How It All Began – A Hobbit’s Point of View

I asked Sam to write down ‘how we met’ from his point of view, both for my sake and for the kids sake.  He decided to write it so they could understand it and this is what he wrote:

How it all began:

When I first met stephcon, I was an agnostic. In case you don’t know what “agnostic” means, basically an agnostic doesn’t know whether or not there’s a god. And a lot of agnostics, including me, don’t think that anyone else really knows either. An agnostic can be a believer or an unbeliever. At that time I was slowly drifting toward unbelief.

Anyway, stephcon (whose full name is Stephenie C*****) seemed to like and relate to the posts I made in the agnostic community on LiveJournal. LiveJournal is a social networking site where people can post ‘journal’ entries, making it rather like a diary that you share with other people. My online name was (and still is) “slyfoot.” In around 2005 or 2006, stephcon and slyfoot became friends on LiveJournal.

At the time I was interested in Christian “apologetics” which essentially means a rational defense of the faith. It has nothing to do with apologizing or being “sorry” about something. But instead of arguing “for” Christianity, most of the time I would argue “against” it. Like I said, I was drifting more and more toward unbelief, and I was not shy about letting people know I didn’t really believe in Christianity.

But around 2006, a friend named Pam in the apologetics community on LiveJournal really got me to thinking. I felt like I missed something really important in my life. And I remembered how much I loved the Narnia books. I remembered how much I loved Aslan. And if you pay close attention to the Narnia stories, you can see a lot of parallels between Aslan and Jesus Christ.

And… I missed him. At that point I didn’t really miss Jesus, but I missed Aslan. To me, Aslan was the epitome of goodness, and I associated him strongly with faith. I associated Narnia very strongly with heaven. And since I missed Aslan and Narnia so much, I broke down and asked God to come back into my life.

Now from an atheistic point of view, this simply is not rational. There is no logical progression between “I love Aslan” and “I believe in God.” But I decided to make an intuitive leap, what Kierkegaard calls a “leap of faith.” And I decided that even if Jesus hadn’t been resurrected, I would try to live like He had been raised from the dead.

Do you remember Puddleglum from “The Silver Chair”? When the witch was trying to convince the children that there was no Aslan, this is what Puddleglum said: “I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

Well, that’s how I felt when I asked Jesus to come back into my life. My head could not decide whether it was reasonable to believe in God or not. But, in my heart, I really wanted to. So I decided to live like Aslan (and Jesus) was really alive in my heart.

I was really aimless at the time. My life didn’t have much of a direction, and I didn’t really have any goals. I was living on Social Security and I didn’t care about being rich. I did care about making progress in my life, but to me success or progress had nothing to do with becoming richer. I also had a lot of nervous breakdowns. I was diagnosed as schizoaffective, which was supposed to be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. But although I didn’t realize it, I was also causing myself a lot of problems due to obsessive thinking and poor sleeping habits. At that time, the Internet was my whole life, my whole world, and it was pretty much the only thing on earth that I cared about.

I re-joined the ‘christianity’ community on LiveJournal. There were a lot of arguments in there, but I would usually try to tell jokes to lighten things up. I still didn’t think anybody really knew if there was a God or if Jesus was still alive.

One odd thing did keep eating at me, though. Many years earlier, a travelling “prophet” had come to my parents church, and I had been there. The “prophet” delivered a prophecy over me, which I could not really hear or understand at the time. So I asked for a transcript of the prophecy. It was really interesting and it said that I would be established as someone of influence. It said that I would be known as a “father” in the house of God: not just a physical father, but a spiritual father. I thought it was a good prophecy, but I wasn’t really sure I believed it.

In around 2006, a random stranger on LiveJournal sent me a message. She said that she was a friend of stephcon, and she had added everyone else on stephcon’s friend-list so would it be okay if she added me? I said ‘sure’ without really thinking about it, and added her back. Her LiveJournal name was ‘swampfaye.’ And that’s how slyfoot met swampfaye.

At first, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to swampfaye. She seemed very negative and bitter about her divorce. She was also very upset and hurt that her two oldest sons had effectively shut her out of their lives. At some point I gathered that she was Mormon, and although I didn’t know a lot about Mormons, I was pretty sure that it wasn’t “real” Christianity (whatever that means).

