Living with a visual impairment can oftentimes be uncomfortable and embarrassing in social situations. What can you do? Well, you can laugh. Finding humor in these experiences makes the seemingly unbearable discomfort bearable, and funny to think back on. Everyone has something that limits them, right? I have never met a superhuman. Not yet anyway. With that said, I don’t think of my low vision as a debilitating disease. I have my brains. I have a sense of humor. I have people that love me, thank goodness. What more do I need? I can’t ask for more. What limits us should be cause for laughter. What other choice do we have? For this reason, I have made the list below of Six Things Only A Visually Impaired Person Would Do. I hope you read this candid list and laugh with me. Or at me. Don’t cry over ranch-flavored fingers. Here goes.
1. Reaching for a solid object that turns out to be a liquid.
I love ranch. I like milk. Wet glue comes in handy from time to time. These things, however, are not paper. I have on more than one occasion reached for a piece of paper or a sock on the ground to find it’s some sort of liquid instead. Nope. This is awesomely funny when it happens at home, on a Sunday at the dinner table. Not so funny when it happens at a restaurant with acquaintances, but I laugh anyway. It’s especially unfunny when it’s runny chicken poop.
2. Is it a bug, dog poop, or yarn?
Yes, you read that right. A candy bar wrapper looks the same as a tarantula, which looks the same as poop which looks like a piece of yarn. In essence, a dark or black thing on the floor could be anything. Do I reach down and pick it up? Usually no. Not until another human being confirms what it actually is. And yes. It could be yarn.
3. Having underwear hanging around the house when unexpected company comes over
Oh my gosh. Yes, this has happened. The company was not even an acquaintance. Our dryer was on the blink for a time so my husband had hung his skivvies around the living room one night, because that’s what we were doing at the time, until the contraption was fixed. We had a lost dog show up at our door. A vet read the dog’s microchip so the owner was located. That lovely gentleman came by to pick up his dog immediately. Sure enough, I invite the man in before relinquishing his pooch. We had to say our goodbyes to the cute doggy, of course. The man seemed rather uncomfortable and anxious to leave as soon as he stepped inside my place. We hurried our doggy goodbyes and he was on his way. His demeanor changed instantly after entering my home. That night, my husband returned from work and began collecting his under things that were hanging about the living room. I knew at that moment why the man was in such a hurry! We still laugh about that one, of course.
4. Having a conversation with someone, that isn’t that someone.
Oh, this one is fun. I’ve done this on more than one occasion but the most recent occurrence still causes a slight cringe. My husband has a really cool job and from time to time, I get to accompany him to events and shindigs where he rubs shoulders with important and interesting people. It’s fun. The last shindig I attended with him I managed to embarrass myself pretty good. I outdid myself, for sure. My guy went to the restroom and of course, the event ended while he was gone. I had to get up from my seat and begin walking to the lobby of the venue. I began gushing about the organization we were there to support, to who I was sure was the guy that organized the event. I went on about my husband. The agency. How much Steve enjoyed working with him. Etcetera. Two minutes into my babble, my husband and the man I thought I was talking to walked up behind me. I abruptly stopped talking, of course. I wanted to hide under something. A rock. A shoe. Anything. Sigh. You can’t take this girl anywhere.
5. Asking a mannequin for directions.
This one is my favorite. I was in a mall with my father one day. I must’ve been about ten. He told me to go ‘ask that lady over there’ where such-and-such was. I walked up to this person and asked for directions. When she didn’t move or respond, I knew I had been duped. Good one, dad. Good one. Thankfully mannequins are mostly headless these days.
6. Walking into a glass door - full force
My husband and I bought our first home in May 2005. What an exciting time and one we’ll never forget. While looking at properties, I walked straight into a glass door. It’s a miracle the glass didn’t break. Embarrassing? Yes. Funny? Absolutely.
So there you have it. A short list of things I’ve done as a person living with legal blindness that keep me laughing. I am grateful to have some vision for sure. I certainly can’t complain. I have a loving husband that does not care a bit that I’m different. My two daughters are beautiful, smart, and funny. I have friends and pets and dreams and laughter. Everything is the way it is meant to be. Embrace what makes you different! Keep on laughing, loving, and living my friends.