As you all know, I have a hearing impairment and wear hearing aids almost anytime I’m around other people. For the most part, I do pretty well as far as hearing goes. However, sometimes I’m sure people must look at me and just think, “What the heck is wrong with him?” These are some of those times.
- Me, minding my own business at the library. A common positive about having a hearing impairment is that you can take your hearing aids out and study in peace. This is great, except when you bump into someone you know. I’ll spend the first minute of any situation like this one largely faking my way through. Smiling, nodding, maintaining eye contact – all while my hands rummage through the six thousand pockets of my backpack looking for my hearing aids.
- Me, grabbing my chest. This is a weird one, but bear with me. I love listening to podcasts and music on my phone. To do this, I use a pair of earbud-type headphones and take my hearing aids out. Where do I put them where I’ll know they’re safe and won’t get lost? Usually its the breast pocket of my shirt. You know how you unconsciously grab at your phone, keys, or wallet to make sure they’re still in your pockets? Well that’s what I catch myself doing with my hearing aids. So that’s why I seductively touch my chest while walking by absentmindedly. Just to make sure these tiny, expensive devices are still with me. I’m not weird. I swear.
- Me, with yellow stickers on all of my belongings. Hearing aid batteries die often. They also have these little stickers that need to be peeled off before using them. The chances of me being within arms reach of a garbage bin when my batteries happen to die is slim to none. The chances of me bothering to get up and properly dispose of these stickers is less than that. For these reasons, there are yellow stickers on everything I own. My laptop, my notebooks, my desk, my nightstand, etc.