blindbabeintheburg

My husband and I have been married now for four-and—half years, but I will never forget the pitted fear that I would never find a husband, marrie, and have children because of my blindness.  How would a guy ever see past my disability and view me desirably and as an equally contributing partner?  I had dated both sighted and blind men, but I am well aware that a significant amount of men in high school and college probably never gave me the time of day because I was blind.

I have learned that I was far from alone in my fear.  Just yesterday I read in my Facebook feed that a friend was cruelly told point blank by a guy that he could never dream of even contemplate dating her because she was blind.  As I read this, I felt a sharp stab of rejection, and honestly can’t stop thinking about this Facebook friend that I don’t really know.  I hope she reads my below story of how I met my husband, and it provides her with a little more hope and conviction that the right guy is indeed out there.

 

In 2009 I was working in a small cubical for the federal government outside of Washington D.C.  Work was my life.  I was pulling long hours and coming home exhausted.  All I wanted to do each night after work was vedge in front of the TV.  Everyone in my office was old and married, or just married.  I was far from desperate, but well aware that I was in my twenty’s and if anything were to happen I had to help it along.  No one was going to walk up and miraculously join me on the couch in front of Nancy grace or Jeopardy.  A friend had mentioned that she was doing EHarmony.  I signed up, but hated it.  I am way too analytical, and the enumerable introductory questions made me feel I was taking the Foreign Service exam.  Months went by and I decided to try Match, instead of just muting their many commercials.

 

I immediately loved that format of match, which I found similar to Facebook and very screen reader friendly.  I wanted to put my best foot forward, so after getting in a cute outfit and styling my hair, I asked my sister to pick out the best pictures I had taken to post.  In my profile itself I emphasized all of the active elements of my life.  I listed things like running, swimming, travel, hanging out with friends and family, and much of what you would normally see on a profile.  One of the pictures I included was me after running a half marathon in 2006.  Admittedly, I probably exaggerated a bit… hadn’t run since 2007, but details details.

 

One massive question debated in the blindness community is whether or not to disclose the blindness right away.  I chose not to.  I didn’t want to run the risk of being weeded out without even being given a chance.  I wanted to do the weeding.  I did, however, include a picture deep in my profile with me and a former guide dog.

 

Each day match emails you three profiles of people they think you will be compatible with.  About three weeks in to my membership I started writing off this one persistent guy from Fredericksburg who kept winking at me.  Fredericksburg was an hour south and since I can’t drive I figured it would never work.

 

Thankfully, Mr. Fredericksburg was persistent and we began messaging.  It was not until one or two exchanges that I mentioned I was blind.  By this point he more or less knew me enough to know that I wasn’t a hermit.  In my case, he said he already knew.  He had seen the guide dog photo.  He mentioned that his mother was slowly going blind and really didn’t care.  The only thing on the subject he ever said was “Let me know if I ever offend you.”  That was that.

 

Online dating isn’t for everyone, but it also shouldn’t have the stigma it did fifteen years ago.  I know a number of sighted friends that tried it to no avail.  Sure, if you aren’t careful it can be dangerous, so can meeting a stranger in a bar.  My husband and I had our first date at church.  My thinking was that if he was creepy I could cut it off there and call a ride to pick me up.  Thanks to match.com, I am happily married with a two-year-old daughter.  To my friend out there, if I had listened to the creeps out there I wouldn’t have my little family today and they would have won.  Blind women everywhere don’t let them win!  You are sexy, smart, and just plain fun.

Advertisements

Dear Mr. President, both current and future,

 

I sit on my couch in my white, small town American home, and I can’t help feeling angry.  In his last state of the Union Address President Obama speaks of inclusion and opportunity for all Americans.  We hear of economic opportunity for the poor, for the immigrant, and for the homosexual.  You and the talking heads even address illegal immigrants, and who stays and becomes employed and reap all other benefits of living in this country.  We often hear of the discrimination of the minorities.  Tonight we hear wonderful visionary ideas of leveling the playing field by standardizing Pre K and making higher education affordable to all.

 

President Obama and  future president, will I have the opportunity in my lifetime to seriously hear productive discussion on including those of us with disabilities in this vision of America’s glorious future of equality.

