Monday, 28 April 2008

Me and my volume

When I tell people that I’m deaf, one of the first things they usually ask me, after can I hear their voice, is can I hear my own.

And, the answer is Yes, I can. But one thing I do struggle with is my volume control – housemate was the first person to tell me I have a wonderful skill of shouting in quiet places and whispering in loud ones! I have no idea why I do this, but she is absolutely right you know…

Take the time I was on a train from London back to my house at uni in a packed train. It was hot and stuffy and my boyfriend at the time was doing his best to keep me amused – he was a quick learner, so had brought a Take A Break Arrow Word book with him.

So there we were, chug chugging along when I suddenly announced to him, ‘I am so fucking (sorry mum) bored!’ Except I didn’t just announce it to him – I announced it to the whole carriage and probably to the whole of the South East.

His face was a complete picture and it made me laugh so much that tea came out of my nose and smudged my down clue on the Arrow Word I was doing…
He diagnosed me with deaf tourettes that day and it’s been that way ever since.

The other day I was watching Jaws in the early hours of the morning, for possibly the first time – it was old housemate’s favourite movie, she loved the book, too. So much so that she used to hide it in the shed so that she couldn’t read it anymore.

Anyway, so there I was watching Jaws for the first time, a bit spooked to be honest – I don’t do scary movies very well. Remember that scene where they’re hunting the poor fishy and he pops out the water and says hello, well I screamed, a very me scream – a town-crier proud scream – so loud in fact that other-old housemate’s boyfriend (who I was visiting at the time) shouted ‘Bloody ‘ell and Flamin’ Nora’ at the top of his voice too, and we woke up an entire row of terraces.

Now, for old housemate’s boyfriend to have been disturbed, it must have been quite a scream, even though I didn’t hear it – screaming is out of my frequency…
Once he challenged me by a loch in Scotland to shout as loudly as I could – I competed against the boys and won. And, I was the only one who didn’t suffer ear damage as a result.

I could probably fill this blog for days with details of all the noise I’ve made, but what really disturbs me is that I can shout in sign language, too. It’s quite alarming but my face gurns wildly, my hands flail about and I literally let rip…

So this got me thinking, if I ‘shout’ in both languages, perhaps if I wasn’t deaf I would still be noisy.
Perhaps I would still whisper in pubs and shout swear words in front of little old ladies on trains…
And for once, it’s quite nice to find something I can’t outright blame on my deafness!

2 comments:

Claire said...

I snorted my tea myself at this...so spot on!! I remember doing the same thing in the changing rooms of a swimming baths when I was 11...when the whole gaggle of girls turned round to stare at me I wanted the floor to open up and deposit me at the bottom of the pool!!

BigBrother said...

Your opening and closing of kitchen cupboards is also lacking any form of volume control!