But one day one of swampfaye’s posts caught my attention. It had nothing to do with her divorce or being Mormon or anything like that. She posted a short story. It was a science fiction story about a spaceship “captain” named Rock, and a woman named Samantha. I was intrigued by the story. I really like science fiction. I liked it so much that I even got a Star Trek communicator tattoo. So that was what really made me decide to ask her if I could chat with her on Instant Messenger. She said okay.

We didn’t talk a lot. Every now and then, when I had nobody else to talk to, I would send her a message. I found myself babbling about all kinds of far-out science fiction ideas, like parallel realities and the Q-Continuum from Star Trek, Next Generation. She was really fascinated by the “prophets” on Deep Space Nine. While we didn’t really seem to have much in common religiously, I noticed that we would both mix our science fiction ideas with our religious ideas.

I remember the first argument I had with swampfaye–whose name, I learned, was Noelle. The argument was over the Oracle of Delphi. I argued that the Delphic Oracle was simply making vague prophecies which could be interpreted in more than one way. But she argued that God could call people from non-Christian religions to be prophets too. And since my favorite author, CS Lewis, had said something similar, I grudgingly conceded that she could be right, even though I still think that the Delphic Oracle was a phony.

I really did not ‘connect’ all that much with swampfaye other than our talks about science fiction. I even felt like there was something that put me off about her. I felt like we had a clash of personalities, that we didn’t really ‘click.’ But at that point I was pretty lonely, and I was pretty sure that Noelle wasn’t faking being female. (smile)

One day while Noelle and I were chatting online, I blurted out that I was interested in coming to visit her in Houston. At that point I really was. But I was poor, and a trip to Houston would have cost me a lot of money on Social Security, and I wasn’t really sure it would be worth it. To my surprise, Noelle said it was fine if I came to visit her.

But as I continued to read her LiveJournal posts, I stopped wanting to visit her. I didn’t want to get involved with a bitter divorced woman. I had already had a relationship with a divorced woman who had been very bitter toward her ex, and I didn’t want those kinds of problems again. So, I didn’t really make any plans to come visit Noelle.

But one day (and I’ll never forget this) Noelle sent me a message that really pierced me. It was a desperate cry for help. She ended with this line: “I can’t do this alone!”

Well, if she couldn’t do it alone, I thought, then maybe she was looking for someone to do it with. And if that was the case, why not me? And I seriously began to think about visiting her again. I wanted to see what she was like in person, because sometimes people seem different online than they do in real life. You can’t always learn everything about a person just from the words they write.

I wondered if she was cute. At the time I thought she was blonde. I don’t know why. The only picture I had seen was her icon, which was of an eye. Sometimes I would feel like that eye was looking at me, straight into my soul, straight into my heart. It was kind of spooky.

Religiously, I had begun to evolve. Although I had converted to Catholicism in 2002, I didn’t really feel very Catholic. My roots were Pentecostal and Assembly of God, but I thought there were many erroneous teachings and practices in those churches. I was trying to find out which was the “right” Church. Not just the right church “for me” but which one was closest to the truth, if any.

At that point I had gotten interested in the Eastern Orthodox and their practice of hesychasm, which is a lot like meditation. I was particularly interested in a book called “The Way of a Pilgrim” and the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer was very simple: Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I would pray that a lot.

I noticed that when I did chants, mantras, or repetitive prayers that I would start to feel better. I would use rosaries and mala beads to keep track of how many times I had prayed or said a mantra. I even managed to quit smoking for about 3 months just by using my prayer ropes and mala beads. I really felt like I was connecting with God, or the Universe. At any rate, I usually felt more serenity when I practiced prayer and meditation.

But I was still unstable mentally. I would hear voices all the time, or think that ‘presences’ would come into my head. I don’t like to think about it, but I was seriously mentally ill.

One day I thought I was talking to “God” only “God” looked a lot like George W. Bush. “God” asked me what I wanted, and I said “I want a wife.” Of course I didn’t really know if this “George Bush” presence in my head was God or not. Anyway, I told “God” that I wanted a wife, but at that point I wasn’t really thinking of anybody in particular.

A couple of weeks later, Noelle told me about “the dream.” She can tell it better than I can, but it is the most important dream in our relationship. It’s the one that brought us together. In the dream, she said that someone named “Robert” was looking for her. Her dad had interpreted this dream, and said that this person was already in love with her.

