First, I must express my surprise that Paula Deen has finally managed to cause her own downfall and it wasn’t butter-related. For shame, Paula.
On with the show.
If you have a WordPress blog, you know that among the stats reported to you are the search terms that were used to find your blog. I’ve had some odd ones (how to make your own fake puke, putting out electrical fire), but one that really stuck out to me? “I kinda want to be deaf.”
I cannot imagine who typed this: someone whose kid sibling took up the recorder(cue home movie of me playing the recorder on both an inhale and exhale at age three)? A person living next to an airport? A new parent? A parent, period.? A crazy person? Beats the hell out of me, but it certainly got me thinking that there is something to be said for not hearing things. Or from the side effects that seem to come with the territory. So, I’ve told you before what it’s like to be deaf and some of the unfortunate parts, but let’s answer another question. Why is it not always bad to be deaf?
1. Sleep tight!
Me speaking to my co-worker at a few weeks ago.
Her: I’m exhausted!
Me: Why so tired?
Her : Stupid thunderstorms kept me up!
Me: We had thunderstorms last night??
In the morning, friend is over.
Him: What the hell is that noise?
Me: What noise?
Him: I hear little kids yelling.
Me: Oh! Probably just my landlord’s kids. Their rooms run the length of mine.
Him: How does that not make you insane?!?!….Ohhhhhh, right.
2. Heightened sense of smell (both a blessing and a curse, but i’ll put it here for the purposes of this exercise).
Boyfriend at the time picks me up from the airport, I hop in the car.
Me: Did you have fast food for dinner? It smells like a big mac and fries.
Him: Yeah- TWO DAYS AGO!!!
At family gathering at aunt’s house.
Cousin Mia (coming into living room next to kitchen, stands a few feet away from me): Let’s go play something.
Me: Have you been eating peppers?
Aunt (calling out from kitchen): Mia, I TOLD you to STOP eating peppers off the cutting board!
3. The Lipreading. Oh, the ability to lipread. It’s an incredible espionage tool (although I wouldn’t mind an Aston Martin ca. 007).
I wouldn’t even know where to start with this one. It has served me well countless times, not only because it comprises about 90% of the way in which I “hear” things, but because I have caught a lot of crap I am certain I wasn’t intended to. This can be wildly entertaining for me, if I use these powers for evil. Those “bad lip reading” videos? I can actually tell what the heck they are really saying. Sometimes, when I watch sports, I know the plays before the announcers do or the rest of the viewers because I lip read the coach (occasionally in the huddle, too). Also, Bill Belichick? Filthy potty mouth. On a side note, it’s really too bad that lip reading can’t help me figure out what the hell his latest “experiment” is with this Tebow business.
4. Ease of tuning out that which you don’t want to hear.
I’m going to be honest here. I try very hard to hear what’s going on around me. Unlike a hearing person, I have to CONCENTRATE. Concentrate on the sound, concentrate on deciphering it, concentrate on the non-verbal cues, etc. It is really really really easy for me to just let it go. If I stop concentrating, it just becomes NOISE. I can zone out. You can imagine that this can be really useful. My mom? She just turns off her hearing aid. Instant peace and quiet!
5. Awkward chit-chat can be warded off easily.
“Sorry, I’m deaf” is a perfect deterrent for those pesky awkward situations including, but not limited to: Religious fanatics at your doorstep at the crack of dawn, salespeople that will NOT leave you to browse in peace, the [insert cause here] advocates accosting you on the street, etc.
On a side note, my mom often gets out of speeding tickets by playing the deaf card. I haven’t tried this one. It requires mastery of the deaf accent, and I don’t do that well.
You know, I joke around a lot. As I’ve said before, it’s so important to be grateful for what you DO have, but honestly, if you can’t laugh about your shortcomings or the less than optimal situation you’re in through no fault of your own, what kind of life is that? Yeah, it’s tough to be hard of hearing sometimes. I know from growing up with profoundly deaf parents that it’s even harder, but it isn’t all bad. I prefer to be an optimist.