22 May 2008

Audiological identity

by Lindsay Ferrara
Utter sabotage- complete with beer. humph. I swear Cecily wants me to fail out of school // oh wait, HAHA, never mind.

“Oh she doesn't talk?”

What is interesting here, as the hearing person, is that I get all the comments about us signing.

Actually that is not true. What I get is, “So, she can't talk?” And with this question and in this situation I always freeze, like a Mutzig in the freezer*. How am I supposed to respond?!

My first thought is to say, “Yes, she can.” (However, this seems a bit like if I got pulled over for speeding in South Carolina and as he hands me a ridiculous ticket, the police officer asks if I have any questions and then I ask him how many seagulls are there on Hunting Island**.) It seems to me that they are actually inquiring about why we are flailing our hands about and that saying “Yes” will not actually answer their question even if it IS their question.

Cecily, I agree- discourse is confusing!

So...after an awkward silence to a seemingly simple question... I just continue to freeze. I think most of the time I just mumble my way through and smile. Who wants to get into a whole freaking debate about the difference between being Deaf and not being able to speak and why signed languages are important ...and....and.... who knows what else in the grocery line at the German butchery. I SURELY do not-- as you all must know by now, I have more important things to attend to—like going to watch the storks!***

No, Cecily's driving; LINDSAY must be deaf!

And recently, at the school (full of Deaf children) we have sort of, half way been in a bunch of conversations discussing why Cecily is driving and why I am not. As I try calmly to explain that it'd be better for society in general if I do not drive-- they get into their own arguments about who in fact is deaf and who in fact is hearing. Apparently the driving conditions these labels. Then we have to clarify, once again, Cecily is Deaf. Lindsay is not. Cecily is driving. Lindsay is not. END OF DISCUSSION.

Then they all ask for a ride.

* SOMEONE may have accidentally left 5 or 10 giant bottles of beer in the freezer after the dinner party last Friday. This may or may not have been the reason we were buying more beer at the German Butchery.

**This happened once. In my head only. Thus, I did not spend the night in jail.

*** and drink the beer!

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