while, focusing on a career move and relocating to central Jersey from the southern part of the state. She had been corresponding via cassette tape and over the phone with a woman named Suzanne, who she had met through a music ministry event back in the 1990s. Suzanne was bright, fun and musical, and also happened to be blind. A few weeks earlier Allison agreed to travel with Suzanne’s mother to pick her and her new guide dog, Meg up from a Guide Dog Training School in Smithtown, New York. They made plans for their first real date, however, the first weekend that Allison moved into her new efficiency a couple towns over from where Suzanne lived in her condo.

Allison Woolbert was the type that was always prepared for any work or social event, and felt like she prepared well for their date. They had planned a simple movie and dinner, and Allison imagined how she might have to assist Suzanne in some instances. “Okay, I’ll be the audio describer for the action scenes in the movie,” she thought. “Maybe I’ll offer to cut her steak, dress her salad, or read the menu as many times as she wants to hear it,” she thought further.

Driving just a tad above the speed limit, Allison raced across town to be on time for their date. As she exited the car, the wind kicked up and it looked as though it would start pouring any second. She reached into her back seat for the jacket she always left there, and realized it was missing. If they hurried, they could probably stop at Kmart on the way to the movie and grab a windbreaker.

Suzanne and Meg were waiting at the door, Meg harnessed up and looking ready for their adventure. They got into the car, and Suzanne did not seem to be concerned about being late for the movie at all, and said it was fine with her if they stopped at Kmart. Once inside the store, Allison led while Meg followed, zigzagging up and down aisles and between parked shopping carts and sale item displays. All of a sudden, she jerked to the left, and stopped dead in her tracks. Allison Woolbert looked down and exclaimed, “Oh, my God, she just had an accident!”

Suzanne frantically rummaged around inside her purse and jacket pockets as a look of sheer panic passed over her face. “What do we do now?” Allison asked. “We need a plastic bag,” Suzanne almost whimpered. “I’ll be right back,” she promised and darted off in search of what… Oh, a plastic bag. Finally, finding an aisle that seemed to hold paper products and the like, Allison scanned the boxes and froze.” Glad, Hefty, Ziploc, Food Storage, and a dozen other brands lined the shelves in front of her. “Which one?” she exclaimed inside her head.

Ten minutes later, Suzanne was shifting from one foot to another, looking desperate. When she cried what took so long, Allison quietly answered, “I couldn’t decide which one, which bag would be best.” Instantly, they burst into laughter. Meg’s present secured inside the bag and quickly deposited in the trash outside, They had broken the ice on any discomfort that they may feel for the rest of the evening. They simply enjoyed it, making jokes about which one would be best all night long.