I sit here and I wonder what said politician would answer my question of when those of us with significant disabilities will even see ourselves mentioned as a stitch in this beautiful quilt we call America.  The funny thing is, if you can call it funny, I think I know what they would say.  They would begin to explain incentives such as 2% by 2012 where the government set a goal of hiring 2% of federal workers with disabilities.  Said politician may “welcome any ideas and input I have” and invite me to one of their many many many focus groups to explore the issue.  (The specific initiative in which I refer to was a flop that you can google.)  If I hadn’t had my brief experience in the government, I might go away feeling satisfied.  What I couldn’t know is that their definition of “disabled” and mine are fathoms apart.

 

Blindness is the easiest disability to qualify for Social Security.   The unemployment rate of the American blind is over 70%!  Too many of those who do work do so in sheltered workshops (like Goodwill) and work pennies on the hour.

 

I could go on and on and on, but I realize my politician’s time is precious.  In my make-believe encounter he or she is probably patting my hand and moving on.  Why should I vote for you?  But, Obama is right about one thing, if I don’t vote blind people will never constructively be added to the list of who makes up America and who is integral to this great country.

 

The speech has ended.  The heads are talking… critiquing.  I log on to my FB Paige only to find a post from a blind mom friend of mine.  She is so excited that her 6-year-old blind daughter is getting the opportunity to participate in a Science, Tech, engineering and Math program.  These fields unequivocally exclude blind children.  My friend’s little girl just informed her parents that she wants to be an engineer.  Well, to you, little Marley, I say if I have anything to say about it you damn sure will!

 

Rereading the start of my rant, I recognize I must seem a crazy, bidder, and zealot.  I care about education and employment for the poor, and all those who were on the President’s list of minorities.  My frustration comes in only in the fact that their list of American’s falls far too short!  What if, just what if the cure for cancer is in the little brain of my friend’s little girl?  Sure, she can go to school, get a fabulous education at a fabulous higher education, but if she is not given the same opportunities in the employment field then well… then what?

 

Yesterday, hubby and I celebrated the one year anniversary of when we got Watson…

or more correctly, Watson rescued us. We had been married for only a little over two

weeks. I like to joke that I don’t know what I was more excited about, getting married

or getting a new puppy.  Jon had returned from his annual week-long kayaking trip

with his friends, and before that I had stayed a little longer up north with my family and

cousins who were in town for the wedding. So, basically, our marriage life hadn’t totally

started.

 

We drove down to Richmond SPCA under the pretext of “just looking”… at least that is

what I convinced my self.

 

We walked up and down the halls, Jon describing each pup in detail, me wanting all of

them. When we came to Watson’s cage, we asked if we could see him, so someone led

us and pup into a room to get to know each other. Of course he was friendly, and I loved

his floppy ears. At eight months he was younger than what we originally wanted though.

This little puppy pegged me as the sucker that I am immediately. All my life I

wanted a dog who would fetch and actually bring the ball back. We were in the room

about a minute when Watson walks over to a tennis ball and brings it to me. I throw it,

and sure enough he happily brings it back. Can we say “sold!” Reader, that was the only

time he has done that without a treat in the entire year that we have had him. The little

manipulator!

 

So, Jon goes to sign the papers, and Watson and I are getting to know each other, when

there is a knock at the door. A woman pokes her head in and asks if that is Junior (his

SPCA name.) She is crushed when I tell her yes. Apparently, she had come the day

before without her checkbook. She told them she would be back, and they assured her

they would hold him. She calls them that day and tells them she would be there in twenty

minutes to get him. I guess word from the front desk hadn’t gotten to the back, and

there we were signing the papers. On the one hand, I really felt sorry for her, but the jerk

that I am, it made me want him all the more. I was like a two-year-old, “Mine! Mine!

Mine!” Back off lady! I do hope she was able to find another puppy.

 

The year Watson, Jon and I have had together has been one full of adventure, hard work,

love, and tremendous reward. I love to see how much Watson has grown physically, and

mentally. He keeps me on my toes with all his antics, but at the same time I am learning

every day just how smart and obedient he can be… when he wants to be. There is a lot

going on in that furry head between those big floppy ears.

 

I have had dogs since I was a child, but he is my first rescue. I don’t know what the first

eight months of his life was like. The SPCA picked him up from the pound, but before

that is a mystery. From Watson, I have learned that rescue dogs do not always have

an inherent sense of trust. More than watching him develop into a mature dog, I have

treasured watching him fall in love and truly trust us.

 

I am so proud of Jon and I for having the heart and dedication to adopt a rescue dog.

