Category Archives: Observations
I started working the spring/summer after I turned 16, in 1981. My job search pretty much consisted of scanning the want ads in the paper, a process of elimination more than anything – what could I do where my hearing loss wouldn’t cause a problem? Right away I tossed out any kind of job with heavy phone work – answering phones at a pizza place, being a receptionist, telemarketing. Besides needing an amplifier to hear on the phone (and amplified phones were not that common in 1981), I have a phone phobia…something that I know isn’t limited to people with hearing loss, since I know of many people with fine hearing that hate the phone as much as I do. I also skipped any kind of waitressing job, because I didn’t think I could hear well enough to take accurate orders in a loud restaurant.
My first job was working at Baskin-Robbins, and I found it not through the paper but through one of my brother’s friends who worked there. He knew they were hiring and gave me the number to call. My friend called for me; she had a wonderful, relaxed manner on the phone and used to do this for me quite a lot, bless her heart. Thanks to her I got the job. (My phone phobia extends even to ads that require a phone inquiry; although I will swallow my fear and do it on occasion, I much prefer walking in to drop off an application or applying online.)
Since 1981, I’ve also worked as a cashier, keypunch operator, floating help in the office of a local school district (data entry, filing, Xeroxing, that kind of thing), file clerk, word processing operator (on a Wang word processor…before computers came along), and administrative assistant to a Human Resources manager.
I got the cashier job because my boyfriend’s mom was the supervisor in charge of cashiers; she just hired me without even really bothering to interview me. I stayed there for about a year and a half (half a year while I was also working at the school district).
I spent two years doing the keypunch/floating office help thing at the school district; I got that job because my Office Machines teacher recommended me when they called her looking for a student that did well on the keypunch machine. They actually called me and offered me the job; I didn’t even know it existed!
I worked for 10 years doing the file clerk/word processing job at McMaster-Carr Supply. I found out about that company through one of the secretaries at the school district, when my job there was coming to an end. Her daughter worked at McM and she kept telling me I should apply. I applied and kept calling about my application until I finally got an interview, after a couple months of persistence.
I left McM after Paige was born, and was a stay at home mom for a couple of years. Then my (now ex) husband and I separated and I needed to find full-time work. I found the admin assistant job in the paper; that’s when I applied to be a document clerk (no phone!) and the HR manager convinced me to be her assistant instead. I stayed for five years until they eliminated my position and laid me off in 2001. That job also solidified my determination to never get a phone-heavy job again; all the phone work traumatized me and left me stressed out and sick all the time.
So basically, I tend to stay on for a long time at my jobs (mostly because I hate job hunting) and I tend to find out about them in weird ways, although I always looked through the paper when I was job hunting. It’s just that it never really paid off; only one of the jobs I’ve had in my life came from an ad in the paper.
I haven’t really looked for a job since 1996, which was when I found my last job. After I was laid off, we ended up taking the candle business full time in May 2001 and it took off in a huge way. That was the best – working from home (although we worked constantly, night and day), no phone work at all, being creative and doing something I enjoyed….all while being here for the kids while they were growing up.
Now that the business has slowed down so drastically, I’ve started looking around again for some very part-time work to make a little extra money. But I’ve discovered that job hunting the way I used to is a thing of the past. It’s all online now, and I’m pretty much clueless.
Gone are the days of just scanning everything to see what might be a possibility. Now you need to focus on a career or specific occupation, unless you want to page through thousands of various jobs all across the country. For someone like me, with no college degree and no specific occupation, this is really difficult. I can search for things I know I’ve done in the past, but I’m such a dinosaur that many of those jobs don’t exist anymore. Nobody seems to hire file clerks or word processing operators, much less keypunch operators. (ha ha…even if the machines still existed, I wouldn’t know how to use them!)
Since I know I want very part time hours, probably no more than 15 per week, the best I can do is use part-time as a keyword search. Even that is not a lot of help, but at least it’s something. And now many jobs I know I’m perfectly capable of doing require a degree. When I first entered the job market, you could easily start low in a company and work your way up with just a high school diploma and a high level of intelligence. (Hello, thank you, that is me!)
So I scan the ads, reject the idea of most of them (many things, like data entry, require you to also cover for the receptionist like I did at my last job…NEVER AGAIN OHMYGAWD) and keep on looking. Why can’t it be like it is in the books I read? In one, this nice lady (who loves to cook) loses her husband to an unexpected heart attack. A bunch of different single guys on her block then approach her to see if she’ll make them dinner for a weekly fee. (Come on, really?!) In another, a lady has a traumatic brain injury and can no longer do her high-powered executive job. Eventually she learns how to ski using accommodations through an organization that helps disabled people modify equipment, so they can keep skiing and doing recreational activities they enjoy. And gee, they lose their director and she would be PERFECT for the job! If only real life worked that way.
