Today I heard the Monday after the holidays are officially over is called Blue Monday because people get depressed when the holidays are done. Not me. I’m glad they are over and I survived another stress free holiday. They are busy for sure and I went to a fair share of parties. The last two HLAA webinars dealt with hearing loss and the holidays because typically, large family like get togethers are a huge strain on us. I’m happy to report I made it through all the socializing fairly well.
My boyfriend and I went to a Thanksgiving dinner that had probably 150 people in a building with high ceilings, tile floor and lots of windows. Noise bounced all over the place but it was large enough I could wear my hearing aids the whole time. I did great at the beginning socializing when it was one on one or even up to three people as long as we stood close.
My problem came when the hosts took the floor to make a speech. They stood in the middle of the room and people circled them all around. We happened to be just left and behind them as they spoke. My boyfriend wasn’t close enough to help, he was about 6 people and building post away so it wasn’t easy to get to him. It was too late to maneuver into a better viewing spot to try to lip read so I stayed put and tried to hear.
Not a single word came through my ears, just a small drone lost in the acoustics. Oh how I hate it when people all around me are smiling and laughing and I can’t catch one word. I hate having to stand there and pretend to hear, to be polite when all I want to do is push my way out of the rapt crowd and go outside for fresh air.
I endured until the speech ended and when everyone lined up for the buffet style turkey dinner, I pushed my way through and escaped into the bathroom. I took about ten minutes in there to gather my wits and calm down again. Ten minutes of self talking; it’s not my fault, it’s not their fault, it’s just one of those things, I can’t expect to hear and be a part of everything, next time go to Ken and see if he will help with translation, it’s not the end of the world….and I was ready to go out again. I joined Ken in the food line and commenced socializing like I had been before the speech. The rest of the evening was very nice.
There were two more parties to attend.
One was in a small house; carpeted, plush furniture and music. I knew there would be music so I didn’t take my hearing aids. Quite a few people were crammed together but as long as I’m relaxed, I lip read well and I got along great. The highlight of the night was karaoke. I’ve never been around karaoke before. When I first heard the music, I recognized it as a tune from the late 70’s and remembered the words (can’t remember which song it was now) and I panicked. Oh my God! Where are the words? Why am I not hearing the words? Have I gone suddenly deaf? Ha ha, joke’s on me. Someone picked up the mic and started singing and I slapped myself in the forehead for a great “duh!” After that, I stood behind the singers and caught all the words to the songs and it was more like, “So that’s what they were saying!” I had a good time and no I didn’t sing.
The next party was at a big house; cement floors, floor to ceiling windows, high ceilings with music and again a number of people talking. I didn’t last 5 minutes with my hearing aids in. I could not stand the sharp stab of noise. Oh well, I made it through the last party doing a lot of lip reading and I did this one too. I had another great time (no karaoke) and even found two other people who knew sign language at about the same level as me. Ken and I got to talk up hearing loops to a guy who at one time worked with various handicaps. As long as I’m upfront about my hearing loss, most people accommodate me, making sure they face me talking a little clearer.
My Christmas was a quiet one. My daughter and 3 year old grandson stayed the night Christmas Eve. We had a wonderful meal that night and the next day with just the four of us and a neighbor. Easy to follow conversation and easy company. Here’s a picture of grandson on his new tricycle. We are slowly teaching him sign language. He catches on fast! He’s got the word ‘candy’ down.
How did your holidays go?