Watson keeps me moving. He keeps me smiling. He keeps me laughing. For all those

reasons, I write to thank him for rescuing me.

 

Since he also keeps me on my toes, I can’t end without recounting his latest antics. On

Friday, he slipped out of his collar and ran off. I panicked, since he was free, and free

without identification. Where was he? To make a long story short, the mailman told

me he was over on the next street swimming in a fish pond in some backyard. He was

catching fish and chasing a few kitty cats. It’s a dogs life, and I am glad to be a part of it.

 

Recently, I took a trip out west, specifically Vegas and St. George, Utah.  I have two very good friends out there who are blind as well.  They are both married, and one has two children, ages three and one.  With all my new wifey woes, I wanted to see truly how it is done as a blind wife.  I mean, am I just some screw up or could it really be done well not being able to see.  I mean did they just never mention that the fire department was calledweekly on them when they tried to cook?  (Readers, I lost my vision in a car accident.  I did attend a training center, which taught me wonderful skills on how to pretty much do everything, but I really never grew up with any blind role models.)  To save you the read, after my trip… yup I am just a screw up… and it has absolutely nothing to do with blindness.  So now I think… oh sh*t!  

 

The trip materialized from an idea to a specific action after I stumbled upon an amazingly cheap flight to Vegas.  I had never been, I love to travel, and I supposed it could be educational.  When I broached the Vegas trip idea to the hubby he was all for it!  He said he also had never been to Vegas and would love to go.  Uhhh…he would?  “Well, actually babe… I was thinking I go.”  Am I a jerk or what?  In all fairness, he takes a kayaking week-long trip with his friends, so of course I played that card, and off I went west with his blessing!  (Watson was checked into a doggie hotel  Actually, hubby and I are now convinced he wishes we were the type of parents to dump him there permanently and just pay for boarding with some visitation time every once in a while.)

 

My friend T, the one with the kids, is on her own a great deal.  Her husband is a firefighter for the city, and is gone for days at a time.  She lives in a gated community in the outskirts of the city where driving is an absolute necessity.  Though technically she has a Vegas address, it is very suburban.  I knew all this going out there and figured she must be a closet alcoholic not to feel trapped and go nuts.  That or the 3-year-old was driving.  I know from watching my siblings raise my nieces and nephews that small children are far from easy.  They need to be watched at all times.  

 

With the greatest of love I write, readers I swear I stayed with the Cleaver’s or the Stepherd’s or something!  Maybe, there is no dirt in all of Nevada because of the desert, but her house was beyond spitshine clean!  Even with a puppy in the house!  We ate out once the entire time I was there because her husband is a gourmet cook.  I like to eat healthy, and I was in healthy heaven.  They don’t use a microwave… they don’t have one.  (Definitely the Cleaver’s!)

 

I am surrounded by well-intended, but at the same time slowly discouraging attitudes that say everything is harder or even not totally possible because I am blind.  This trip solidified for me that, in fact, my blindness is not the main reason I am struggling to maintain my household.  Sure, I still believe it certainly cannot be discounted, but I can lead a clean, organized, and productive household.  (I can when I figure out how to get more of a neat meticulous, homemaking personality.  If I can just totally change my personality…the essence of me… no problem.)  

 

T was quick to point out that she is far from perfect.  In fact, it’s her OCD husband who loves to cook and clean.  She has to maintain it though, because her husband’s work shifts last several days.  T is left to cook, clean, entertain the small kids, and do everything else parents do.  Her kids aren’t taught to “help Mommy.”  They act no differently than children with sighted parents.  They run around, get into Mom’s makeup, poop nasty poops in the dipe.  Like any children, they need social interaction with kids their age.  T needs the same mothering community that any stay at home mom needs.  How did she get this when there wasn’t one in her area and she couldn’t drive anyway?  She started her own playgroup!!  This play group has served as her mainstay of social community and support when things get tough.  Life is one big quid-pro-quo.  T baby-sits some of the fellow children in the playgroup, and that Mom may pick her up for a play date somewhere else.  

(Her family lives ten hours away, and they don’t own a private jet.)

 

  How does she keep track of her kids in public, or the one-year-old at home?  Three-year-olds are chatty.  All parents should hold their kid’s hands much of the time in public.  Here is where it is okay to be extra diligent in telling your three-year-old that they Must stay close to mommy.  There are also those kid leash things that are very normal and mainstream.  Many blind parents tie little bells on their kids shoes.  