Anyway, it’s been interesting, job hunting in 2013. I don’t have the in-person social network that I did when I was younger, or I would just put out the word and figure I’d get a job that way. I’ve wracked my brain trying to come up with another home-based business that does not involve selling anything (or buying materials and making things from scratch, like we did with the candles…too expensive in the long run, which is why we tapered the business back). So far I haven’t come up with anything, but the candle business was never planned — it just kind of happened — and it turned out to be great while it lasted. Who knows what might come my way this time?
When I was in high school, I worked as a cashier at Venture for about a year and a half. Venture was a store similar to K-Mart, your basic discount department store in the Midwest. This was back in ’81-’82, and the stores didn’t have scanners – we had to key in three sets of numbers for every item (department, item class and price). On top of that, the cash registers had no numbers on them, just blank white keys, meant to encourage us not to stare at the register but to look at the item and quickly key in the numbers on the price tag. (That scared me almost as much as the phone!) If a customer presented a credit card (and that was rare back then; most people used cash or checks) then we had to drag out the knuckle-buster and a credit slip, write all the information down, and call the charge in if it was over $50 (my biggest nightmare).
I got really good at the cash register part, and I was quick and efficient, moving my line along at a brisk pace. I usually had no problem understanding people, between my speech reading skills and my hearing aid. Back then, I had a moderate-severe loss in my left ear, and a severe-profound loss in my right ear; I wore one hearing aid, in my right ear. The biggest issue I really had was with the phone, which had no amplifier.
If I had to call in a charge, I never knew if I would be able to understand the person on the other end. Many times I had no idea what they were saying, but I got used to the questions they would ask so I would throw that information out there and hope it was what they needed. At least half the time I couldn’t hear the confirmation number they gave back to me; I’d just write down a bunch of numbers on the slip that sounded close to the noises I was hearing on the phone.
As a side note, I always looked for jobs that involved little to no phone use (I still do that even today). When I chose a cashier job, it never occurred to me that there would be a phone involved. I figured I couldn’t ask for a special phone and never bothered to even mention my difficulties to my boss. Although I kind of enjoyed the cashier aspect of the job, I would probably never go back to another cashier job because of the phones (and now those walkie-talkie things that everyone seems to use – those are a million times worse than the phone for me). Kind of a bummer because I’m looking for something very part time, just to bring in some extra money now that the business is slow, and it is hard to find something that doesn’t involve a lot of phone use with the skills I have (mostly office work). Between my phone phobia and my difficulties on the phone, I have no interest in using the phone at work – it stresses me out way, way too much. I can get by with a captioned phone, but I still would not want a job that had me using the phone very frequently. It’s going to be a long job search!
Getting back to my job at Venture…one day a lady came in, and I can’t remember now if she was alone or with somebody else, but I think she was alone. She told me she was deaf. And that’s all she said: “I’m deaf.” It froze me completely. I was terrified! I didn’t know sign language, didn’t know anything about deaf people or how to communicate with them. For all I know, she might have been able to hear a little bit; in my mind, ‘deaf’ meant completely devoid of hearing, no sound getting through at all.
I just smiled and nodded, didn’t say anything, and rang her purchases up. The whole time, I was slightly panicked, wondering how I was going to tell her the total of her purchases. I had no idea if she could lip read, I had no idea how to communicate with her at all. I believe she moved around so she could see the total on the cash register, then she paid and that was that. But all these years later, I still remember how freaked out I was to have someone tell me they were deaf…even though I also had a hearing loss!
Now that I’m deaf myself (and hearing with CIs), that always stays in the back of my mind if I identify myself as deaf to somebody. I never, ever just say, “I’m deaf” and leave it at that. I follow up with, “I read lips and I have cochlear implants.” Depending on the situation, I might also let them know that I’ll say something if I’m having trouble hearing. Usually I just like to throw it out there if the situation warrants it, so they don’t think I’m either rude/ditzy/clueless/stupid if I don’t respond appropriately. I always say that I’m deaf, though, because I am and also because it seems to catch people’s attention more than “I have a hearing loss.” People tend to be more careful about looking at me when they know I’m reading their lips; if I just say that I have a hearing loss, most of the time they talk with their head turned and/or talk too quietly or too fast.
