3 Common Questions I’ve Been Asked Over The Years

There are no stupid questions!  We can’t possibly know everything so we shouldn’t expect others to know everything, and how do we learn unless we ask?

I have never turned anyone away or made them feel uncomfortable about approaching me with their questions or their curiosity. I am always just happy that someone took the plunge to approach me and ask.

Sometimes people get stuck on the words they might use to express what they are thinking, but I’ve learned to look beyond the words, and see the meaning of their questions, without judgement, and I never feel offended.

These are the three top questions I’ve been asked over the years as a blind person.

Question 1

Who dresses you and does your hair in the morning?  Your clothes are so stylish, matching, and you are so well put together”

Answer

Well I truly would love to have a personal butler, however I assure you that I do it on my own, each and every day. What I’ve come to realize is that true vision comes from all of our other senses and not just from the eyes. So I learned how to focus my attention in seeing through my sense of touch, and I use my memory when going to pick out my clothes for the day.

braille labelThe clothes in my closet are grouped in colors and labeled.  I also have several labeling tools at my disposal, such as Braille labels.Pen Friend

A small device, called a Pen Friend Audio Labeller, allows me to pre-record my voice, speaking the information I need to know.  It’s recorded on a small label that has a bar code and sticky back side.  I point the Pen Friend, which activates the pre-recording that I already have set-up.

color readerThere are several color readers on the market as well. However my best strategy, is good old touch and memory to identify each item in my wardrobe. My hair and any makeup I ware is all done best through my sense of touch.

Question 2

How can you raise children when you can’t see?

Answer

Well my hearing has definitely never failed me.  I can hear their foot steps.  At school I can usually find them in the school yard by the sound of their voice. There is so much you can pick up from using your sense of hearing.

My sense of touch served me well when it came to caring for my babies, changing diapers and I can vouch for my keen sense of smell which definitely beats most other moms I know.

I remember clearly meeting with other moms for a social get together.  All the moms were schmoozing, talking, and totally distracted.  I, on the other hand, was as deep in conversation as they were, however, my sense of hearing still can pick up on all other things going on in the house.

One time our kids were running around when I heard my son in the bathroom lifting the lid of the toilet and having a grand old time splashing around with a few other children.  Other moms had no clue.  They heard nothing.  I proceeded to yell out, “Hey there, get out of the bathroom – first wash your hands”.  A mom ran to see.  She was shocked, ”How did you know?”

Question 3

How can you cook, let alone go to Culinary school, if you can’t see,?

Answer

I have had a passion for cooking since forever.  All my senses kick in – smell, taste, touch, memory, and so much more to creating my form of art.

When I was in Culinary school with 14 other students in a very large commercial kitchen, many students, including my Chef instructor, would burn, cut, or find ways to hurt themselves.  Throughout the duration of the program I never did.  So after several months, I stated in this huge loud kitchen for all who could hear me, “Man, the kitchen is a dangerous place for sighted people!”

I was so focused on information with all my other senses.  I was more mindful, and made sure I was as careful as possible.  I also tried to support my peers with good advice that worked well for me.  I would say, as they were all crying and complaining while chopping onions. “Hey guys, why don’t you do what I do and close your eyes while chopping onions, and you won’t hurt and tear up?”

Not sure why they didn’t take me up on my very effective strategy!

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