Monday, October 29, 2007

Add another tree branch, please!

My former deaf co-worker, Bob, retired for good about six months ago. After getting to know him about six years ago when he first came to work at my agency, working as a contract employee upon retiring from his former employer, I found him to be quite an intelligent man with such witty grasp of English grammar. Upon discovering our love of English words and vocabulary, we eventually did crossword puzzles together during lunch time almost daily for about a year.

I love hearing stories on how older and elder deaf people coped in the real world in those days. Bob would regale me some stories about his times at Gallaudet in the '60s which made me chuckle.

Bob has two sons whom one was adopted and the other, a foster who is deaf. He is now a grandfather of ten children.

Surprised, I asked him how in the world a deaf couple was able to adopt and foster in those days when hearing people then "looked down" at deaf people. He told me briefly of his life.

He became deaf at age 12, just out of the blue, when waking up one morning. He still speaks quite well although the lipreading skills was another matter, to be practiced over the years. Due to his speech and English skills, the court was able to grant him & his wife permission to adopt & foster.

One afternoon, as usual, we sat to chat for a while. While on the subject of family, curiously, I asked Bob how he proposed to his wife whom he married on the same day they both graduated from Gallaudet in 1964.

He replied that after browsing through photo albums with his wife at his hometown during a holiday, he asked her:

"Will you join my family tree?"

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"The Dating Scene"

Several years before I met my husband, I was involved in the Internet chat rooms (which was kind of new that time) and posting my ads on-line as well, hoping to meet a "dream-guy".

At that time, there were hardly any "wackos" in the chat rooms as they are nowadays,. So, it was quite fun chatting in those rooms for hours and hours, making innocent jokes and punchlines. As a result, my mother often got frustrated not being able to reach me by phone (TDD) since I had a "dial-up" mode and the Internet cable did not even exist.

Most of the people in the chat rooms were locals. It was not about a year later, that the local chat room group set up a meeting every month for locals in a bar/restaurant.

Eventually, I met this hearing guy on-line. We exchanged few e-mails for about a week. He asked to meet me but since I, at that time, worked from afternoons to mid-evenings, suggested that he meet me outside my work, which was safer.

One late afternoon, he stopped by. We stood outside and chatted amicably for about fifteen minutes and then he left. I knew from seeing him that he wasn't my type though he seemed nice.

That night, upon returning home, I got an e-mail from him, saying he was glad to finally meet me and thought I was a nice person.

To my surprise, he added, "To be honest with you, I was only looking for a one-night stand but upon seeing you, I thought that you were a sweet person. I felt I did not want to take advantage of you."