It’s been sitting on my dresser, and I’ve been using it for over a month now. My husband noticed it for the first time this past week, however and exclaimed:
“Darn! They bottle this stuff now?”
I looked at him in confusion and he gestured to the hand cream bottle…
“They package, and sell this stuff now?”
Well I like to claim that my hearing loss makes me a little slow in picking up a “play on words”, but I have a feeling that sarcasm and dry wit was something lost on me long before I acquired a hearing loss.
Wouldn’t it be great if intelligence, and other characteristics, skills and gifts could be bottled and “applied when desired”?
People with hearing loss are often treated like they are less intelligent. I suppose I consider myself blessed in that I have not ever felt as though my students, peers, co-workers, or family members have ever treated me like my hearing loss meant that I processed things less “intelligently” than others. However, I am a member of numerous forums, list serves and online support groups. Not a week goes by where someone has not posted that they were treated like a “2nd class citizen”, or “less intelligent” due to their disability.
I think sometimes it is a misunderstanding. People we know many times try to change the WAY that they say things in order to communicate effectively. They may noticeably slow their speech down, or over-enunciate words in an effort to help us understand what they are saying to us. Perhaps people with hearing loss are hyper-sensitive to facial expression or perceived exasperation and misconstrue those with the very best of intentions.
My family and I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend large conventions whose target audience is people with hearing loss. They have come to me in astonishment before after having overheard one person with hearing loss make fun of another with hearing loss. What astonished them is how everyone thought it was funny! As people with normal hearing, they would never dream of teasing someone about anything to do with their hearing loss. (Nor should they, as it likely would result in hurt feelings). I “poke fun” at myself a great deal. In many ways, I believe this helps put people at ease about my disability. I have to admit, however, that if I don’t know someone very well and they should tease me about my disability… I will walk away hurt.
Perhaps I should look for a hand cream that is called “Understanding”. We all should apply more of that.
©2008 Hearing Loss Diary