Hopefully I’ve never elicited the same amount of fear in somebody that I had that day I met my first deaf person. Part of it was my young age and inexperience; part of it was her lack of information. Although she didn’t have to tell me anything else, it would have helped to know how to communicate with her since it wasn’t something I had any experience in. Live and learn!
On Friday Dave and I went over to our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, since everything in the store was 20% off. We scored a few great deals that saved us lots of money – 5 gallons of driveway sealer for $4, a brand new (in the box) toilet seat for $4, a bunch of stainless steel screening for $2.50 and some cove base to use in the downstairs in the entryway (a whole box of it for $2). As we were leaving, I noticed a flyer for a demonstration the next day on Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. I’ve heard a lot about it (kind of hard not to if you follow a lot of home décor blogs or Pinterest boards) but had never actually seen it, so I was curious.
So we went back yesterday, and at first we couldn’t find the demo. There was no signage, so we walked through the whole store. I couldn’t remember how long the demo was for, so I started to think maybe we missed it (we got there about an hour after it was supposed to start). Finally, after walking the perimeter of the entire store and ending up back at the front, we noticed a table set up at the far end. Bingo!
The women demonstrating the paint were really nice, and there were a few other people gathered around the table. I positioned myself so I could see their faces, and then started asking questions. Lots of questions. It was awesome – I was able to find out everything I wanted to know, got to see examples of various ways to use the paint and wax finishes, and the demonstrators seemed happy to have lots to talk about. We hung around for about 20 minutes, and then thanked them and moved on.
After we left the store and we were talking about the demo, Dave said, “Boy, you were talkative. Really talkative.” Then we kind of laughed, because usually I clam up in those situations. We’ve been to lots of conventions with vendor/exhibit halls, and usually I just walk by and look, or maybe stand in the back and watch. I never talk or engage the people in conversation. When we used to go to candle conventions, I even knew many of the vendors because we ordered from them; even then, I was very quiet. A big reason is because it’s so hard to hear in those situations; I really didn’t want to be in a position where someone was telling me all this stuff and I was doing the deaf nod, pretending to understand. (Back then I had my bi-CROS analog hearing aids, which had no program to suppress background noise…it was all just LOUD.) Part of it was worry that I’d be pressured to buy something, when I just wanted information. Part of it was just my natural shyness and discomfort with making small talk/casual conversation.
After we started going to HLAA conventions, once I had my CIs, I started to come out of my shell a little bit. I was still kind of shy, but I started to ask more questions, make eye contact (one thing I really avoided, since it invited conversation) and participate more in the product demonstrations.
Even though the ReStore was loud (lots of banging from things being moved around, as well as the general cavernous, echo chamber effect due to the building) I did okay as long as I could also lip read. I didn’t miss anything, and I just had a blast asking all the questions I had about the paint. I could see Dave periodically looking at me, kind of like, ‘Who is this woman and what has she done with Wendi?!’ I know this isn’t a big deal to most people, but for me it’s nice to shed some of that fear of starting a conversation with a stranger!
In non-hearing-loss-related triumphs, I actually picked up Maxie, our former-feral mom cat. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll remember an entry I wrote where I worried about how we’d get Maxie and her two girls, Alice and Grace, into carriers when it comes time to move. Although they’ve been living indoors with us for almost seven years now, we still can’t really pick them up. In all other aspects, they’ve become regular domestic cats (although it took a few years) – we pet them, they come to us when we call them (and also just for attention), Maxie has progressed to sitting on my lap if I’m laying down or sitting on the couch; the girls (we still think of them as kittens even though they’re now seven) are more shy, but Alice has occasionally jumped up on the couch with me, and Grace will lay next to me in the morning if I’m still in bed and Dave has gotten up.
But picking them up, or manipulating them in order to trim their nails or get them into a carrier? Hell no. With Maxie, as soon as you run both hands along her sides, she slinks to the ground, out of reach, and runs away. The younger girls don’t even let us get that far! Well, a couple days ago Maxie was sitting on my desk chair and I wanted to sit down. With our fourth cat Sabrina, it’s no big deal – I just pick her up and deposit her somewhere else. (She’s the only one, besides Maxie, that ever sits in my chair.) Well, Maxie was pretty comfortable and I figured if I slid my hands along her sides, it would freak her out and make her jump off. I was shocked to see her stay in a sitting position, so I figured what the heck…let’s try this. I leaned over, slid my hands underneath her and lifted her to my chest (not a long distance, since I was leaned over her back). She started complaining, making this moaning kind of meow she does when she sees an outdoor cat on the deck. I kept talking to her and deposited her on the floor; the whole time she kept her ears erect and her tail perky so she didn’t have her usual physical signs of distress.
