Slowly and painfully I begin to sign...totally blowing my friend's mind!Anyway, I tell the guy I am beginning to learn sign language.I get into class and to my shock and surprise the teacher is Deaf! I'm black, he's white; suppose I "offend" him by asking him? He's got this look on his face like, "What are you? When I look around, the guy moves, and the way he moves I recognize he is Deaf.(duh) Well I knew nothing about sign or Deaf people..culture, grammar...nothing. " I was going to walk past him and pretend I had been heading toward the bathroom, but at the last minute I think, "Well, what the heck." I go up to him and I ask him, "Want to dance with me? I now know that I had picked up subtle differences of the way my Deaf teacher moved - her body language, facial expression, etc.And, like I like to say, I knew enough to know how to ask him if he was married or had a girlfriend.We proceeded to lipread each other, sign, and write notes. Later I learned that when he laughed at the funny parts in the movie, he hadn't heard anything, he was only reacting the way he saw the audience react. By February, what was supposed to be a "friendship" ring ended up being an engagement ring. Anyway, he lied and told me it was easy to learn sign language...would take about 3 months.“I know enough ASL to carry on a decent conversation with a patient deaf signer, and I would quickly improve if I used it more …
Sometimes people think I am his nurse who has escorted him from the home somewhere, making sure he's not drooling on himself in public. " Not missing a beat, I respond, "Well we haven't gotten to that yet. " The differences in our relationship, I've had to work on more. I think my husband's got it so good, he doesn't think about it. But my advice is 'tis better to have a deaf-centric one than a hearing-centric relationship. It's just that the deafness compounds this age-old argument between women and men. Another time, he locked the screen door while in the backyard.
Now whenever I introduce myself to a Deaf person, I give my name, tell them my husband is Deaf, then tell them I am hearing.
They will then start to ask how I know sign, why I learned, etc.
Anyway I notice that the local high school is offering sign classes. " He leans forward, "No." Well I am shocked (never been turned down before..are usually surprised and flattered), and I am embarrassed (hey, guys now I know how you feel! " Knowing he will follow me, with my friend's friend I go to the next room where there is a live band.
I had always wanted to learn, now's my opportunity. We get to the local club and I notice a tall good looking guy, dressed in cowboy clothes, the whole getup, "talking" (or seeming to) to this guy and watching the dancers. When I get close, I think, "uh-oh he looks kinda mean. ) I stand there with my drink and try to pretend I had just walked over to watch the dancers, sure that everyone had watched this transaction and are now rolling on the floor with laughter. I walk over to her and say, "Do you see that guy over there? " Well, I look over and he's looking at me with great interest. " (Really, I'm positive this is exactly what he was thinking! We get near the band and I feel a tap on my shoulder.