At first, I didn’t know what to make of it. But then I realized something: Before I had been adopted, my name was Robert. I almost didn’t tell Noelle this. I sort of felt like if I told her this, I would be manipulating the situation. I remembered that she said she couldn’t “do it alone.” And I was lonely. By that point we really liked each other, and I think we were both looking for some kind of confirmation that we belonged together. So I told her that before my name was Sam, it was Robert.

I still remember the golden chills that ran up and down my spine and moved like tendrils of electricity throughout my scalp. This was a very powerful moment for both of us. Noelle was stunned, because it seemed pretty clear to her that her dream had been leading her to me. And, at that point, I believed it too. I really did. I know it’s not “rational” in any terms that an atheist would accept. Even most theists would probably dismiss it. But, to us, it seemed very clear that God was bringing us together.

I also told her about the prophecy that had been given to me many years before. All of this seemed to point to us belonging together. When I try to think about it all “rationally” I can pick holes in it. But I think that sometimes our intuition can lead us better than our rationality can. Sometimes the heart is wiser than the head.

So we began to make plans to get married. Neither of us wanted to have a long, drawn-out dating period. Around this time I asked her for a picture. And, yes, we had talked about me flying out to Houston and getting married before I even knew what she looked like! So she sent me a picture, and my heart melted. She called the picture “A Smile For Sam.” It was the most beautiful smile ever, and it was just for me. It is still my favorite picture of Noelle.

If I was going to get married, I needed a wedding ring. Both of us were poor. Many years earlier I had given my friend Bryon a wedding ring so that he could get married. I was hoping he could help buy me a wedding ring. He rode a motorcycle all the way from Daytona Beach to Orlando to give me a ring. And it turned out to be the same ring I had given him. I felt a little uncomfortable about it, but Bryon assured me that he wanted me to have it. And another friend named Annie had helped me with a loan, with which I was going to be able to buy Noelle a ring. So I was as ready as I could be.

Now here’s where it gets even more interesting. At that time in Orlando, one of the only people who came to visit me was my friend Robert Turkel, who changed his name to JP Holding. As JP Holding, he was relatively famous Christian apologist. His ministry was to defend the “truth of the gospel” as best as he understood it. And what is really interesting is that JP had spent a lot of time writing about Mormonism and why it was wrong.

But even though JP didn’t believe that Mormonism is the truth, he still helped me by taking me to the airport and making sure that I got on the right plane to Texas…to marry a Mormon! I had no plans to come back to Orlando. I had no backup plan of any kind. I was flying out to get married, and if for some reason Noelle or I backed out, I had no idea what I would do beyond that point. As far as I was concerned, this had to work.

I believed at that time that love is a choice. I still believe it. I was raised to believe that the feeling of being “in love” is little more than infatuation, and it has little to do with real love. Many people who stop being infatuated with each other decide that they no longer love each other. And then they leave each other. But I believed that love is a choice, and you decide to love that person whether you feel infatuated or not. And I had decided to love Noelle, come hell or heaven.

I was so relieved to get through the airport and onto the plane that I decided to just not think too deeply about what I was doing. I had made preparations in a rush, made arrangements to have a green trunk with my essentials mailed to Noelle’s address. I mailed my computer and clothes and not much else. I felt a little sad that I was leaving a lot of books behind, but as far as I was concerned it was better to have a wife than a big library.

When I touched down in Houston I was relieved that the plane hadn’t crashed. I also felt optimistic. I had made it! I was going to meet the woman I was going to marry in just a few minutes! I told her I would be wearing a brown leather hat, and she had told me that she would be wearing a red top.

I walked into the airport, following everybody else to the luggage. I was looking for my carry-on bag when suddenly a woman ran up to me and hugged me. She hugged me three or four times, really quickly, like she was afraid I would disappear if she didn’t keep hugging me. She reminded me of a bird, and sometimes I will call her “Redbird.”

I was nervous, but happy. I thought she was pretty and shiny and very, very red. She didn’t know sign language at the time, so I think I had to rely on what I could hear with my cochlear implant. I asked her to come with me into the airport chapel, and I formally asked her to marry me. Fortunately, she said yes.

