Today was a very long day for me. I'm still getting over the cold, or whatever it was, that I had last week, and it was my first full day back at work in ten days, thanks to the way my sick time, holidays and weekends worked out. Of course, since we were closed for the holiday this weekend, it was very busy.
I was helping patrons today when one paused in the middle of checking out books and said, "Oh, you got new hearing aids!"
I was pretty surprised. I looked up at her and said, "Wow! You're the first person who has noticed that. I got them four months ago." She smiled and went on to tell me that she wears hearing aids, and everyone assumes she is trying to hide them because she wears her hair long. She told me how she always noticed mine while she was standing in line. My aids used to be large beige monsters with pink and purple hearing aids - hard to miss if you are the type to notice ears. We had a nice small chat and then we both continued with our days.
Really, no one has noticed the aids except for people who knew I was getting them - friends and family and coworkers. At the very least, if people do notice, they aren't mentioning them to me. Someone striking up a conversation about them made me happy. It also made me realize I don't know enough hearing impaired or Deaf people. Yes, I meet a lot of them. In a city with many, many winter visitors every winter, the majority of whom are elderly, I can't help but not meet many people with some degree of hearing loss. But people like me - younger people who have been dealing with a non-age related loss - I don't know many of them, except online.
Knowing how much I enjoyed our short conversation made me think that it would be nice to have friends, with whom I can talk about this kind of thing. I mean, somebody who actually has lived through it and gets the various frustrations and difficulties that comes with it. Maybe I will eventually have a buddy like that, but for now, I can just enjoy chance meetings like this one.