Monday August 15, 2016

Episode eight: Judy Wants Romance

Judy Wants Romance 2:07

Listen to Full Episode 27:26

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While planning the third Sleepover things got chaotic. All the guests were confirmed and ready to go but at the last minute, one of them cancelled.

I understood why. Being a part of this curious social experiment means being vulnerable about very personal parts of life. It's a tall order to be stuck in a hotel room with a bunch of strangers for 24 hours opening up about intimate problems. 

Behind-the-scenes, it left us scrambling to find a new stranger to complete the trio. We opened up the phone lines and solicited problems from the public —"Call our line, introduce yourself, and tell us about your problem."

Soon our voice mail was maxed-out with messages from an array of people telling us about their conundrums and wanting to sleep over. Our message box transformed into a capsule for the human condition.

Among them, Judy Kennedy. Her voice was tender, and strong with a clarity that I found beautiful. She captivated me as she described herself and her problem.

Judy is 61 years young and lives in a retirement home. She was diagnosed with a neurological disease that left her unable to walk. Confined to her electric wheelchair, Judy navigates the world with the speed and precision of a winning race-car driver. She's fiercely independent and funny. She can pop a mean wheelie!

Her problem is universal and specific, she wants romance but finds it difficult to meet people. Online dating led nowhere and she found the bar scene frustratingly wheelchair inaccessible.

Judy wants romance and companionship, but she is worried about being a burden to potential partners. Everyone at the senior's home seems incompatible. What's a modern woman to do?

Strangers politician Jagmeet Singh, boy math whiz Tai Poole, and I have all suffered from heartbreak in the search for love. Together we help Judy find new ways to connect with strangers, while encouraging her to be more proactive.

Sook-Yin Lee 

PHOTOS FROM THE EPISODE

Judy Kennedy - Sleepover 3, Sook-Yin Lee

Judy Kennedy wants romance, but is finding it hard to meet new people (Adam Litovitz)

Judy Kennedy, Sook-Yin Lee - Sleepover 3

Okay everyone, Judy is ready to share. (Adam Litovitz)

Tai Poole, Jagmeet Singh - Sleepover 3, Sook-Yin Lee

Tai , Jagmeet are you listening? (Adam Litovitz)

Judy Kennedy, necklace - Sleepover 3, Sook-Yin Lee

Judy brought a beautiful necklace and matching earrings. How to they relate to her problem? (Adam Litovitz)

Judy Kennedy, Tai Poole, Jagmeet Singh, Sook-Yin Lee - Sleepover 3

Judy is looking for romance and new connections. She is wearing her dream date outfit, a beautiful peach dress. (Adam Litovitz)

Judy Kennedy, Tai Poole, Sook-Yin Lee - Sleepover 3

Judy, Tai has somebody he wants you to meet. (Adam Litovitz)

Judy Kennedy meets Grandpa Ian - Sleepover 3, Sook-Yin Lee

Tai's grandfather Ian, he says hello from New Zealand. (Adam Litovitz)

Tai Poole, Judy Kennedy - Sleepover 3, Sook-Yin Lee

Tai gives Judy a drawing of her future possibilities. (Adam Litovitz)

Tai Poole "It can happen" - Sleepover 3, Sook-Yin Lee

"It can happen." Tai believes, and no so does Judy. (Adam Litovitz)

Tai Poole - Sleepover 3, Sook-Yin Lee

Night falls and the guests get ready for bed. Tomorrow it will be Jagmeet's turn to share. (Adam Litovitz)