Friday, May 11, 2007

Invisible Disability

We were all at the dining table eating supper and somehow the topic of shopping came up.

Flare, my oldest (12 years old), is already showing signs of a sensitive but assertive personality. The kind that tells me she won't back down from a confrontation. (Unlike me, I try to avoid confrontations as much as I can. Yes, I am a wimp.)

We were talking about how people just go in all directions in the aisles. Something catches their eye and they leave their cart and walk across the aisle looking at something that either caught their eye or it was something they were looking for. Even I do that once in a while.

I was helping Angel find a pair of new gym shoes.

A couple wanted to get through and I was blocking them. The woman, talking to my back, said, "Excuse me." I didn't hear her.

The woman rolled her eyes behind my back and exclaimed, "Some people!" I didn't hear that either.

Flare whipped around and defended me. She raised her eyebrows and said, "My mom's hard-of-hearing. Got a problem with that?"

The woman was understandably shocked and embarrassed. She walked away with her husband.

I did not know she did this.

You just never know. If you ask someone to let you through in the store and a person seemingly ignores you, that person just might be hard-of-hearing or deaf. He or she isn't doing this on purpose. It's an invisible disability.

Flare brought up another incident. I had no idea that it happened.

Apparently she told her dad about what happened at the store and he told her about the time when we were living in a duplex (upstairs).

There was a man with three sons (or was it four?) living downstairs.

I worked first shift. I always set my alarm at 4:30 a.m. That way I am up even if I didn't have to work overtime. My body stays conditioned to getting up early that way. (Now I only set it at 5:10 a.m.)

My alarm clock has a vibrator (what were you thinking!?! Get your mind out of the gutter!) that I stick between the mattresses under my pillow. It also causes my lamp to flash on and off, but that doesn't work for me. I am a heavy sleeper. I need the vibrator on. I can feel the noise. It's just that I am more sensitive to vibrations. (I know you are snickering.)

Anyway, after about a month after we moved upstairs, the man living downstairs approached my ex and says, "Your wife's alarm clock wakes up the whole house! Is she deaf or something?"

He responded, "Yes, she is."

It was never discussed again.



At Fri May 11, 07:43:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

did this work???????

At Sat May 12, 03:07:00 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Somebody did that to me one time. I missed an announcement at a lecture to "move up closer to the front". I remained seated, and a guy turned around and said, "He said, MOVE UP TO THE FRONT! What are you...deaf or something?"
You should seen his face when I told him....I hope he learned a valuable lesson that day... ;)

At Mon May 14, 11:30:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've learned never say "I am sorry I have a hearing problem." Hey, it is not my fault.......

At Tue May 15, 06:56:00 AM , Blogger Shari said...

Hi Anonymous,

You are right. Why should we apologize for our hearing loss. I find myself saying that all the time. "Sorry. Didn't catch that." Even with the help of hearing aids, it doesn't make us "hearing". My kind of hearing loss distorts some words and hearing aids only amplifies the distortion, too.

At Thu Jan 10, 10:02:00 AM , Blogger hillgrandmom said...

What a great girl..Jennee! Also makes me think that one should really try and look into a situation when someone's behaviour seems different or unacceptable to you.


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