I arrived in Houston on August 1, 2008. On August 8, 2008, Noelle and I were married. We were married on 08/08/08! I still remember how nervous I was during that week. I felt shy and awkward around the kids, named Josh and Erin. But they seemed really nice, so I thought Noelle must have been a pretty good mom. During that week I remember sitting in the car with Josh and Erin, and a Johovah’s Witness came up to my car window and gave me a Watchtower magazine. The magazine cover had a story about Fatherhood. I felt like maybe it was a sign from God that I really would become a father.

The wedding was short and simple. Erin, who is not shy about speaking her mind, even said that it wasn’t very interesting. But it still meant a lot to me and Noelle.

Today, after about four years of marriage, we live in a new house that we call “Calinor.” It feels a bit like a fairy-tale realm. Noelle jokes that I am her hobbit, and I call her “Queen of the Fae.” We both feel like something miraculous or magical must have happened to bring us together, even if we really can’t prove it to anybody else.

And now we’re working on living “happily ever after” in the realm of Calinor, with Lady Erin and Josher the Mighty, two cats, and a bunch of squirrels and birds.

And that’s the story of how it all started, as best as I can remember it.

Sam/Slyfoot

You will be able to link directly to this page from the main site: withclosedcaptions.wordpress.com by the end of the day.

When You Can Turn Your Ears Off

I came across this vlog on http://www.theblaze.com and I think it has some really great information for people trying to decide if they should get a CI or not.  (Along with a friend of mine’s blog at: http://deafadventures.wordpress.com/).

Sammie Hicks Cries After Hearing Herself For the First Time

Day 1:

Day 1 of the CI

Three Weeks:

Three Weeks after the CI turned on

 

It is a controversial subject in the Deaf Community, due more to political correctness than anything else.  Keeping in mind practical reasons, and not political ones (just think how quick politics changes, like fads).  The question you need to ask is: will your deaf child function better in a hearing world a CI?  Or look at it from another perspective:  If your child were born without a limb, wouldn’t you get them a prosthetic if you could?  If they were blind and there were an operation to get them vision, wouldn’t you try to do that?  Yes.  But it’s still a weighty decision, expensive and a very long process with results that vary from person to person.  Get as much information as you can.  And remember, deaf people with CI’s are REALLY LOUD without them :D.

Only For the Hearing Impaired

Time for something serious again.  My dad is a travelin’ man.  Sometimes he lives with me, sometimes my brother, other times alone, sometimes with my mother.  He gets shipped off to help this person or that person as often as the Marines.  He was a politician once, and he still doles out advice as if he were still in office.  Don’t get me wrong–He’s been right about a lot of things–I shouldn’t have married my ex husband among them, but he’s not right about everything.

Usually I will just agree he is wiser, take his advice, my own counsel and do the best I can to make a good decision with my husbands.  When I can’t decide, I take it to the only parent I defer to completely: Heavenly Father.  He has proven smarter than me on everything I have brought to him, even when it looked to me like he was sending me into disaster.  He was the one who outsmarted me and moved me like a chess piece until I was at checkmate when I said HE could pick my next husband.  He did.

It didn’t seem like a smart decision at all–a single mother raising two small children on a tight budget marrying an unemployed deaf-blind, slightly crazy, bachelor from Floriduh that she had never met in person before, only knew him from online conversations.  But God was smarter, and he put me in such a position that I had to accept what he offered.  It was really amazing how supportive my friends were, when it seemed very clear to me that marrying my now husband was perfectly illogical.  I didn’t even know ASL!

I defer to my Heavenly Father because his decision was so much better than I thought it was, or could be, or mine would have been.  It was, it seems, perfect for me, and I have deferred to him completely ever since insomuch that even the proclamations the church comes out with, I will not argue with at all, even if I feel a little uncomfortable with them.  God has proven he is smarter than me and though I ask all the time ‘Why is this so hard?’  I never doubt that if HE has sent me to this place, which I believe he has, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I believe that because there always has been.

Which brings me to my Dad’s advice.  He suggested I go to a ‘hearing’ ward. (Wards are congregations of the LDS Church).  He suggested that I might get more support than I do at the Deaf Branch. (Branches are smaller congregations of the LDS church, typically smaller than a ward).  He says this because he knows the trouble I have in my positions at church, being an interpreter of sorts for the deaf parents of hearing scouts and the leader of the primary age children.  He knows I have problems because I am hearing and some of the things I suggest or comment on to leadership aren’t taken seriously because I’m not deaf, I don’t really understand.  Sometimes the leadership suffers from the tyranny of compassion and can find themselves being more hypocrites than Hippocratic.