Dave watched all of this in shock, then immediately began to praise her. And that little stinker just strutted around, tail held aloft, as we petted and complimented her on her bravery. I haven’t tried it again but the next time the opportunity presents itself, I will…hopefully we can do this enough that she’ll finally realize we aren’t trying to hurt or trap her when we do it. Yay, Maxie!
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but every time we watch a movie or TV show with an apocalyptic sort of setting (mainly where there’s no electricity), I always think, If I were in that situation, my CIs wouldn’t work and I’d be deaf. Of course, I’m deaf either way but you know what I mean – I wouldn’t be able to hear, ever. Unless the electricity came back and I could recharge my batteries, that is. Even Dave would be in a bad way – he could use his hearing aid only until his batteries ran out (and we could no longer find a store that carried them).
Or, in the case of the tsunami in Indonesia and other countries near the Indian Ocean (we watched The Impossible last week…what a great movie!), we definitely would be screwed because our hearing instruments would be ruined by being in that water (assuming we survived, of course). I actually told Dave, “Wow…if that was me I’d be deaf and practically blind, because my contact lenses would definitely get washed out of my eyes in that situation!” (I am very, very nearsighted – if I didn’t have contacts/glasses that could correct my vision, I would be legally blind.)
It’s just this weird little thing I do; I have no idea why. But the other day I got myself all worked up over something similar in The Walking Dead. In that show, most of society has been infected by a virus that turns them into zombies; the survivors are banding together (or fighting each other, in the recent storyline) and we see them doing things like going into abandoned stores and looking for food and supplies. So you figure it’s been a while, right? At least a year, maybe more? Well, I noticed that only one person on the show seems to wear glasses. And, come on, I imagine a lot of people in real life need glasses or contact lenses…is it really possible that every character on the show but one has 20/20 vision? What do they do if they wear bi-weekly contacts (like me) and need more? You can’t exactly order them or go to the doctor. What if a zombie chases them and they lose their glasses? What do they do – they can’t really replace them, after all. I know it’s silly and it’s TV and it’s a zombie show, don’t take it so seriously, omg, but it still drives me crazy.
That’s the kind of thing I’d get a kick out of watching — instead of all the fighting and warring factions and all of that, I’d like to see how people deal with the reality of living in a world where all the things we take for granted are suddenly wiped away. This doesn’t apply to The Walking Dead, by the way. I love the way they handle the show and keep a mix of personal stories and violence, actually. I’m thinking more of shows like Jericho (which was canceled a few years back). The scenario was that nuclear bombs went off across the US and the people in this small town in Kansas don’t know why they suddenly have lost power and are cut off from the rest of the world. I was hoping they would focus on the real-life “How do we deal with this?” scenarios, but instead they spent too much time focusing more on fighting. The first few shows were promising, though!
I guess it wouldn’t be very fun to watch people stumbling around on The Walking Dead because they don’t have glasses anymore. But Dave did get a good joke in, after I was done with my mini-rant. He pointed out that if, in fact, I was in a zombie apocalypse and no longer had contacts or glasses, I would also be shambling along with my hands out in front of me, just like the zombies. I would fit right in!
Sometimes I make notes about things I want to remember to write about here. If I can, I try to stay on one topic for a whole post…but sometimes the little anecdotes I write down are just that: anecdotes, and unrelated at that. So here are a few random snippets to start the week:
Last night, Dave and I watched a really entertaining movie, 2 Days in New York. Mingus (Chris Rock) is dating Marion (Julie Delpy), who is French, and her family comes from France to visit for a few days. He doesn’t speak French, and her father doesn’t speak much English. (Her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, Manu, speak English and French.) One hilarious scene features a family dinner; Mingus is seated at the end of the table with Marion’s father, Jeannot, and Manu, who attempts to translate the conversation for Jeannot. The translations go hilariously wrong, and Jeannot makes some comments to Mingus, in his accented English, that make no sense in relation to what Mingus was originally saying. You can see the confusion on his face as he tries gamely to carry on a conversation that has veered off in a nonsensical direction.
