Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Annoying Things We Deaf People Do

DISCLAIMER: I am a Deaf person. Therefore, it is okay to poke fun at myself, and my culture. And yes, those facts are true, and yes, they can be annoying, especially to hearing folks! Enjoy.

1) NOISY EATERS. 


We Deaf people are really noisy while we are eating. We scrape, nick, and hit the utensils against the plate as we enthusiastically dive into our food. Suddenly, something exciting comes up during the conversation, we gasp with our mouths open while eating, and expose the mushed up items in our mouths. While we are nom-noming our food, we send a shiver down a hearing person's spine while we scrape our fork against the plate, creating a perfect chalkboard screeching sound, and be completely unapologetic for it. As someone once said, should we be forgiven for our noisy way of eating for that we must maintain eye contact while talking, and because us being Deaf, we just can't  hear how noisy we are? 

Side note: I promise I am not that of a noisy eater....especially when I am around a hearing person. 

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2) DEAF TIME. 

Seriously, we Deaf people are very notorious for this. Deaf time is when you tell a Deaf person to be at a specific time, and surprise, surprise, that person shows up between half hour to an hour late. Is that rude? Nope. That's a Deaf thing, I tell you! During my grad school years in DC, when my friends, and I are hosting a party, and we want everybody to be there by 10 pm, we just spread a word for them to come at 8 pm, and sure enough, everybody shows up at 10 pm. Perfect. Why is that, you ask. Well, you see, Deaf people have to squeeze a few days worth of conversation in such a short span of time, especially if we don't get together very frequent, and we just CAN'T say good-bye then leave at that very moment to save our lives. This emphasizes what I am trying to say so perfectly, "And signed conversations can't be interrupted, closed down, or shortened--perhaps because they depend on the two people being visually engaged with each other, and they MUST ABSOLUTELY run their course." Therefore, we have to prolong our good-byes, and it takes forever for us to leave.....it takes us maybe an hour to say good-bye then FINALLY leave. 

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3) BEING TOO BLUNT. 

Sometime, Stu has to kick my leg under the table, and give me a warning look. Then I shrug, and nod my head in exasperation. Once in while, I feel that the hearing world can be too complicated with their subtleties, hidden agendas, ulterior motives, and treading too carefully through the murky waters. In the Deaf world, I am comfortable, because I can say whatever is on the mind, and be at the ease of knowing that other Deaf person won't take an offense by my directness. I don't take an offense by other Deaf person's questions: ARE YOU MARRIED, HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU HAVE, HOW OLD ARE YOU, & so go on. A hearing person has to dance around, get to know you more in depth before asking you basic questions, and be careful with what is being said during a conversation. A deaf person sits down with other Deaf person, and start rattling off questions like there's no tomorrow. 

*Again, side note, I do have a social filter, and I am not saying that Deaf people DO NOT have a social filter. We do. It is just that our cultural norms differ from a hearing culture norms. It is why sometime we can come across as being very abrasive, head-on, and a bit too forward. And yes, there can be such thing as being TOO blunt in Deaf culture. 

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4) TALKING ABOUT OTHER DEAF PEOPLE AS IF EVERYBODY KNOWS WHO THEY ARE. 

This happens all of the time in the Deaf world. I can count beyond my fingers, and toes how many times a person's name has been brought up in a conversation. I can tell you that about 80% of the time, I actually know the name of a certain Deaf person, or at least know of that person by reputation. Deaf world is so small. Everyone knows everyone pretty much. Even if I don't know the person by the name, and reputation at first, then we still talk about the person as if we know him/her, and by doing so, we have established that we now know who they are. It is kind of funny, I make this comparison that all Deaf people are "B-Lister" Celebrities, because hell, we know who we all are. It is funny how sometime I have never met a Deaf person, yet I know his entire life story, and how sometime, my friends talk about someone like they are Tom Cruise. It is why Deaf people introduce themselves with full first name, and last name, where they are from, and what school they went to at the beginning of the conversation. Ah, this is probably why I like trashy gossip magazines...I need a long hard look at myself. 

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5) KNOCKING EVERYTHING OVER ON THE TABLE.

I have been guilty of doing this so many times to the point where people wonder if I am drunk, and no, I am not drunk. On top of being a bit klutz, I am also very animated, especially while I am talking. I am at the point of my life where nothing frazzles me anymore. A drink is knocked over. Ah well. A plate of food is swept over all over my lap. Alright. You see, when Deaf people are really into their story, we take up a whole space around us with our arms flailing, hands flying, and body jiving, and hearing people are clutching their drinks to their chests in fear of having their drinks knocked out of their hands. It doesn't phase us Deaf people at all. It is why when you attend a Deaf gathering, you don't see anything nearby us while we are talking!

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6) CLOSING OUR EYES WHEN WE DON'T WANT TO TALK ANYMORE.

This can be maddening to a hearing person when a Deaf person closes her eyes, and go NOPE, not listening. I have been guilty of this. Hey...at least a hearing person can just stick their fingers in their ears, and go nananana. Closing our eyes is the same difference.



7) SIGNING WHILE DRIVING.

Hearing people are holding on to their dear lives while a Deaf driver is behind the wheel. It is proven that Deaf people have a better peripheral vision (which is why it seems like I have eyes behind of my head sometime). It basically means we are able to spot things quicker out of the corner of our eyes more than hearing people can. I assure my hearing passengers that they are in VERY good hands, yet once when I reach to our destination, they come out of the car with ashen look on their faces. Hey, I got them there alive, and safe, right? 

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