On Friday night I went out for a lovely meal with my German class and teachers, it was great to end German on a high!
Although there were nine of us, I still found it difficult to keep up with the conversation, as I had to lipread everyone! Bearing in mind half of it was in English, the other half in German! I positioned myself in the middle of the table so I could roughly read everyone’s lips… Even though I would’ve loved to sit at a round table, instead of a long rectangular one that seemed to go on for miles!
The restaurant wasn’t busy, however the background music was extremely loud! I couldn’t concentrate! For the first time in my life, I had to ask the waitress if she could turn the volume down so that I could understand everyone! I felt quite embarrassed but it worked out for the better! My German assistant sympathised with me, as she is German, she sometimes struggles to keep up with English discussions, especially with additional background noise. I never really thought of it that way but I’m glad she understood how I felt.
Do you know how annoying it is, trying to lipread someone sitting two spaces away from you, when the person between you keeps tilting back and forth like a rocking horse?! It’s ridiculous! Sometimes I just wish they’d keep still, just for one second, just so I can finish understanding a sentence!
Additionally, lip reading group conversations is like watching a table tennis competition, but with twenty-odd balls being flung back and forth! No surprise that I was tired at the end of the night! If I can’t understand the gist of the talk then I like to strike up a chat with someone near me, hoping that I’m not distracting them from the original discussion! Often, the chat ends up taking place diagonally across the table so I have one person shouting in my right ear to someone at the end of the table when I’m literally leaning in the middle of the table, trying to get closer to read my friend’s lips! The pains of being deaf!
I think deaf/HOH people often tend to smile and nod their head when they haven’t got a clue what’s going on. This happens to me a lot! It’s simple, when everyone smiles, I smile, when people laugh, I laugh… But it could be about anything! Just sometimes it occurs at the wrong time! Last week in fact, when I was at work lifeguarding for the Aquafit Group, this French lady was on holiday with her boyfriend and she was telling everyone about the holiday. Next minute she mentioned something which made everyone gasp and ogle at, so I just smiled! I missed out big time… She just announced that she was engaged! Whoops! But congrats to the happy couple!
Back to the Pizza Hut! I’m ever so grateful for my friend E, who sat next to me and literally had to repeat the whole conversation back to me! Even though my class are deaf aware, people tend to forget outside of school! What would I do without people like her?!
Apart from all this, the food was delicious, definitely recommend the herby chicken pasta bake… Yes I know, Pizza Hut – supposed to eat Pizza… Oh well! I had a great time!
Hope you can sympathise with the troubles I face! Would love to hear your stories, whether embarrassing or funny! Please tweet to me, Facebook or email!
Love E x