 

I could write a book… maybe War and Peace… with as long as I am making this post…   I also spent a few days in St. George, Utah on the Nevada and Arizona boarder.  My friend D recently moved there with her husband.  Again, there is very little transportation, her husband’s job takes him away for days at a time, and D knows almost no one.  We are two peas in a pod, and the pod sucks!  From her I came back with the notion that I am not alone.  Transition is hard and takes time.  I came back knowing that my biggest problem is my own fear.  D showed me neat crafts that I may try.  I left St. George excited to know that there are easy practical crafts I can do to pretty my home.  (You are talking about a girl who, while sighted, never really colored in the lines or got past drawing stick figures.)

 

So, about two weeks later I sit with my laptop wishing I could capture that feeling, that I can do it all, in a jar.  I can’t.  I guess maybe no one can though, and that is the point.  I hate perfect people.  I hate people that try to make everyone else think they are perfect.  T and D are such special people because they are honest in where they are at and how very difficult it was to get there.  Las Vegas wasn’t home for T for the first three years she lived there!  (God help me!)

 

Maybe I am on a good start though?  I had to try a little gambling.  Part of me sees the draw, and part of me found it to be nothing but a massive ball of anxiety!  At the black jack table I felt like I had a gun to my head every time I played a hand.  No wonder people drink while gambling.  My good news, I won $40 and walked before we had to mortgage our house or something.  I came back a little cuter.  With my winnings (plus another $260) I went on a shop

Recently, I took a trip out west, specifically Vegas and St. George, Utah.  I have two very good friends out there who are blind as well.  They are both married, and one has two children, ages three and one.  With all my new wifey woes, I wanted to see truly how it is done as a blind wife.  I mean, am I just some screw up or could it really be done well not being able to see.  I mean did they just never mention that the fire department was called weekly on them when they tried to cook?  (Readers, I lost my vision in a car accident.  I did attend a training center, which taught me wonderful skills on how to pretty much do everything, but I really never grew up with any blind role models.)  To save you the read, after my trip… yup I am just a screw up… and it has absolutely nothing to do with blindness.  So now I think… oh sh*t!  

 

The trip materialized from an idea to a specific action after I stumbled upon an amazingly cheap flight to Vegas.  I had never been, I love to travel, and I supposed it could be educational.  When I broached the Vegas trip idea to the hubby he was all for it!  He said he also had never been to Vegas and would love to go.  Uhhh…he would?  “Well, actually babe… I was thinking I go.”  Am I a jerk or what?  In all fairness, he takes a kayaking week-long trip with his friends, so of course I played that card, and off I went west with his blessing!  (Watson was checked into a doggie hotel  Actually, hubby and I are now convinced he wishes we were the type of parents to dump him there permanently and just pay for boarding with some visitation time every once in a while.)

 

My friend T, the one with the kids, is on her own a great deal.  Her husband is a firefighter for the city, and is gone for days at a time.  She lives in a gated community in the outskirts of the city where driving is an absolute necessity.  Though technically she has a Vegas address, it is very suburban.  I knew all this going out there and figured she must be a closet alcoholic not to feel trapped and go nuts.  That or the 3-year-old was driving.  I know from watching my siblings raise my nieces and nephews that small children are far from easy.  They need to be watched at all times.  

 

With the greatest of love I write, readers I swear I stayed with the Cleaver’s or the Stepherd’s or something!  Maybe, there is no dirt in all of Nevada because of the desert, but her house was beyond spitshine clean!  Even with a puppy in the house!  We ate out once the entire time I was there because her husband is a gourmet cook.  I like to eat healthy, and I was in healthy heaven.  They don’t use a microwave… they don’t have one.  (Definitely the Cleaver’s!)

 

I am surrounded by well-intended, but at the same time slowly discouraging attitudes that say everything is harder or even not totally possible because I am blind.  This trip solidified for me that, in fact, my blindness is not the main reason I am struggling to maintain my household.  Sure, I still believe it certainly cannot be discounted, but I can lead a clean, organized, and productive household.  (I can when I figure out how to get more of a neat meticulous, homemaking personality.  If I can just totally change my personality…the essence of me… no problem.)  

