Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Recently I was having a conversation with a friend of mine (who also happens to have cochlear implants) in the noisy hall before school started. We were discussing a movie she'd seen over the weekend, and towards the end of the conversation, I asked, "Was it crowded?"

She thought for a few seconds. "What?!"

"Was it crowded?" I asked, this time making an effort to speak a little more clearly.

She paused again. "Yeah!" she said. Which, while it just so happened to be the right response, I could tell clearly from the tone of her voice she had no idea what I'd just asked. I smiled at her.

"Wait, what did you ask me?!"

"Was the theater very full?"

"Oh yeah! It was packed!"

I always do my best not to pretend like I heard what someone said when I really didn't, but sometimes after you've asked someone to repeat something numerous times, you just feel to embarrassed to ask them to say it again. As seen in that situation, when you bluff you're fooling no one but yourself. But bluffing isn't something limited to people with hearing loss.

My mom (who has amazing, natural hearing) always tells me about an embarrassing incident that happened to her many years ago when she worked. One of her clients, who was a bit chatty, was going on and on in a story she was telling. My mom kind of zoned out, and didn't really pay attention. The woman stopped, awaiting a response, signaling her story had ended.

"Oh, that's so funny!" my mom said, even though she didn't listen to the story.

The woman stared at her in disbelief. It turned out her husband had died.


So that's why I always try to find out what someone said. Well, mostly. Later on that day, I heard my friend calling my name as I was leaving the cafeteria. This particular friend has a tendency to speak fast. Extremely fast. She ran up to me.

"Hey! How are you?" she asked me

"Good. What's up?"

"Nothing. So h- werogtjrgtowjirjtogj weogpeok oerkgerw?"

Oh no. I got that sinking feeling in my stomach when you just know you're not going to be able to understand something.

"Sorry, what did you say?"

"H tpokwtpeythegn elrkgnlenlerkn wegokwe cnwinfge?"

"Um, can you say that again?"

"Have you broken qporjtepojypeojt qritjeogjoj n24twe?"

Umm.... As far as I knew, I hadn't broken anything. I mean how important could the rest of the sentence really be?

"Haha. No!" I laughed.

"That's great! Wow!"

Oh no. What did I just tell her?

She continued, "So many other Jewish people I've talked to said they only lasted like five minutes! Wow! It's awesome you've lasted that long!"

It hit me what she'd asked. She wanted to know if I'd been keeping Passover. Which I hadn't. I had a piece of bread on the second day, and it all sort of went downhill from there...

"Oh!" I laughed nervously. "I don' t think I'll last much longer!" (What was I supposed to do, tell her I just lied?)

She then launched into a whole other story, her speech getting faster and faster as she went. I had not a clue what she was saying. I smiled whenever she looked at me, then rushed to class before she could ask me another question.

Has bluffing ever gotten you into a sticky situation?


  1. When I'm in a noisy background situation, I always lower the sensitivity. I'm assuming that you have Cochlear brand since I see HOT PINK Freedom processors on your blog! I have the Freedom processors too and so, I just set the sensitivity to around 5 which is VERY LOW, but I hear SOO much better and so, I never have to bluff. Like you, I have to hear everything that is being said. So, that might be something that you might want to try.

  2. Thanks Rachel, I will definitely try that. I just got the Noise program put in the processor for my new ear (activated for 2 weeks) which has also helped tremendously!

  3. I always bluff.... it's terrible. And they always know that I'm lying.
    Typically whenever I ask for someone to repeat they say never mind (That is one of my biggest pet peeves). The never mind thing is the main reason for why I bluff.

  4. ME TOO! I don't think people realize how frustrating it is for us when they say that!

  5. Oh dear! The story about the one girl asking you if you'd broken Passover had me laughing..I can't count the number of times bluffing got me into some bad situations...For example, one time my friend was talking about her grandparent dying or something and i just nodded and was like "thats great!"...I felt so bad! And just the other day my mom was telling me what to do about my ride home from theater and I was really tired and she'd already told me seven million times and I didn't feel like paying attention so i just went mhmm, yeah, mhm, which later wasn't the best idea cuz then i had no clue what she'd said!

  6. And as to Kristi's comment, I agree all the way! i should stage a protest...
    And btw my brother says never mind and refuses to tell me something he's said on purpose just cuz he knows it drives me crazy. Gotta love those sibs! *rolls eyes*

  7. SLTA, OMG I about your friend's grandparents dying! I would feel sort of bad about that too..

    As for the protest- you make the posters, I'll make the T-shirts! Kristi can bring some megaphones! LOL

    And I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I realized (for sure) that it was you when I read the comment about your brother...

    Siblings... can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!


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