(the previous post was actually not intended to be a rant, but rather a humorous look at what happens when you make assumptions and your hearing doesn’t back you up!)
People often seem taken aback when I joke about my hearing loss. It might make them uncomfortable, but I usually follow it up with "hey, if I can't laugh about it, who can?"
And sometimes the joke is on them.
Years ago, I'd only recently transferred to a new division in our law enforcement agency. I now worked with a crew of 25+ rowdy guys and was one of THREE women working the front office. These jokesters didn't know what to make of the new deaf kid (yeah, it was that long ago - I was still a young’un) and they finally got around to including me in some hilarity.
Now... understand that it can be confusing for people meeting me the first time - especially if they've been warned that I'm deaf. Often, they will use a stage whisper while over-enunciating each word (comical in itself), or simply remain silent and pantomime things (even more comical).
Then I open my mouth and get all kinds of confused looks when it sounds like someone with a bit of an accent. I don't register as a "normal" deaf person.
So when they finally got around to goofing off - one of the guys said "watch this" and stuck his hands in front of his mouth and started talking.
When he was done, he looked at me with a bit of a smirk on his face, expectantly.
I said, "you said, 'what did I say?'".
The lunchroom erupted in loud guffaws and wild laughter.
The guy is astonished. I tell him, “come on… that’s what EVERYONE says!”
The guys are totally digging the new chick getting one over on the oldtimer.
But I can see the look on the trickster’s face… the guy is seriously wondering if I’m faking.
And that thought alone cracks me up.