- 4 months ago
- Wedding: August 2017
“Maybe I can have Julie add a party setting.”
For context, my mother is mostly deaf. From birth. Grew up being told she was stupid and made to sit “in the retarded corner,” because that was a thing they could tell you then. A total nerd, but a poor student because you can’t really follow a lecture when all you hear is Charlie Brown noises. She could hear enough to know she could hear, and so enough to not realize her situation wasn’t normal. It wasn’t until she had tried and then dropped out of college and was dating my dad that she got her hearing checked and found out she had I believe an 80% loss in one ear and 85% in the other. Her parents knew, they just hadn’t wanted her to know because they felt it better for people to think they had a pretty but stupid daughter than a defective model.
Ah, people. People sure are silly. She got the very finest of revenge; she is now a therapist who specializes in working with traumatized and abused children.
Anyway, hearing aid technology has done incredible things over the last couple of decades. Right now, her phone syncs with her hearing aids. All my life, the rule was don’t bother giving her the phone, she could only follow a conversation through a combination of careful listening and lip reading, and without the visual component, there was no hope. Now? Now you’re better off calling her than talking to her directly if you’re more than three feet away. And she loves her hearing aid tech, Julie. Apparently, this woman is a wizard. Her name is always spoken with reverence, with sunlight shafts and sparkles.
A couple of days ago, my mother and I were in the car together, and she confessed to me that the last time we were at an event where our wedding band was playing, she thought the music was too loud–you couldn’t have conversations with them playing. And I explained all the things we’d worked out with the band about when they’d have x number of people performing, how the music would be very quiet until after dinner, the cocktail hour would be just soft background music so conversation wouldn’t be affected, and after dinner, they’d crank it up because most of the chatting would probably be done with, or else everyone would be tanked enough that they’d just be shouting anyway.
And she lamented that in the office where her hearings aids are adjusted, everything is quiet, so of course it’s perfect, so she never knows until it’s too late how her wonder implants will function in particular situations.
And maybe, before the wedding, she could get a party setting added to her hearing aids.
My mother, my dear sweet largely deaf mother, wants to have a party setting added to her hearing aids for the wedding. She said this perfectly neutral-faced, flat tone, in all, absolute seriousness.
I love my family. I just – I just had to put that out there.