Valentine's day musing on blindness

So the other day, I was searching for an image on google when I came across a picture of a blind man and his bride. He is well known and I've seen some of his works, so I immediately recognized him. The 'people watcher' in me, who makes up stories about people's lives and wonders how closely related to reality the stories are, immediately imagined what dating and being married would be like for him. This whole thing happened towards the end of last year and I started a blogpost about it but never got to finishing it. But yesterday on the bus, I saw another blind man I know.
I didn't know this guy personally, but he used to live close to my old house. I was never able to stop myself from staring whenever I saw him. I guess it's because I expected him to do things with difficulty and maybe even ask for my help with crossing that uber busy road? Sometimes, I'd wait at a distance to see if he crossed successfully or if he would need help.  But all he ever did was cross like I would, except with a stick.


So what struck me about this man today? He had a bouquet of flowers in his hands. Yesterday was Valentine's day so it wasn't really a big deal to see flowers everywhere. But the flowers took me back to my previous thoughts about the first blind man. The first man is a known Christian, so he probably didn't have his hands all up in his lady's business until they said their "I do's".  So did he just pick her at random? He has never seen her face and probably will never. I'd first thought to say, compliments would be sparse in their relationship, but then I hear that we use our other senses more when one is faulty. His compliments to her would probably be with respect to new perfumes and body washes, new underwear (touch), maybe new hair do's too. But I don't think he'll notice if she gets a new tattoo or is looking nice today...well except if her heels are clacking differently. I was going to say he might not notice if she adds some weight, but he probably would, hugs would be 'squishier'...lol.

Well, now that I think of it, there are a lot of things that he can do just as well as a seeing person. I guess I was focusing too much on the disability. What I was going for, was to describe how their love and loving process would be different. I wonder how they fell in love? That wasn't entirely a stupid question, was it? I know the answer to that, thanks. A lot of non-verbal communication would be lost on him. She'd have had to adapt to explaining non-verbal jokes to him, explain why she screamed when she accidentally touched a hot pot or tell him there's a snake in front of him. Yeah she's a seeing person and really pretty too. I wonder if she'd ever think to describe her face to detail to him, hopefully she's good with words. I wonder what the face he has of her in his mind looks like, or even how similar it is to her actual face. Ever wondered about those little things that you do, that you don't even know how you do until you realize someone else can't do them?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot this part! One more thing that attracted me to the guy on the bus today was his phone case. We have the same phone case; it's neon green so it's kind of hard to miss. So I stared at my phone-case mate and wondered if we had the same phone. It was the same, but not the same. His didn't light up with the power button click, I think it was sensitive to Braille or something. It was hard to understand because I think the phone was being a pain. He was trying to play music, but something was off. He put the earphone into the earphone jack a few times and made some movements with his finger on the unlit screen of his phone, then did something on the side of the phone (volume adjustment I suppose). He repeated these a few times before  he gave up and swapped the phone for his radio. I wondered if it was something that I would have been able to solve... I know there's a problem with me wanting to "solve" his problems. I'm not trying to be his Jesus, I just feel a sort of obligation to be ready to help if he needs it. But I guess it's wrong, because that somehow means I think he's less of a human than I am, and that I'm somehow superior to him. I guess I should just go educate myself on blindness if it'll be my new fascination.

Anyway, because I wasn't going anywhere with this, I googled something and found this on yahoo:

Best AnswerAsker's Choice

  • Jewel answered 5 years ago
People who are blind/VI live life like everyoe else. It's not amazing, it's not 'special'. We go about our business like everyone else. Yes, we use talking devices (talking watch, kitchen timer, etc.), but it's just the adaptation to life that we find the easiest (or at least I do!).

Around the house, I don't use my cane. I know the layout of the house, and only get irritated if my husband leaves something on the floor *eyeroll* I have raised dots on the microwave so i can press the buttons, because our microwave doesn't have raised dots. I use a screenreader on my computer which reads everything to me...it freaks my husband out sometimes because I don't always remember to turn the monitor on, so it looks like I'm typing at a computer that isn't on...like another answerer, I learned to type without looking in school...I can type up to 80 wpm.

I do laundry, cook for my husband (he loves my baked fish most of all), do housecleaning, take care of our precious cat, and do everything that any housewife would do. I plan to go back to college to get a degree in Special Education, and become a teacher, but for now I'm a housewife. I have an assistant who comes several times a week to drive me around and help me with things I can't do, like reading the print mail and scrubbing the tub (ok, I could do that if I wanted to, but...ugh, I hate scrubbing the tub).

I live with my sighted husband, and we go out to eat, go to the movies, go to parties or the VFW, visit museums and art galleries, and do anything any couple would do. We have our fights, mostly about finannces, but what couple doesn't?

I sew on my sewing machine, make art with brads, make cat toys, and enjoy listening to music and audio books.

I am just the same as any one else. I just do somethings different.

You can't learn everything about a person's life from Y! Answers. What kind of person are you wanting to write about? Are they a professional or a housewife.stay-at-home mom? Do they like to go to clubs, or do they prefer art galleries and parks? Are they totally blind or do they have some residual vision? Were they born blind, did it come over time, or did they lose it in an accident? How much training does the person have in O&M, braille, etc? Did they grow up at a school for the blind, or in a public school? Do they use a guide dog or a cane?

There's so much to know...you can't just throw all blind people into a bunch and say they are all like X. We are just like sighted people...we're all different. I know a totally blind guy who has used guide dogs for 20 years, enjoys going to night clubs, and goes around the world talking about where he got his guide dog, their training and breeding program, and why others should get their guide dogs there. I have another friend who lost his sight due to macular degeneration...he can still drive, but is slowly losing the central vision. He often asks me for referrals to people to talk to, products he should check out, and what I would do in such-and-such situation. A third friend of mine, who lost his vision in an accident 10 years ago, is a veteran of the U.S. Army and an advocate in a local group called Blind Veterans. He uses a cane, hates dogs, and stil struggles with dealing with his residual vision, which irritates him because of his photosensitivity. He loves antique cars and owns two, which he takes for a ride once a month with his adult son.

Source:

I am a legally blind person who has been blind for 9 months only, due to an accident that took my vision all of a sudden. Myy vision continues to worsen due to secondary glaucoma caused by the burn. I am a member of several Y! groups for blind people and their families and friends, and have heard many life stories.

Asker's rating & comment

5 out of 5
thank you for your insight! -http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090305031216AA77WiO

... I couldn't help but notice the unintended pun in the asker's rating "insight"...inner sight? Alright I'll be going to bed on that note.

In the spirit of love and loving, this one is for you! -->Red or yellow, black or white, blind or seeing, believer or non-believer, you are precious to God. You are loved by a God who knew you before you were formed!

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