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?

Food Desert clarification for ‘experts’ — IE “Give me Twinkies, or give me death!”

One of Michelle Obama’s pet projects is fighting childhood obesity. I like Michelle Obama, but I don’t like how she and other ‘experts’ continually think they know the reasons for the problems of the poor. Michelle and Barak have never been ‘poor’ as per Government poverty standards. (how many poor American kids are born in Hawaii, do a little globe trotting from Africa to Asia and then end up at Columbia University?)

The President and his wife think Obesity among the poor is caused by food deserts. This is because they live in a world where they have easy access to personal chefs, high end gyms with sitters, high end foods and fat wallets. They don’t have to worry about choosing between a gallon of gas and a gallon of milk or how much they can stuff in their face on their thirty minute lunch break.

The First Couple can afford and have been able to afford to go to theaters with valet parking, caviar and champagne. The parties they attend aren’t potluck. They are places where they try out gold plated truffles (real truffles, mind you, not the chocolate kind). I don’t mind this. I don’t even envy this. They can afford their pleasures and it keeps them away from dollar store candy and theater floors thick with old soda. Lucky people!

What I do mind is them trying to take the pleasures that poor people can afford – those chocolate truffles I was talking about – because it makes us FAT.

We don’t get to go out every night and hang with Snoop Dogg or Beyonce. What we can do is watch washed-up singers like Marie Osmond on Dancing with the Stars while we eat our frozen pizza. We go to Dollar Tree and stash boxes of Nerds and Milk Duds in our purse or diaper bag because we can’t afford to pay theater snack bar prices after shelling out 7.50 a pop for the family at matinee. We use whipped cream on jello because it’s too expensive to waste on sex (because as evidenced by birth rates among the poor we have way more than the rich and we don’t even pay for it). Those are the pleasures POOR people can afford.

It wasn’t long ago that smoking was one of the pleasures of the poor. Will Smith can still afford his cigars. Most actors and even the President can have their little vice but that was also regulated and taxed out of the realm of the poor’s expense by do gooders trying to save us from ourselves (because even after all the surgeon generals warnings, the poor were still smoking!). And they are trying to do the same thing with Happy Meals. A mom and dad who have been working all day and don’t want to slave over a hot stove or deal with kids that have more energy than parents. Parents (even stay at home moms) are glad for the cheap fast food. The trendy toy is just the bonus that makes a parent a hero and allows them to say: you just got a toy at McDonalds the next time they have to lug a kid along. Besides, doesn’t the play place time more than make up for the extra calories?

Parents like you and I know we were never going to get the kids to eat that vegetable lasagna anyway. Why should they? They can just eat the pink slime burgers they get for free at school. It’s not like they will starve. And you know what? That’s kinda the problem…

All I am saying is that experts should just stop doing these ‘food desert’ studies. I know why poor people are fat:  Because we can afford to be. We can’t pay for a gym membership, but we can buy a box of Twinkies.  We can’t afford a really great therapist and non generic Zoloft… but we can afford Crunch and Munch.  And as a generic substitute for anti depressants, Ding Dongs aren’t that bad!  The side effects from chocolate covered sweet cakes very rarely include death.

We are fat and happy, like hobbits. And like hobbits we will probably have to save your ass and the entire world soon because your experts are great at talking and postulating but they’re absolute crap on execution and action. So just leave us be and pass the Oreos.