 

T was quick to point out that she is far from perfect.  In fact, it’s her OCD husband who loves to cook and clean.  She has to maintain it though, because her husband’s work shifts last several days.  T is left to cook, clean, entertain the small kids, and do everything else parents do.  Her kids aren’t taught to “help Mommy.”  They act no differently than children with sighted parents.  They run around, get into Mom’s makeup, poop nasty poops in the dipe.  Like any children, they need social interaction with kids their age.  T needs the same mothering community that any stay at home mom needs.  How did she get this when there wasn’t one in her area and she couldn’t drive anyway?  She started her own playgroup!!  This play group has served as her mainstay of social community and support when things get tough.  Life is one big quid-pro-quo.  T baby-sits some of the fellow children in the playgroup, and that Mom may pick her up for a play date somewhere else.  

(Her family lives ten hours away, and they don’t own a private jet.)

 

  How does she keep track of her kids in public, or the one-year-old at home?  Three-year-olds are chatty.  All parents should hold their kid’s hands much of the time in public.  Here is where it is okay to be extra diligent in telling your three-year-old that they Must stay close to mommy.  There are also those kid leash things that are very normal and mainstream.  Many blind parents tie little bells on their kids shoes.  

 

I could write a book… maybe War and Peace… with as long as I am making this post…   I also spent a few days in St. George, Utah on the Nevada and Arizona boarder.  My friend D recently moved there with her husband.  Again, there is very little transportation, her husband’s job takes him away for days at a time, and D knows almost no one.  We are two peas in a pod, and the pod sucks!  From her I came back with the notion that I am not alone.  Transition is hard and takes time.  I came back knowing that my biggest problem is my own fear.  D showed me neat crafts that I may try.  I left St. George excited to know that there are easy practical crafts I can do to pretty my home.  (You are talking about a girl who, while sighted, never really colored in the lines or got past drawing stick figures.)

 

So, about two weeks later I sit with my laptop wishing I could capture that feeling, that I can do it all, in a jar.  I can’t.  I guess maybe no one can though, and that is the point.  I hate perfect people.  I hate people that try to make everyone else think they are perfect.  T and D are such special people because they are honest in where they are at and how very difficult it was to get there.  Las Vegas wasn’t home for T for the first three years she lived there!  (God help me!)

 

Maybe I am on a good start though?  I had to try a little gambling.  Part of me sees the draw, and part of me found it to be nothing but a massive ball of anxiety!  At the black jack table I felt like I had a gun to my head every time I played a hand.  No wonder people drink while gambling.  My good news, I won $40 and walked before we had to mortgage our house or something.  I came back a little cuter.  With my winnings (plus another $260) I went on a shopping spree.  Can you believe the hubby wasn’t mad at how much I spent?  He thinks I dress like a grandma.  Lol!

 

I still use the mi

Recently, I took a trip out west, specifically Vegas and St. George, Utah.  I have two very good friends out there who are blind as well.  They are both married, and one has two children, ages three and one.  With all my new wifey woes, I wanted to see truly how it is done as a blind wife.  I mean, am I just some screw up or could it really be done well not being able to see.  I mean did they just never mention that the fire department was called weekly on them when they tried to cook?  (Readers, I lost my vision in a car accident.  I did attend a training center, which taught me wonderful skills on how to pretty much do everything, but I really never grew up with any blind role models.)  To save you the read, after my trip… yup I am just a screw up… and it has absolutely nothing to do with blindness.  So now I think… oh sh*t!  

 

The trip materialized from an idea to a specific action after I stumbled upon an amazingly cheap flight to Vegas.  I had never been, I love to travel, and I supposed it could be educational.  When I broached the Vegas trip idea to the hubby he was all for it!  He said he also had never been to Vegas and would love to go.  Uhhh…he would?  “Well, actually babe… I was thinking I go.”  Am I a jerk or what?  In all fairness, he takes a kayaking week-long trip with his friends, so of course I played that card, and off I went west with his blessing!  (Watson was checked into a doggie hotel  Actually, hubby and I are now convinced he wishes we were the type of parents to dump him there permanently and just pay for boarding with some visitation time every once in a while.)

 

My friend T, the one with the kids, is on her own a great deal.  Her husband is a firefighter for the city, and is gone for days at a time.  She lives in a gated community in the outskirts of the city where driving is an absolute necessity.  Though technically she has a Vegas address, it is very suburban.  I knew all this going out there and figured she must be a closet alcoholic not to feel trapped and go nuts.  That or the 3-year-old was driving.  I know from watching my siblings raise my nieces and nephews that small children are far from easy.  They need to be watched at all times.  

