When I was 13 I had a button that I pinned on the front of my favourite jean-colored purse. It read, “I’m not deaf… I am ignoring you”. Even back then I suspected that deafness just might be a sensory deficient with some decent benefits.
Now I know that being without hearing is no laughing matter. Believe me I didn’t think it was funny when the listening world around me went from stereo to mute. As a direct result of my hearing loss I experience countless frustrations, and annoyances every day, but I am not going to mention those right now. I want to have dessert first. I am going tell you about the good stuff.
I want to share with you some of the benefits or advantages of not being able to hear. If you can’t imagine it, just think of how many times you have wished for ear plugs:
- New Music – Music is often the first thing people lament to me when they learn of my hearing loss. They can’t imagine life with out music! Well, it is hard to miss what you have never heard. Do you miss people you have never met? Same with music, and as for all those new songs or remakes of old classicis? To be honest, am not really sorry I don’t get to hear those….
- Irritating Sounds – There are a lot of annoying sounds that used to get on my nerves. Crying babies, whinnying children, nails on a chalkboard, loud eaters. etc. I don’t hear them now so they don’t upset me. Need a break from your screaming baby? – I have got you covered. I truly don’t mind carrying around your distressed child while you go somewhere “quiet”, and count to ten.
- Telemarketers – No one likes to answer the phone at dinner, but what if it’s…..nope, it is a telemarketer just like you thought. Now you have to decided how long before you hangup on them. For me, I don’t answer the phone at all so I never have this problem anymore. It could be a telemarketer, or the Queen of England I am just not picking up. I don’t miss the phone. Not the small talk, not the voice mail, none of it. Send me an email, send me a text – just the facts.
- Frightening Flicks – I used to really get freaked out by some movies, but when you take away the spooky sounds a lot of films fall flat. I mean JAWS is a great movie. but with out the Dunt-Dah, Dunt-Dah it really loses something. Even Darth Vader goes from being intimidating to being kind of funny. Try to picture him without those french horns playing his ominous intro, or without his deep voice, and loud mouth breathing. Then all you have is some tall, angry dude with a mask and black cape. Honestly, I haven’t been frightened in a movie once since I have lost my hearing.
- Book TV – That brings me to Book TV. When I was younger my father used to say I should spend less time in front on the TV, and go and read a book. Now it is essentially the same thing.
- Avoiding Others – I didn’t know if I should admit this but sometimes I DO see you. I can’t hear you if you call me over so I make a clean get a away, and nobody gets hurt.
- TMI – Lip-reading is a skill, and most of the time you can only get about 30% of what people are saying so you can miss a lot if you only rely on this method to communicate when you can’t hear Still, when people are sharing personal things with each other they tend to whisper and talk slower making it easy to “over-hear” what they are saying if you happen to be a good lip-reader. Just do me a favour and cover you mouth while you are doing this ok? I know too much already.
- The Hilarity of It All – I love to tell a good joke. Especially if it is an unexpected one, or a particularly good turn of a phrase. The opportunities for hearing loss humour in a conversation are countless, just golden. I can get away with it too because I am disabled. (That is another one liner I use all the time,) It is just killer. Like that Seinfeld when he is jealous of his comedian friend who becomes a dentist just so he can ‘safely’ tell jokes about them.
- Enjoy the Slience – I love quiet. I always have. It is so peaceful. You forget that things make noise when you can’t hear. I don’t hear water running, snow under my feet, background noise or even the wind. There are many times when the quiet is a gift.
- I am disabled. – I mentioned this one already but there is more to it. I take every disabled free-bee I can find. Early check-in, priority seating, tax breaks, whatever you are giving out – I am gratefully receiving. Keep ’em coming!
Unfortunately I can’t offer these benefits to you (members only), but I can lend you my pin? I don’t need it anymore!
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer