Well, dear Limping Chicken readers, I have a confession to make. Most people would say I’m a chilled out person. And I am, most of the time… But there are certain places and things that I reaaaally don’t like. So I either avoid them or I suffer through them. Intrigued? Read on – these are the top 5 things I tend to avoid, because of being deaf.
- Lifts. When I was 12 years old, a (deaf) friend and I got stuck – for all of 3 minutes- in a lift in British Home Stores. Regardless of it being such a short time to be stuck between floors, the fearful realisation that we were trapped in a steel box and neither of us could hear what was going on was enough to stay with me for life. Nowadays I’m happy to go in a lift with other people but if I’m alone? I’ll take the stairs, thanks.
- Drive-throughs. They were bad enough when you had to lipread staff from an awkward head position, but seeing as most restaurant drive throughs take orders through intercoms now there is absolutely no way you’ll find me there. This is also the same for car parks with barriers where you need to press a button or call a system to enter… erm, hello? is anyone there? Was that a voice speaking or my hearing aid buzzing….?!
- Dark places. My family love teasing me with the memory of how I screamed the place down at the Black Country museum during a trip down to the pitch black mines. In my defence, I was only five. But truth be told I’d probably react the same way now. I won’t eat in dark restaurants and I always decline eye masks or dimmed lighting during (rare) spa treatments or the like. Darkness makes me feel vulnerable.
- Waiting areas. These kind of places are unavoidable, yet they’re such a pain in the neck for deaf lipreaders. “Take a seat” receptionists say. They don’t add “and remain on edge, hyper vigilant, in case anyone of us calls you over.” From doctors surgeries and pharmacies to shopping tills and hotel desks, having to wait to be called is a nightmare. Did they call me just now or was that a cough?
- Electronic toys. For my children, I must add. It doesn’t matter how ‘educational’ or ‘fun’ that a speaking, singing toy claims to be… I won’t be buying them. For one thing, I’m never really sure if they’re working. And secondly, I have no idea what they’re saying! *Suspicious Mum alert*… So I try to steer my kiddies away from the beeping, singing, noisy electronics, as much as I can. We can make plenty of noise ourselves, without the help of any techy toys – believe me!
So there it is, my little list. What are your bug-bears? Do you avoid anywhere in particular because of your deafness? Or do certain things really push your buttons? Go on, do tell…