Now that the cat is out of the bag, let me publicly express my most sincere gratitude to my husband who has learned “on the job” how to assist me. I adore you, Mi Amor and appreciate the way you take care of me. A good example of this occurs in social gatherings. He will pre-emptively notify everyone, (who wants to talk with me or not,) that they need to speak louder as he observes a familiar scenario; they speak and I do not respond. At this point, he will intervene on my behalf and proclaim (as if I were a 90 year old woman suffering from dementia in addition to the hearing loss,) “she didn’t hear what you just said; she’s deaf on that side!” Thanks so much, My Love, why don’t you just air it on the evening news?
Remember that I do read lips and most of the time for purposes of a “happy home” will allow him to intercede on my behalf and play the “protective husband.” But this “deficit” enables me to phase in and out of conversations at will. It is not a great habit, I admit, and some would consider it outright rude, but at times the amount of work involved with trying to follow several conversations amongst various speakers is simply overwhelming. I reason that I’ll just “get the scoop” later at home. It’ll make for great bedroom conversation and I’ll get the play by play with the live commentary.
So, yes, I have transformed into my dear grandmother, (may her soul rest in peace,) merely smiling adoringly, nodding and even winking. Or, depending on the tone and gesturing I observe, I will frown and shake my head from side to side accordingly, thus demonstrating empathy without having to pay attention to all the dreary details.
Disclaimer: This methodology does not apply to close family members or friends. If I couldn’t comprehend, all gracefulness aside, I would just say, “What the HECK are you talking about? Slow down…speak up… come here and let me read your lips and repeat yourself again!” Come to my home and you’ll hear me shout out into oblivion countless times a day, “I CANNOT HEAR! COME HERE AND JUST TALK TO ME!”
As you see, I have invited you into my inner world; a glimpse into one of the many survival tactics I employ to get by. It is the path of least resistance and sometimes not even this feisty soldier has the energy to stand up for herself.
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