Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Awkward Moments

When I blog I usually share positive, upbeat news. I thought today I'd share some recent awkward moments just to keep it real.

  • At work I found myself in a conversation with two hearing people who were extolling the virtues of listening to books on tape in the car. They remarked that they get so caught up in the stories they arrive at their destination without remembering the drive. When they turned to me to see if I had experienced the same thing, I said simply "I don't enjoy books on tape." That ended the conversation. Ugh.
  • I was in a large meeting at work when the speaker said some funny things. Apparently. Everyone in the room laughed several times except for me. I felt like a fish out of water, gasping not for air, but for words I couldn't catch that would let me in on the joke. Oh well.
  • In a small group discussion at church, I reached up to my hearing aids to adjust the volume. When my hearing aids chirped everyone looked at me curiously. A bit later I shifted in my seat to try and get a view of a participant's face for lipreading. My son who was sitting next to me noticed and commented on both things in the car afterwards. So embarrassing.
  • That discussion took place after watching an episode from the History Channel's The Bible series. Unfortunately, it was not captioned.  Believe me, I asked the pastor about captioning before attending, but this "ministry" version did not have closed captions - a story in itself there! I was attending for the sake of my son and knew I would not catch it all. Turned out I missed much more than I had anticipated. When it came time to comment, I found myself commenting on a scene which did not rely on dialog - when Jesus restored the ear of the high priest's servant which was hacked off by Peter. Is it just me or was it a little lame to focus in on the only hearing related event in the movie? 
Sometimes I feel like I can never escape my hearing loss. 

5 comments:

Liz Fisher said...

I have been in the situation of a group laughing with me not because I missed what was said. Listening to books on tape is big no no for me too, like the radio.

(e said...

I understand. I and countless others can understand. However, books on tape I can follow for the most part--everything else you described I totally have been there!

It can be embarrassing. I used to be embarrassed by awkward experiences that occur from not hearing so well.

Luckily, I don't get embarrassed anymore. I find that openly talking about my hearing loss and how frustrating it is, helps. If I can't participate fully I explain why and leave. I find this to be effective. One time I did this in class, a while ago, when the teacher showed a long film without any captions. I told him I could not follow the film so I will leave the class since I can't participate. And I did just that, I left. Next time, the professor made sure that a film he shows in class was subtitled or captioned. :)

Xpressive Handz said...

Oh, I know exactly how this is...I've had similar experiences. I even wrote about a most embarrassing one that is going to be in the next issue of ALDA Magazine.

Thank you for sharing these, Sarah.

Mrs. Dean said...

I stumbled upon your blog and I'm so glad I did. I was diagnosed with a moderate loss 5 years ago and I am still fighting to cope with it. I am a teacher and those awkward moments occur frequently for me. I am not good about advocating for my hearing and I have told few people besides my family. For the first time this year, I told my class, as I think children are more understanding than adults sometimes. It is so true that no one can truly understand unless you have a loss. I watched my mother progressively lose her hearing, and I never truly understood until it affected me. Thank you for sharing your journey, as reading your blogs have really helped me. I also intend to show my family that video so they can understand what speech sounds like to me.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

@Liz,
Your friendship is priceless. I am so glad you understand.

@ Joyce,
I will look out for your story in the magazine. It's very encouraging to know I am not alone in having these experiences.

@ (e,
That is fantastic that you can enjoy books on tape. I aspire to be as comfortable with my hearing loss as you are. Thanks for your comment.

@Mrs. Dean,
Thank you for letting me know that my blog has helped you. That means a lot to me.