This weekend I was forever grateful my spouse was able to take me to church and the grocery store. I ‘ve been locked down to the bed and house since my surgery two weeks ago.
I am not a fan of grocery stores, because I’m hearing disabled. I have moderate to severer hearing loss. I use two hearing aids. These hearing devices are wonderful, but only assist with sounds in front of me. I don’t hear things from behind me, nor do I know where sounds are coming from. This is why I have my lovely service dog, Snow-po.
Back to my story, I was assisting my husband putting the items on the conveyer belt at the register. When I noticed a young lady getting in line behind us. She is getting close to the cart handle, so I moved back towards the handle bar of the cart. Then my husband looks at me. I hear something, but not sure. Then my husband signals the lady behind me is talking.
“Excuse me.” She said in a rather upset tone.
“Oh sure, sorry. I’m hearing disabled; in hence, the two hearing aids. (which I point to) I didn’t know you were talking to me.”
“You’re in my way.”
“Oh, ok I’m sorry. I’m not certain where you want me to go. Where do you want me to move to?” I asked as the left side of my body is against the cooler of drinks and magazines and she is on my back and towards the right.
“You’re in my space.” She replied.
“Oh no, I’m just at my cart. My service dog is in there.’ I point to the bag inside the cart One similar to the one in the photo below. “See? If you get too close to her, she will bark.”
“You are in my way.” She said again. Then she moves closer to my face, so much so that I can see her eyes through her sunglasses and I can smell her breath.
That is when my husband, a Puerto Rican, looked at her very closely and said, “My wife is at our cart. You are pushing into her space.” That is when the lady took a step back. She stopped talking.
I normally don’t enjoy writing articles like this, but I fear that some people in society are taking too quick of an interpretation of other’s actions without letting reasoning set in.
Ok, let me try to say it this way. Shit was about to go down. That lady was about to hit me. She thought I was ignoring her. She thought I was racist, because I’m white like a cotton ball. She thought I was in her space, which I’m not certain why. Her cart was behind her back. This woman was about to make things happen that could have caused serious harm. (Remember, I just had a major 5 hour surgery and lost lots of blood 2 weeks ago.) I am not certain things would have played out so well if my spouse of double digits had not been there to my rescue.
Next time you are at the store or anywhere for that matter, please take a minute and think before responding towards people you do not know. Hearing disabled people do not know if you are talking to them unless you’re facing them. We can not hear you with or without hearing aids. Next, try to give people in front of you at the register enough space so they can stand behind their cart. If someone is blocking you between them and their belongs take heed. Assume that maybe they have a service dog, weapon, anxiety, fears or something. Don’t be rude. Try to be sensitive.
Last, take time before you react. Not all people are bad, some of us are just broken or slow.