I should have written this before Thanksgiving, but I didn’t. Oh well. Christmas, New Years, and yes, even Thanksgiving, though it has already past; is a time for family and friends to be together. A lot of people have a slight hearing problem. But there are a few that have a big hearing problem. Maybe even deaf. But that’s OK. All of you can still have a Merry Christmas. You just need to know how to communicate.
First relax. Don’t let them just sit in the corner somewhere. Interact with them. Treat them like you would anyone else, almost.
As someone with a hearing loss myself, I’ll say, look at us when you talk. And when you talk, do as my wife does and project your voice. But do not exaggerate your speech. In other words don’t TAAALLK LLLIIIKE THTHTHIISSS. I don’t know what you’ll look like, but some people when they do that, look like they’re trying to make out with a fish. Please do not be a ‘Fish Kisser’.
Another thing is let us see your face. Your full face. Don’t sit in the shadows looking out. Most likely, you are NOT a cold war secret agent. We know who you are. Well someone does. Here are the lyrics and song of Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers in 1966. Somehow this song doesn’t seem very Christmasy. Can you imagine Christmas carolers singing this song? Also, I wonder what kind of ‘secret agent spy stuff’ Santa Claus uses in the song Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
The best conditions for communicating is in a quiet setting. But that’s very unrealistic in a family holiday gathering. So be patient with us. After all we’re patient with you. Usually.
My hearing loss is different than most. I hear, but I still miss things. The best way to describe it is like having hearing ears but a deaf brain. Yet I have 14 years of the United States military service.
For many years I went with my wife to hear the entire Handel’s Messiah. I didn’t like it. All I heard was two and a half hours of Tarzan calls. And without seeing Tarzan wrestling with alligators and fighting lions, I’d get bored. But for my wife, I went.