Do you remember the Aesop’s fable about the fox and the stork? The fox offered the stork dinner in a flat dish and the stork offered the fox dinner in a tall jar. Sometimes I think of this as I interact with sighted friends and acquaintances. The following three examples will give you a flavor of these strange encounters.
I get my church bulletin electronically for which I am grateful. For the last few weeks I’ve noticed part of a story by our former priest about a Christmas memory in it. Since we’re in the Easter season, it piqued my curiosity. When I emailed the parish secretary she told me it was embedded in the page somehow but not to worry it didn’t show up in print so the sighted parishioners wouldn’t be confused. I replied that I was confused a lot so I guessed I was cool with confusion, but glad it wouldn’t be bothering the sighted folks.
The same day as this encounter I was talking to the head of a local non-profit organization. She asked me if I knew “Sue”. When I said I wasn’t sure, she told me that “Sue” was blind and needed an interpreter and surely I knew her. I’m used to the “blind people all know each other” idea, but needing an interpreter was a new wrinkle. I said that interpreter usually made me think of deaf people who use the services of sign language interpreters sometimes. She said that yes, she meant deaf. So I guess it’s broader than “blind people all know each other”. It’s “all people with disabilities know each other”!
Next day I was talking about a gift for a friend’s birthday with another friend and I suggested marigolds. I thought we should check what color we wanted to get with the recipient of the gift. The friend asked me did they come in different colors and what were they. I merrily started describing yellow, red, orange and variegated ones. Then I laughed and said that I thought what I said was true, but maybe I was making it up. My sighted friend said she surely didn’t know so I the blind person could tell her anything I wanted to.
The moral of these stories? For me, it’s be patient with sighted folks; they have no idea what you do or don’t know and can or can’t do! For those of you who see, you may identify with what a sighted friend used to tell me: “just because I can see, doesn’t mean I see”!