Saturday, April 5, 2014


Anywhere I go, things can get "interesting." Being asked questions, needing to ask questions myself, having to explain to whomever I am in contact with that I'm Deaf and cannot read lips--it gets old and I'm often misunderstood.

The other day had yet another couple of "interesting" experiences. First, I had to go through a fast food drive through for my daughter. Yelling into the speaker and having my daughter "interpret" what was being said--it turned into a yelling match...and not a fun one (as we all know yelling matches can be).

"I want a french fry with cheese and a vanilla shake." I have no idea what they said back. All my daughter did was nod. "What size," I asked her.

"Huh?" was her excellent retort.

"What size shake do you want?"

"Oh. Medium."

"I need a medium vanilla shake." I yelled into the speaker.

My daughter asked, "A second one?"

"Huh?" It must run in the family.

"A second vanilla shake?"

"No. I need the first shake to be medium."

"And what size for the second shake?" the people on the speaker obviously yelled.

"There is no second shake!!!" I was getting pretty frustrated by this point. "I need a french fry with cheese and a medium vanilla shake."

My daughter looked at me and nodded. "OK."

"OK, what?"

"You're done. Please pull forward," she smiled. Man, did I want to hit someone!

Later that day, I took my son to Subway as a way to get out of the house--just the two of us. The place was packed and there were four or five workers frantically trying to keep up with the crowd.

I let my son go first and then it was my turn. I'd been there many times, so I thought I could guess the questions the worker was going to ask me. Wrong.

As he went down the line, he finally stopped and asked me a one-word question of which I had no idea. My son was ahead of my--taking care of his own order--and I didn't want to bother him. Again the worker asked me something....."______?"

"Neutral?" was the only word I could guesstimate from him.

"What??" He was very confused. "_______?"

"Squirrel?" I tried again. I'm very bad at lipreading, in case you haven't guessed yet.

Finally, I think I caused enough stir in the line that my son noticed my struggle. He turned to me, "Mom, do you want it toasted?" Ahhhhhh...........

"Toasted? Really?? Man, I really stink at this. No thank you." We finished our orders and sat down to eat. My son, who is always there to start a great conversation, looked at my for a long time.

"What?" I finally asked. "You look like you have a question on your mind." I said.

"Yeah. I was just wondering, is it hard being Deaf?"

Hmmm. I pondered this and finally answered, "It has its moments. Sometimes good, sometimes bad." I was trying to be nice. What I really wanted to say was with great sarcasm--is it hard being Deaf?

Just a little.........

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