Lifestyle | Deaf Awareness Week
There is going to be a long intro to this but, bear with me, I do get to the main point of post very soon!
Back in 2006 I set myself up with a dating profile on Match.com, internet dating was still relatively 'new' in those days. I had no idea what to expect, I wasn't hoping to meet Mr Right (or Mr Wrong!). After 2 weeks I went on my first date, describing himself as tall, dark, handsome and 25 I remained hopefull even though his picture was a little fuzzy. My hopes were crushed faster than Usain Bolt running the 100 metres, not only was he not tall, he was actually 20 and still at Uni, ughhh. I almost gave up after this but then I gave Mr C a wink and 2 weeks later we were off on our first date!
Now, I'm not a believer in love at first sight, unless I'm looking at handbags or dogs! But over our first meal Mr C gazed into my eyes with such an intensity I was a little overwhelmed so I just assumed he must have fallen in love with me after a 2 hour date! It wasn't until our second date that Mr C told me that he was hard of hearing, awkward, there was me thinking it was love at first sight but actually the intense gazing was him trying to read my lips and listen to my quiet voice, I was very nervous on our first date and the more nervous I am the quieter I get!
It was definitely a shock for me at first, I've never told him this but, my initial thought was to text him to say I didn't want to see him again but, he was so lovely and attentive on the first two dates I didn't want to give up on him. It was hard, I would always try to face him when I spoke to him, a must for anyone with hearing loss, I tried to speak a little louder but not too much and had to stop myself from over enunciating my words, a really awful way of belittling a deaf/hard of hearing person. We managed though, he soon got used to my voice, we would text all the time, phone calls were few and far between but, that was ok, I knew I had found Mr Right, sorry if you are vomiting by now!
Another obstacle I faced was meeting Mr C's father and sister, both of whom are deaf. I had to get used to a loud household, voices were raised, not in an angry way but so that everyone could be heard. I had to get used to watching programmes with subtitles, 10 years later and I still have to stop myself from just reading the subtitles, I even put them on when Mr C is not around, force of habit I think!
I've gotten used to being Mr C's ears when we are out and about, because he doesn't wear hearing aids people don't know that he is hard of hearing. With my bad eyesight he has become my eyes! I have learnt so much about the deaf community since we've been together, something I probably would have never done if we'd never met.
So there is my little story for Deaf Awareness week. If you want to find out more or maybe learn some sign language head to BDA website.