Before my hearing loss, I loved to do what most people do. I loved to go to the movies, watch television, listen to the radio, go to shows and concerts, explore new neighborhoods whevever I am, shop, you know – the normal stuff. Let’s call that life before hearing loss BHL since it’s less typing for me.
AHL (after hearing loss) a lot of that changed. Going to a movie meant sitting in the theater waiting for it to end. We switched to videos and now DVDs, which are usually captioned. But, of course we have to wait for them to come out on DVD, which isn’t while it’s still in the theater. So when my friends are talking about a movie they’ve seen I can’t join the conversation until a few months later. Luckily, they have good memories.
I do have captioned television, but the captions are so poorly done and messed up most of the time, it’s annoying to watch. Most of the time I give up and do something else. What’s up with HD television anyway? The captions for Hi Def are worse than most. And oh boy, the people who caption sometimes get creative. Just the other day I was watching something and the person knocked on a door three times. The caption read, “knocks thrice.” Thrice? Who in North America says thrice? But I digress.
I’m not going to go into each thing I loved to do – I think you can get the idea. And, I do still try to do them sometimes. Just the other night we saw “West Side Story” in New York. I don’t know if I really heard it or if I just listened in my head, but neuroscience has already proven the effect is almost identical so I had a great time. But I do want to note that I’ve changed as time has gone by.
Doing more visual things was a given. I’ve always loved things like puzzles, word games, writing, photography, drawing, and painting, and I was able to add computers to the list. When PCs started to bore me, I got an Apple. There are always challenges to keep me entertained. But something else has happened and I (along with my family) have begun to wonder who I am.
You see, for most of my married life, I’ve hated cooking. When our house was being built, I didn’t want a kitchen. I thought a telephone, a microwave oven and a toaster would be sufficient. (And a fridge, of course.) My family didn’t come home on time, food sat and dried out, the kids didn’t like something. It just didn’t seem worth it so I cooked as little as possible. Plus, and this is a big plus, I always got injured somehow. Once I even cut myself opening the take out container. A burn or a cut while preparing a meal was a given. (I’ll tell you about my trips to emergency in another blog.)
I had no interest in how food was prepared, what went with what, what to substitute if you ran out of something, how to get it all ready at the same time, etc. I could make the things I knew how to make but my repertoire was limited. When we felt the urge for a home cooked meal, I wondered where we could get one. (My husband pointed out that I could probably cook one for us.)
Well, things were going along very nicely but then we decided it was important to eat healthy. That lets out most restaurants and take out food, so the idea of cooking came up again. With morose resignation, I realized I had to cook. It was not uncommon for us to have the same thing night after night. I could do it decently so why take chances? Plus it was easy if I just made chicken every night.
Here’s the odd thing – I’ve always wanted a gas stove. Electric is the most common in Toronto and I’ve hated it since I moved there. Our house, of course, had electric so I really wasn’t enthused. Well, we finally put in a gas stove and a new me emerged.
Not only am I cooking, I’m enjoying it. I might even go out on a limb and say I’m loving it. I’m reading about cooking, I bought cookbooks, we’re even taking a hands-on couples course in surf and turf! Last night I loved the movie Julie & Julia. And, wonder of wonder, there have been no injuries since we got the new stove. I’m still very afraid of my knives, but I’m working on that. Now I want to try new dishes. French onion soup no longer has to be a restaurant treat. I baked Lemon Meringue tarts for company last week. I’m inviting people to my house to eat and we aren’t ordering in!
And there you have it? Who am I?