My father knows I have problems asking for help from the members because as poor as I am, most of them are even poorer.  The deaf don’t usually end up well off.  BUT, the deaf don’t see my family as dysfunctional.  They don’t feel pity for me or my husband Compassion, yes.  Pity? No. They see our family as relatively well off.  And almost all of them can communicate with my husband to a greater degree than hearing people can.  If I can’t show up for something, they are far more understanding and I don’t need a one page explanation.  If I am late, I’m actually on time.  If someone else hasn’t shown up, I can fill in.

With the Deaf I feel normal and I feel needed.  I don’t feel as if I am more of a burden than the people around me.  I feel I do more help than harm.  My family learns more, and indeed, I think they are loved more in the Deaf Community.

I have, in the past, had people I call ‘the Deaf Elite’ (professors and ‘professionals’ who serve the deaf — sometimes CODAs) tell me that I don’t belong in the community.  That I will never ‘fit in.’  I think they speak out of fear that they will lose their position as ‘elites’ if too many people they cannot control join the group.

Where I am, I believe, is where He wants me to be.  Even though I miss music, I miss things functioning as they should, and I miss very large social groups full of people who complain more about Facebook than they praise it, I feel I am in a place where I have more joy.  It is a place I receive more enlightenment–not education, though I miss that sometimes too.  It is a place where you need to have common sense and adaptability.  All of those make it ideal for a person like me.  I think God knew that I would be more inspired, enlightened, and have more joy in this place, because logic would have sent me to the Hearing World too.

I think I’ll stay here a little longer, besides–where would I get such good fodder for blogging than the world I am in now?

Saving the World One Backseat at a Time

I have two kids under 13 and when we go to weekly activities night at the church, I buy fast food because there is just no time after work before I have to leave to beat traffic, to make a good dinner.  This, unfortunately means that there are… ‘leftovers’ in the back seat.  These food fossils can make my car smell pretty raunchy.

I have fibromyalgia and when I have a really rough week with exhaustion, I come home for lunch and take a nap.  I live close enough to work, thank the Maker, that I can take a 20-30 minute power nap.  It really helps. But during these times, I don’t have the time or energy to do less ‘needful’ things, like clean the car.  My husband, however, knowing this, chips in and does these little, wonderful works of  service for me.Flea Breeze

This week during lunch he went in to take on the car (especially the backseat).  When I came out, he was holding a bottle I knew was flea spray:

“What are you doing?” I asked him (in ASL, of course).  “You know that is not cleaner?”

“Oh, yes,” he said. “I know.  I just was trying to make your car smell better with Febreeze.”

“That is not Febreeze.  That is FLEAbreeze,” I told him, spelling it out and then making the sign for bug.

He laughed.  “Well.  Your car is clean and completely flea free.”

I nodded my head, though I’m not sure how many fleas the kids brought into the car.

“You can blog about this,” he said, generously.  “How my husband flea proofed the back seat of the car… It’s one of those blind man skilz.”

And so… I did.

Pronunciation of your name is not really important in ASL – unless your name is Jesus

I have several very good friends that are deaf.  They are always there for me, they are an awesome support system.  They taught me most of what I know of ASL, and continue to correct and teach me what I need to know to be the half-ass interpreter I am.  The only problem we have is communicating when we aren’t face to face.

I don’t have VRS.  My husband is legally blind,  so VRS isn’t really going to help him.  But when I call my deaf friends, I usually get their Sorenson Service.  When I give my name: “Noelle – N.O.E.L.L.E.”  What I get from my friends on the other side of the VRS is “WHO?”  Sometimes I will tell the operator that my sign name is “writing” but with the “n sign.”  I hope they know what I’m talking about because trying to explain a sign, especially a name sign, verbally is like trying to verbally paint a Monet.  Most of the time, I end up telling them “It’s me, remember? You helped me set up for my party on Saint Patricks Day,” or some other uniquely personal event they were at me with (shopping for shoes last weekend, going to get ice cream at Baskin Robins, etc).  That’s when they say “OOOOOOOHHHHH!”  And hit me with the: “Oh!  I’m sorry!  Hugs!  Love you!” BTW, Deaf people “love you” a LOT–It’s probably the best, and most genuine things about the Deaf that makes them easy to be around.

