Sunday, December 12, 2021

Business Cards

I looked up speech generating devices online; they were priced at between seven thousand and ten thousand dollars. Yikes! I also looked at online ASL classes but questioned their value because I know no one who can sign. So, I’ve decided to be patient. I have hope that after I talk with Dr. Shoja, that I will speak a little. I always sense improvement in my condition after I consult with her. I’ve only a couple of weeks to wait.

Plus … ta na: I sense some improvement in my speech. I mean, it’s gone from about -100 to maybe -95. But I’ll take anything.

I read most of the day away, after two morning walks and a visit to Kimm’s and Joke’s studio where I bought myself one of their paper birds. And I watched a large crane deliver a prefabricated shed from a flatbed truck to the lot next door. 

I was worried about walking our dogs with Di. Being alone with me means the other person must do all the talking. All of it. I can make single word responses here and there, but by no means can we have a conversation. But Donna called Di and she came with us, so I could listen to them talking as we walked.

When I was learning French and had a long, long way to go, I went out for dinner with my teacher, her husband and several of their friends. This was in Nice, and it was New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t understand a single thing anyone said. They all spoke very quickly, and I couldn’t even hear the individual words. 

At one point, some kind soul with the best of intentions, said: “So Chris. How are you liking living in France?” That made everyone else stop talking and every face turned to me. And if that wasn’t bad enough, my pathetic response further humiliated me.

Well, that’s what happened with Di and Donna. I think they worry that I feel excluded, so they ask me a question—and they’re kind enough to ask something easy to answer with a yes or no or something short. I, in turn, feel obligated to try to get something out, so they politely wait while I struggle to get a whole sentence out. It takes forever.

Donna asked me if I would be coming to our Christmas party. Before I could answer, Di said: “Of course he is.” I didn’t answer the question; it’s going to depend on how I feel when the evening arrives. But I’m planning on going, properly armed with the explanatory card I wrote about here a while back.

But I’ve done something smart: I’ve ordered a hundred business cards made up with my name followed by, “Nice to meet you,” on one side, and a very brief explanation for my poor speech on the back. I love the whole retro thing about having personal cards, and mine give me a nice way to explain my speech. 

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