Deaf in a Restaurant

People’s reactions to a Deaf person’s presence in a restaurant can be amusing.. and a little intrusive.

Date Night!  My husband and I score a babysitter, boom out the door and into the car. Floor it to freedom.  A much needed couple of kid-free hours awaits.  Into the restaurant, yes we’d like to sit on the patio, such a nice night out. Ushered to our table next to a family of …  KIDS!!  We chuckle that they knew just where to put the deaf people.  No matter, it’s true we won’t be bothered by any noise.  Ha. Ha.  Chit chat, chit chat, chit chat. Ha.

Chit.

Is there something on my face?
Is there something on my face?

CHAT..

THIS KID IS STARING AT US SIGNING.

Not a little glance.  Full on, facing us, staring.  Non-stop.

He didn’t stop when I looked at him and smiled.

He didn’t even stop when I took this picture.

Funny kid.

Deaf people know how celebrities must feel

Sometimes I forget that signing in public places can attract attention.

A person’s first reaction to something they have never seen can be quite honest.

This kid is kind of symbolic for what some hearing people have never seen: real live deaf people.

They’re going to tell people they saw us.  And we were doing the signing.

Sometimes they want to share something with us like…

they know someone who is deaf

they are learning to sign

or they are curious..

why are we deaf

how can we talk

can we lipread (hopefully while they don’t have mouths full of food)

can we drive (hey we got here)

and if we have the kids with us..

are they deaf (no)

did we teach them to sign (well yes)

how did they learn to talk (TV?)

they talk so well (lots of TV?)

It’s just funny.. that you find us fascinating.

All that’s on our minds most of the time is really the usual kind of stuff like what we’re eating for dinner (and that we’re actually eating, did I mention we had a babysitter?!), so nice to relax, is someone smoking a cigar out here, how can they charge $18 for tacos, are you getting salmon, oh there’s that yogurt place we should go to after this..

And this kid reminds me how we’re unique.. except we’re just regular folk, folks.

So if you’re in a restaurant and see us, remember:

Sometimes Deaf people don’t mind basking in the celebrity stare, but most of the time we’re just trying to enjoy our night out.

Cheers!

JenLeora

6 thoughts on “Deaf in a Restaurant

  1. It took me a long time to get over being stared at when my daughter went out. Now, twenty years later, I am oblivious of people looking at us.

  2. This made me chuckle. It happens to us quite often. Sometimes, as a family, we decide to go out and all sign and no voice. My twins are deaf, my husband, myself, and two other children are hearing. It’s an interesting experience when we all are perceived as Deaf. Once we were in Walmart on one of our outings, we literally had a group of people following us around as we shopped. When we checked out, the expression on the cashiers face was priceless. We had purchased earbuds and an Adele CD.

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