Anyway… once we get over the awkwardness of them not knowing who “Noelle” –the woman they see every week, and just how many Noelle’s do they know?–is over, the conversation can progress.  The only problem is… they never remember my name: Noelle.  They only remember my namesign.  It makes sense, of course, like trying to remember that Chuy’s name is actually Jesus, which, if said without the Spanish pronunciation: “Jesus is calling you,” is probably pretty disorienting.  Right?

It’s understandable, though a little awkward, and just one of the many little quirks of being hearing in a Deaf Community.

Things I Do That Don’t Really Make Sense

There are things I do for my hubby that sometimes seem silly to do for a blind man but are really quite normal for any other couple. I will blog them as they occur to me. Today I thought of one.

1. Put on makeup before I get home from work.

I am not sure why I feel it appropriate to redo my makeup just before I come home. It is habit now. Once I did my eyes like super dark and smoke colored thinking that he should notice that much contrast. But he didn’t. I still do it everyday. He knows me by my touch when I come on the room, but it is never bright enough in the room for him to see me. I don’t think he would be able to tell if it was. He notices my hair if it changes, do maybe I will dye it blue.

The Deaf Nod – or – I don’t understand a thing you are saying, but I’m pretending I do

All hearing people who have worked with the deaf, and even other deaf people, have seen ‘the Deaf nod.’  In fact, everyone who has is nodding their head right now.  Hearing people do it to:  You are talking to mom, she is busy cooking dinner, but she nods her head and says “uh huh” every three seconds.  You know she isn’t really listening to you, but for some reason you keep talking to her.  But when hearing people do it, they are obviously distracted.  Deaf people smile, look you straight in the face while you are signing and nod while completely uncomprehending of anything you are saying.  It is an extraordinary talent, really–the sort of acting ability unparalleled in Hollywood. The only problem is… It definitely doesn’t work with a spouse.

My husbands hearing friends will tell me that they know he is piecing together bits of the conversation he can with lip reading, his CI and visual cues.  He calls it a Wheel of Fortune puzzle.  I understand the difficulties of communicating with people when you only understand bits and pieces of the conversation.  I do.  But if communication is the key to every relationship, nodding your head when you don’t know wtf your spouse is saying is probably not a good idea.  She could be telling you that she is really hot for you and could you come to bed – or she could be telling you not to throw away the stuff drying on the counter, it’s Marzipan not clay, or she could be telling you that you have no money in the account.  All things you might actually want to know, especially that first one.

This isn’t just a deaf/hearing thing, it happens between the deaf too. There are a lot of difficulties in ASL.  Everyone has their own ‘accent.’  Living in Texas, I know many Mexican Deaf who first learned MSL and then came here.  They have a bit of a Spanglish problem, with many MSL signs thrown into their ASL conversations.  And that’s not all, there are ‘local’ signs.  There are four different ways to sign “Sunday” and lots of local places have their own name signs.   Since my best Deaf friend taught me a lot of sign language, sometimes I get funny looks when using an MSL sign to my ASL only friends–or I get the Deaf nod.  It seems perfectly understandable this would happen, right?  But the deaf will do it to the deaf too when they don’t really understand them.

The hearing people interpret for will often tell me when trying to communicate something to the Deaf “will you make sure they REALLY understand?” because they know that sometimes the Deaf will say they understand (or do the Deaf nod) when they really don’t.  I don’t make any promises.  There’s nothing an interpreter can do to make sure they understand except ask: “Understand?”

Honestly, it’s just like anything else.  What might be REALLY important to you just isn’t as important to someone else–deaf or not and no amount of clarification, language enhancement and emphasis can make it become important to them when it isn’t.

Comprende?

Deaf Man Talking!

There are many awkward moments when a deaf man (or woman) can talk, mostly because when they do talk, they talk so loud that it’s very jarring.  Even if it’s not as loud as a normal voice, it’s still very surprising.

It’s completely understandable if a deaf person does speak in a voice with abnormal volume, especially when they have once been hearing, or have had more hearing than they do at present, because they can’t hear themselves as well as they used to.   I’ve pointed out in previous posts that the deaf can be inadvertently loud. My hubby is stone deaf without his technology and the volume of his voice is almost always on high without it.  Then he puts his CI on.  I love his voice when he has his CI on.   It absolutely melts me.  It’s like switching from Death Metal to Barry White… kinda.