 

With the greatest of love I write, readers I swear I stayed with the Cleaver’s or the Stepherd’s or something!  Maybe, there is no dirt in all of Nevada because of the desert, but her house was beyond spitshine clean!  Even with a puppy in the house!  We ate out once the entire time I was there because her husband is a gourmet cook.  I like to eat healthy, and I was in healthy heaven.  They don’t use a microwave… they don’t have one.  (Definitely the Cleaver’s!)

 

I am surrounded by well-intended, but at the same time slowly discouraging attitudes that say everything is harder or even not totally possible because I am blind.  This trip solidified for me that, in fact, my blindness is not the main reason I am struggling to maintain my household.  Sure, I still believe it certainly cannot be discounted, but I can lead a clean, organized, and productive household.  (I can when I figure out how to get more of a neat meticulous, homemaking personality.  If I can just totally change my personality…the essence of me… no problem.)  

 

T was quick to point out that she is far from perfect.  In fact, it’s her OCD husband who loves to cook and clean.  She has to maintain it though, because her husband’s work shifts last several days.  T is left to cook, clean, entertain the small kids, and do everything else parents do.  Her kids aren’t taught to “help Mommy.”  They act no differently than children with sighted parents.  They run around, get into Mom’s makeup, poop nasty poops in the dipe.  Like any children, they need social interaction with kids their age.  T needs the same mothering community that any stay at home mom needs.  How did she get this when there wasn’t one in her area and she couldn’t drive anyway?  She started her own playgroup!!  This play group has served as her mainstay of social community and support when things get tough.  Life is one big quid-pro-quo.  T baby-sits some of the fellow children in the playgroup, and that Mom may pick her up for a play date somewhere else.  

(Her family lives ten hours away, and they don’t own a private jet.)

 

  How does she keep track of her kids in public, or the one-year-old at home?  Three-year-olds are chatty.  All parents should hold their kid’s hands much of the time in public.  Here is where it is okay to be extra diligent in telling your three-year-old that they Must stay close to mommy.  There are also those kid leash things that are very normal and mainstream.  Many blind parents tie little bells on their kids shoes.  

 

I could write a book… maybe War and Peace… with as long as I am making this post…   I also spent a few days in St. George, Utah on the Nevada and Arizona boarder.  My friend D recently moved there with her husband.  Again, there is very little transportation, her husband’s job takes him away for days at a time, and D knows almost no one.  We are two peas in a pod, and the pod sucks!  From her I came back with the notion that I am not alone.  Transition is hard and takes time.  I came back knowing that my biggest problem is my own fear.  D showed me neat crafts that I may try.  I left St. George excited to know that there are easy practical crafts I can do to pretty my home.  (You are talking about a girl who, while sighted, never really colored in the lines or got past drawing stick figures.)

 

So, about two weeks later I sit with my laptop wishing I could capture that feeling, that I can do it all, in a jar.  I can’t.  I guess maybe no one can though, and that is the point.  I hate perfect people.  I hate people that try to make everyone else think they are perfect.  T and D are such special people because they are honest in where they are at and how very difficult it was to get there.  Las Vegas wasn’t home for T for the first three years she lived there!  (God help me!)

 

Maybe I am on a good start though?  I had to try a little gambling.  Part of me sees the draw, and part of me found it to be nothing but a massive ball of anxiety!  At the black jack table I felt like I had a gun to my head every time I played a hand.  No wonder people drink while gambling.  My good news, I won $40 and walked before we had to mortgage our house or something.  I came back a little cuter.  With my winnings (plus another $260) I went on a shopping spree.  Can you believe the hubby wasn’t mad at how much I spent?  He thinks I dress like a grandma.  Lol!

 

I still use the microwave.  I still suck at cooking.  I know now though that it is me and not because I am blind.  I suck, and I am starting my quest to unsuck… maybe the new clothes will help a little. 

crowave.  I still suck at cooking.  I know now though that it is me and not because I am blind.  I suck, and I am starting my quest to unsuck… maybe the new clothes will help a little. 

ping spree.  Can you believe the hubby wasn’t mad at how much I spent?  He thinks I dress like a grandma.  Lol!