Dave, in the midst of his laughter, turned to me and said, “That’s what it’s like for me!” Seriously, when you have a hearing loss and you’re trying to carry on a conversation with a bunch of people, it happens so easily. One minute you think you’ve got a handle on the subject matter, then the next thing you know you’re making a comment that makes no sense to anyone else, or asking a question about something that’s just been discussed. It’s times like this when it helps to have a sense of humor!
When I was a kid, I used to run really high fevers (I’m talking 104 or so). It was a pretty regular thing with me when I got sick; I was never the type to just have a temperature of 100 or 101. In fact, that was originally what my parents assumed caused my hearing loss. I was a toddler…maybe 18 or 20 months?…and I got roseola. My temperature shot up really high, like 106 or so, and they put me in the hospital. My mom said they put me on a bed with ice (or ice packs, maybe) to cool me off; when the nurses left the room, she would pick me up and hold me because I was turning purple from the cold. My hearing loss wasn’t discovered until I was around 4 years old; by that time, nobody was sure what caused it and we always assumed it was caused by that high fever (or perhaps the antibiotics used, which might have been ototoxic).
So anyway, this weird thing would happen to me when I was young and feverish. I still remember it very well, and I imagine it happened all through my early childhood. (I can remember being in junior high and being sick with a fever, and realizing that it no longer happened – I couldn’t will it to happen or experience it again, so it seems like it was connected to early childhood somehow.) I would leave my body and float to the corner of my ceiling. I know it sounds crazy, but I swear to God it happened. I can still remember what it looked like, being up there and looking down. It was always the same corner – the front left corner, which was to the left of my bedroom door. I could look from there towards my bed. It wasn’t scary, it was just a hazy experience when I was completely burning up with a fever. It would happen if I just kind of let go and didn’t think about anything too much. I just assumed it was something that happened to everybody; I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it to my parents (or, if I did, if they believed me). I was actually startled when I realized it wasn’t happening to me anymore, and like I said, I tried to go back into that meditative state and see if I could make it happen, and I couldn’t. It was just one of those inexplicable young-child experiences I had almost forgotten about.
I’ve mentioned before that Dave and I test recipes for Cooks Illustrated. I like doing it because it gets me out of my food comfort zone and gets me to try new things and learn new cooking techniques. Since the whole point of testing the recipe is to see if the instructions are clear and the ingredients work as they should, you really have to follow the recipe precisely – exact measurements and times, no ingredient substitutions, the same size and type of pan the recipe calls for, that kind of thing. Well, Dave is a rebel when it comes to cooking (and, well, to life in general). He really hates being told what to do, and almost never follows a recipe when he cooks. I’m the complete opposite – I measure and follow the recipe every time. The most I might do is change up ingredients and cooking methods after I’ve made the recipe the first time (as stated), but even then I make notes on the recipe and follow my notes.
Every time we test a recipe, I have to watch him, and remind him that we’re testing this recipe so we have to follow it precisely. I can see the expression move across his face; he wants to resist, but he knows he can’t. So I always have to keep an eye on my kitchen rebel – I know he really, really wants to do it his way. It’s the one time I can boss him around and he can’t argue with me!
Sometimes I think about the weirdest things. Earlier today I was thinking about all those boot camp scenes you see in movies, where they have a drill sergeant marching the guys along and yelling out that call and response thing. (Dave told me it’s called ‘cadence.’) You know what I mean, right? Well, if I was in that situation, I’d be screwed. The drill sergeant would yell out his thing, and when everyone repeated it I’d just be mumbling and hoping he didn’t notice that I wasn’t really repeating it. Because, of course, I wouldn’t know what the heck he was saying.
Oh, I hate call and response situations! We encounter them at concerts and presentations; we had them come up at both the kids’ college orientations. Sometimes I can figure out what I’m supposed to say, but usually I fake it.
This got me thinking about other situations that I, as a deaf person with CIs, and Dave, as a hard-of-hearing person, really hate. We talked about that today as we worked side by side, putting dinner together (chili, in the crockpot…can’t wait).
The first thing I thought of is people talking to me through a door. I don’t think Dave encounters this as much as I do; it’s probably more of a girl thing. People love to chat when you’re in a public bathroom. This always makes me freeze – if I’ve come in with someone else (you know that girls hit the restroom in packs whenever possible!) then I’m not sure if it’s them talking to me, or if it’s someone else in the bathroom talking to some other person. Not only can I not understand what’s being said, but everything sounds weird in a bathroom with all the tile everywhere and (usually) background noise like music or dryers going or toilets flushing, so voices are hard for me to recognize. If I know for a fact that I’m alone in the bathroom with the person I walked in with, then I feel like a big jerk not responding to them. It’s okay if it’s my mom or daughter, because I’ll just remind them that I can’t understand them. But I used to have this happen a lot with other female acquaintances that I didn’t know that well and who often didn’t even know I had a hearing loss. It was such an uncomfortable situation!