I know he doesn’t really know how loud his non CI voice is, but it’s sometimes a little embarrassing when the house is all nice and quiet, my dad is in the room just down the hall, the kids reading quietly in their rooms (doors wide open) and hubby decides to say something a little naughty at full volume.  Full non CI volume.  It’s okay though, right?  No one is paying attention, and even if they heard it, they wouldn’t admit it… right? I mean… it’s not like they are going to blog about it or anything… right?

Deaf Standard Time

I live in Houston, and in Houston we are on Central Standard Time or CST.  Just a few states over is Mountain Standard Time.  In my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we understand that MST is not Mountain Standard Time, but Mormon Standard Time.  Translated into non-member, that means “fifteen minutes late.”   This is caused, so we are all led to believe, by Mormon mothers being especially overworked (due to having five kids in three years) and having a difficult time managing to keep all five children in their Sunday best–even with the tag team help of a spouse.

Being in a deaf branch (congregation) of the same church, and socializing with the deaf, we have learned that the deaf have a similar standard of time, Deaf Time, (which means late.  This is, necessarily compounded by MST and it means I am habitually early to nearly every Deaf Branch function, even if I am late.  The reason for being tardy, I suspect, is not due to the children–though CODAS can be especially hard to manage when they want to be.  I have yet to hear any explanation except “It’s a Deaf thing.”

Since I grew up in Southern California near the playground of the stars (Palm Springs), I am somewhat familiar with L.A. trends.  Apparently, it is uncool to be on time for a party.  The standard is to appear thirty +minutes late.  The deaf have taken ‘fashionably late’ as a literal standard and we have learned to schedule meetings, gatherings and parties accordingly.

If you can measure how cultured a people are by how late they arrive to a meeting, no one can out culture a Deaf Mormon.

A Deafblind Man of You Own – Act Now!

There are complications to being married to a deaf-blind man.  “But Noelle, what could possibly outweigh the benefits of being married to the unparalleled bliss of sexiness that is your average deaf-blind man?” You may ask.  Normally, the sheer joy of possessing my very own deaf-blind man makes me forget, or at the very least, put aside the fact that my whites clothes are washed with dark clothes.  I am flattered he thinks my daughters size zero clothes are mine, of course.  Most people would consider those mere trifles if they considered them a bother at all–which I most certainly do not!  I don’t want to make you envious of me.  I assure you that there are plenty of single deaf-blind men for each and every woman in desperate need of one.  I’m just trying to enlighten you on the very minimal, hardly worth mentioning really, complications involved with an inter aural marriage and the slight complication that vision impairment adds to it.

There are a few drawbacks.  First, you really can’t complain that your deafblind man is too touchy-feely.  Also, a deafblindman can be high maintenance.  Where a beautiful woman (or man) might require excessive salon services, and maybe a plastic surgeon, a deafblind man is in constant need of reading material.  Technology can help with this last drawback, and a larger than average libido can handle the first.

A clean floor and minimal breakables is also one of those high maintenance issues.  If you have a favorite porcelain doll, or vases, or anything even mildly ceramic in nature, it is in your best interests to invest in shelves installed higher than your deafblind man’s height.   Anything you leave on the floor is in jeopardy.  Clutter is an almost unbearable burden for any deafblind man (though mine tolerates my clutter if I just keep it on my desk 😛 )

Pets are not too much of an issue.  Cats and Dogs that do not run from your deafblind man will probably be trampled, kicked and occasionally sent into orbit, but it will only happen a few times before they learn to avoid him, though they always seem to forget when food is involved.  You will probably get trampled on, smacked, sideswiped with a cane or other object in your deafblind man’s hands, but I am sure it is not as bad as getting your tail squished by the deafblind man’s desk chair.

There are a few other minor niggles, but they are best managed one on one with your own deafblind man.  Just looking at him, in all his sexiness, might make you forget the little problems that can crop up, so I hope this blog article has been useful in helping remind you that, although his eyes are as blue as the sky, you may be seeing stars when he whips his cane out while you are around.

To procure your very own deafblind man, feel free to volunteer at any Lighthouse for the Blind (ours is in Houston, look for the one nearest you) or at American Association for the Deaf Blind.

Act now! Supplies are limited!  Operators (and Intervenors) are standing by!