 

I still use the microwave.  I still suck at cooking.  I know now though that it is me and not because I am blind.  I suck, and I am starting my quest to unsuck… maybe the new clothes will help a little. 

Today, I learned a very important life lesson.  If you don’t try, you won’t succeed!  As you probably can tell, I am not the most positive of thinkers.  Most of the time, not only is my cup half empty, but I swear there is a leak in it.  I am learning how much I am truly paralyzed by  the fear of failure. 

 

Today, however, something came over me.  There is a three mile path which hooks on to my usual dog park route.  It is brand new, and I have taken it only twice with my husband… and I confess not totally paying attention to where we were going.  After finding the dog park closed, I decided to give a go at the path on my own with Watson.  What I was thinking, God only knows.  The path crosses a few streets, so for all I knew it could have been easy to veer off course of the actual path.  This seriously could have turned into one of my “Oh crap!  What town am I in?” episodes.  In the middle of a Monday, gloomy afternoon, I could have never been seen again.

 

My trip was awesome!  The first leg of the trip, the path was pretty much deserted do to the weather.  I was sort of thanking my lucky stars for Watson when this creepy dude joins me on the path.  After asking three times if my dog bites, he asks if I live around here.  (I of course lie.) Now I am wondering if I should have also lied about the fact that Watson doesn’t bite, when the guy asks if I “gotta man?”  (Yup, definitely should have lied about the dog biting.  For that matter, where is the pepper spray Jon keeps insisting I take with me on my walks?)  I don’t know what other women think, but getting hit on, as creepy as it is, makes me think maybe I am not half bad.  Then again, for all I know the guy hits on anything that moves.  As soon as I say yes, we go our separate ways, me with a little more strut MC Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This” singing in my head. 

 

My trip is peaceful, but uneventful for the next half mile or so, until I come to this section on Caroline Street in town.  The trail sort of blends into the regular sidewalk for just a bit… at least I think it does.  I stop and get a bit confused.  An old lady with a cane  hobbles out of her car, and tells me not to move.  I am not in the middle of the street, I am positive.   After getting snapped at for some weird reason that I am not really sure of, and hearing all about how she just got out of the home or the hospital or something, I decide I better not ask this lady for assurance that I am going the write way.  I don’t think she was much of a trail blazer. 

 

It turns out I was correct in where I was going.  There was one more spot I corrected myself on, and from there it was smooth sailing!  Part of the path goes along the river.  I have kayaked the rushing water over the rapids, and listening to them as I walk is a little piece of heaven!  In another section, Watson darts back and forth on his leash, desperate for the ducks just a few feet away.  “Here Ducky Ducky Ducky!  Come play with the Watsy!!”  Talk about the ultimate tease!

 

Made it back fine.  Go me!  Here’s to hoping that I don’t forget what I learned today!

Almost burned the house down… can only mean one thing!  Mrs. Reed is cooking!  Tonight it was homemade chicken soup.  The broth was from Knor and the chicken was precooked from Wal-Mart.  Can I still call it homemade?  Though I singed a kitchen towel, and burned a plastic bag on a burner that I have no clue how it turned on, I would call it a success.  I cleaned up as I went along, and wasn’t exhausted afterwards. 

 

I know you are thinking… “Is she serious?”  Do you really think I could make this stuff up.  Before anyone who doesn’t know me starts thinking that blind people shouldn’t cook alone or whatever, remember that the winner of the top chef is blind.  Blind people can and do cook all the time.  The question you should be asking is can and should blonds cook alone.  To this I would say, based on me, the jury is still out. 

 

Clearly, I am extremely self deprecating.  I did try hard today, though.  I really want to be a good wife.  All would have been fine if I had double checked that all the counters were clear… maybe I should listen to the hubby now and then.  You would think I was pregnant by the way I cried through dinner.  Jon said that the soup was delicious, and I really think he meant it.  Thank you Knor! 

 

Watson, meanwhile, probably wishes I would never cook again.  I had a busy day, and he didn’t really get much exercise today.  I did spend half my time lecturing him to get away from the trash can (which was turned around) and putting him in time out. 

 

I must say, I am really loving blogging.  I hope I am not boring anyone.  Writing about my life somehow makes me see the humor in it.  I love your comments and would love you to tell your friends!  To end on a positive note, my house is pretty clean, and I am mainly caught up on laundry… which is saying a lot since my husband wears like four shirts a day for work.  J 

 

Happy New Year!

