In this new series, “Fun with Deafness”, I shall attempt to illustrate why being hard of hearing can be so bloody entertaining. Yes yes, it is a disability, but it’s also fantastic. Why? I hear you ask*. Because instead of hearing whatever dull thing has actually been said, I often hear something else entirely. Something either hilarious and /or downright filthy. Either is good.
I’ve been hard-of-hearing all my life. It’s hereditary on my father’s side. I was advised to get hearing aids when I was eighteen, but pride, and a fierce reluctance to rely on anything else when I’d managed perfectly fine so far thank you very much, prevented me from taking this advice until I was 31. I suddenly thought, Hey – why not make life easier for yourself. It was a good move. (If anyone is interested in what starting to wear hearing aids is like, then I will gladly describe it for you in another post, because I wish someone had told me what to expect.)
My father is rather more deaf than I am and has worn hearing aids most of his life. If you speak to him when he’s not looking at you, he won’t even know you’re in the room. As a consequence, my mother speaks very loudly indeed.
Earlier this year, I was depressed. It was a pretty bad time. My parents came to visit and we went for a walk on Dulwich Common. We sat outside the cafe in the sunshine, eating ice-cream. Mum was worried about me and trying to help.
Mum: Would it help if we bought you a S.A.D. lamp?
Me: Not right now, it’s summer.
Dad: (not hearing) What’s that?
Mum: A SAD LAMP!
Dad: What does she want a Sat Nav for?!
*Obvs I didn’t hear you ask, you reading this in the comfort of your own space and me sitting in the Ritzy Cafe and let’s face it, even if you did come up to my face and say “Why?”, I probably wouldn’t hear it anyway, what with the deafness etc etc.