I made a trip south for my youngest son’s high school graduation. I’ve been to two of these already and went expecting not to hear. It’s held in an enclosed rodeo arena. The place was packed with family and friends and amazingly, I kept my hearing aids in. Usually I don’t like to wear them in noisy environments.
As I came into the arena, my ex’s boyfriend waved me over. He’s super tall and easy to spot. I waved back and went over to sit down by them. I ended up sitting down beside his boyfriend with my ex was on the other side of him. I saw the two of them talking, trading information and then they switched places. My ex got my attention and he gave me the run down on what just happened.
“I told him if you look at him, that means you want to know what’s going on.”
While the boyfriend and I get along, he was busy taking pictures. Maybe it felt too intimate of a thing to do as we don’t know each other that well yet. So they switched places.
I was touched that my ex remembers all the details of my hearing loss. We were divorced 9 years ago. We didn’t hardly talk for five years and then started becoming friends again 4 years ago. He still remembers it all I realized once I started thinking on it while at the graduation. He knows to look at me and get my attention before talking to me. He knows all my faking habits. I can’t fake hearing around him.
Then I remembered how he used to laugh and tell people, “She didn’t hear a word you said.” He would also tell people upfront that I couldn’t hear well so look at me. He helped me get all the equipment I needed and promoted me using it. It must have been his feminine side, smile.
He is the best partner I have had for hearing loss. It touched my heart that he included me as much as I wanted to be included. I didn’t ask for help hearing the whole time but there were a few times I wanted to know like when the teacher of the year told a corny joke and everyone laughed. Sure enough, all I had to do was turn around and look at my ex and he told me the joke. It was a nice experience.
Over all, it quieted down enough when the speeches started that I actually caught a word or two. The speakers were clear and not distorted like they sometimes can be but I never got the whole picture of any speech. Instead, I people watched. I watched babies squirm in the seat and parents try to keep them calm. I noted my grandson was much cuter than ‘their’ baby. I watched people yell out to their graduate. I looked in the stands for the rest of family. I watched the line of students waiting to get their diploma looking out for my son. I noted the skimpy dresses high school girls wear. I wondered how the hell they walked in high heels over the uneven, tarp covered dirt. Some of the non-graduating students wandered around in some type of theme style; such as commando or biker. Some of the boys had hairdo’s that required more work than girls hair. Adults were dressed up or casual, some too casual. It amazing how in a small desert town people will take any opportunity to dress up, wear the heels, the nice dress, a dress shirt and tie. So people watching kept me entertained.