How’d I do on the positivity front, Oprah? 

One common question in the blindness community is whether it is better to marry a fellow blind partner or a sighted one.  I have engaged in many conversations on the pros and cons of both.  In general society, it is usually considered “easier” to choose a sighted partner.  There even appears to be a hierarchy of those who are coupled with a sighted partner and those who are not.  There is an unspoken stigma of settling for less placed on those blind who choose a fellow blind partner.  Society perpetuates this false belief by contending that somehow the sighted person is taking care of the blind person.  Sure, having a partner who can drive does make life a little easier many times.  Of course, I ask Jon to read mail to me, maybe read directions on a package, or ask if something looks dirty.  This is convenient.

Reader, there is a trade off to being married to a sighted person that most of society doesn’t recognize.  If I am honest with my self, I all too often fall into the trap as well.  The following are just a few examples of the advantages to dating or marrying a blind person.  I encourage any comments, arguments, or questions after reading this blog.

Before dating Jon, I dated both blind and sighted guys.  Again, though my relationships certainly did not revolve around whether or not my partner was blind or sighted, it did play a part in our relationship.  One glaring example is how we got around on our dates.  Neither one of us could drive, so we did a lot of walking and took some taxis.  As poor college students, this did mean we had to somewhat restrict the distance we would go on dates.  I lived in Louisiana at the time, in somewhat of a small town.  The mall and other activities were a half an hour’s drive or a $50 cab ride one way.  The only bus service was grey hound.  We had friends though, and traveling out of our little town really wasn’t ever a big issue.

I mention transportation because that is probably one of the most glaring differences in my relationships with blind and sighted men.  It may be easier to get from point A to point B, but as a blind ex-boyfriend pointed out to me years ago, there is a significant trade off.

In a relationship it is not the partner’s job to “take care of” the other partner; this goes for both blind and sighted ones.  It is not the partner’s job to hold the other person up either physically or emotionally; both are stifling and ultimately destructive.  For me, and I believe many others, there is a temptation to rely on the sighted partner for the majority.  It is easier.  I can’t help reflecting on the cost though.  This reliance is a very slippery slope. Invention is born out of necessity.  Independence is the greatest gift you can give someone, especially yourself.  Having a sighted partner takes away the need to find innovative ways to get from point A to point B.  Tonight, Jon was not able to drive me to my workout class.  I was left with the choice of walking, calling a cab, or taking the bus.  The idea of walking to the gym was not appealing since the class itself is rigorous.  The cost of taking a taxi was $6.75, which I found expensive.  I was left with facing my fear of taking the bus.  It took much longer to get there then if Jon had just driven me, but I did it!

Last night I came across the blog of a friend of mine.  She and her husband are also blind, and have one daughter.  Her blog recounted the “how to’s” of purchasing a Christmas tree independently, and decorating said tree, and black Friday shopping adventures.  I am left admiring her and her husband’s ingenuity.  I am left having to face the fact that I don’t know how I would put lights on a tree without sighted assistance.  I am left admitting that I lack the courage to shop in a mall or even at Wal-Mart without a family member or friend.  I know that it is the employees job to assist me while grocery shopping.  I know that in a store at the mall, the employees are all too happy to sell you merchandise.  I know that I shy away from shopping independently, let alone on black Friday.

What is wrong with getting some help from a sighted friend or family member?  In a word, nothing; as long as I know that I could do it on my own if they weren’t there.  The problem lies when the blind spouse no longer rises to new “How to” challenges and decides to rely on the sighted partner.  My friend didn’t want someone driving her and her family to get a tree.  She wanted it to just be her family!  There is nothing wrong with needing or receiving help, but it has to be a choice.  There isn’t always someone around to help.

From my conversation with my blind ex-boyfriend years ago, I learned the value of the last pro in having a blind member that I will share with you.  A blind spouse knows exactly what it feels like to be blind!  He has stood in the rain for that taxi that should have been there an hour ago.  He has his own stories of idiot people who point us toward the elevator to avoid stairs.  He has tasted the bitterly sour pill of discrimination.  He wears the thick skin of patience in being blind.

I love my husband!  I would marry him a thousand time over if I could!  I am certainly not writing out of regret.  I suppose I am evaluating how much I really have to grow in my confidence as a blind person.  I feel stunted, though.  I am by far my own worst enemy.

Merry Christmas!

Categories

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 25 other followers

Advertisements