It also happens in dressing rooms. Helpful clerks will knock on the door and ask questions and that makes me nuts. To understand them, I have to open the door and have them repeat the question while I read their lips, and I’m usually in a state of undress. Just leave me alone, people! When I was in high school there was a popular store in the mall, Merry Go Round, that I finally learned I should never go into, because the sales girls always, always knocked on the door and chatted when I was in the dressing room. They’d ask how everything was, if I needed a different size, or they’d try to get you to come out so they could ooh and aah over how the clothes looked on you (and try to get that sale). It stressed me out so much that I stopped shopping there even though I liked the clothes.
I also hate when someone knocks on the door of either a public bathroom or a dressing room. At Goodwill, I’ve had dressing room attendants knock and then open the door on me because I didn’t respond. Talk about embarrassing! I couldn’t tell if they were knocking on my door or someone else’s, and it caught me so off-guard that I didn’t know how to respond. In the time it took me to stand there and think, Did they knock on my door? What do I say…hello? I’m in here? Uh…what should I do… I would hear the telltale sound of the key in the lock and see the knob turning. Usually I have enough time to cover up before they open the door and expose me to the whole damn store. The bathroom is the same way – I just freeze and don’t know what to say. Sometimes I say nothing, other times I just yell, “Occupied!” and hope that it was really my door the person was knocking on.
Let’s see, what else…oh. Talking into my ear. Please don’t do that! It doesn’t help me hear or understand you better…it just means I have to crane around and try to get your face in front of my face again. This goes hand-in-hand with whispering, which was the bane of my existence as a kid. Kids like to whisper! I felt like such a dork, having a kid whisper to me and then just looking at them cluelessly. I turned down a lot of sleepover invitations because of this (whispering combined with darkness…girls whispering after the lights are out…a nightmare for me) and also sleepaway camp for the same reason. I know my mom probably thought I was just clingy but this was a big part of why I never wanted to stay overnight anywhere.
Dave’s ‘crappy situation’ contributions were restaurants, cashier chit-chat, and events in big auditoriums or loud situations (especially the open houses and orientations we went to for the kids at school). All of these involve loud environments and unpredictable conversations. I can always tell when a cashier has stumped Dave with a comment or question he wasn’t anticipating. Sometimes I can jump in and save him if I’ve been paying attention and lipreading. I’ve mentioned before that we usually don’t go to restaurants, but if we do we try to get a booth along the wall, and Dave makes sure to face his good ear in the direction of the waitress. I do a little better now in these kinds of environments thanks to ClearVoice knocking out the background noise, but Dave still really suffers, poor guy.
Of course, we both hate drive-thrus, another thing I’ve mentioned before. It’s a good thing we don’t do a lot of take-out! You just never know what kind of goofy question they’re going to throw at you, if the speaker system is going to be clear or staticky, or if the person talking to you is going to have an accent you can’t understand. It’s not just food though; we also encounter uncomfortable drive-thru situations at the bank and the pharmacy as well. In those cases, we try to pull up to the window on the building, so we can (hopefully) see the person’s face and lipread if they have questions.
How about talking to someone in the dark? Nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting around a campfire or sitting outside at night and trying to talk to a group of people (especially those you don’t know very well). Again, this is something I dealt with more as a young person ; now we just avoid those kinds of situations if we can. Every now and then, though, we get invited to do something like this and we do go…we just don’t talk very much!
To end this on a more positive note (I’m starting to sound like a crabby curmudgeon here), I know I talked before about what it’s like for me at the end of the day, when I go to bed and everything is silent. In the morning, though, I go from total silence to instant sound, and it’s like the part in the Wizard of Oz when everything changes from black and white to color. I never know what my first sound of the day will be. Sometimes it’s just silence; I’m in the bedroom, usually alone, when I put my CIs on. Sometimes it’s really loud, because I have a tendency to put my CIs on right when Dave is grinding coffee beans in the kitchen. But today, the first sound I heard was loud, rumbly purring. Beanie was sitting at my feet, looking up at me. She went from silently (to me) staring to loudly purring in the space of a second. What an awesome way to start the day!
* This song is by Yaz. LOVE!