Hi Jamie and all. I agree with you Jamie about the NFB. They just don't seem
to want to accept the fact that some visually-impaired people are different
than others. Some people with other disabilities are different than, say, their counterparts. Heck, even some non-disabled people differ from other non-disabled people. Wow what a concept! That is what makes America so great, that it is so diverse. Personally, I like asking for help whenever I cannot perform a
task, such as cutting meat or any other food. My life skills tutors, other members of my family, and other friends have all
emphasized to me that it's perfectly acceptable to ask for assistance when
doing things like buttering bread or cutting up meat. After all, cutting is kind of risky especially for someone with little or no vision. It is also messy. My roommate, whose vision is fading, has cut himself several times while chopping. That's what I don't
get about the NFB. They seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to be blind,
which it is, but then they don't want any of us to solicit assistance from
anybody. But back to BCT business. It would be great if someone did a podcast on restaurant etiquette.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Jamie Pauls" <jamiepauls@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, 31 October, 2005 11:10 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: Relationships
That was about as enjoyable as listening to a career cast. Well done. You mentioned allowing your spouse to help with cutting a steak. This is something I let my wife do quite a lot for several years, but I am trying to become more proficient at cutting meat. Why am I rambling on about cutting meat? Because for several weeks now I considered asking Larry to do a podcast on restaurant etiquette. Does he ever accept help with any food items? Does he stay away from things that are difficult? Does being sighted previously put him in a better position to deal with food items than someone who has been blind since birth? The NFB makes asking for help in a restaurant seem like a crime. If I am misreading their philosophy, I will stand corrected. I will admit that when I am out with the guys it is a bit awkward to ask for help with cutting meat; much more awkward than when it's just my wife and me. This is why I am working to really increase my skills in this area. I'd be interested in hearing from others on this subject. Incidentally, I didn't find anything to speak of regarding dining etiquette last time I checked Fred's Head, although I did find my own AccessWatch site. That was cool. I'll be braced and ready for any responses I get to this post. (smile) Don't be too hard on me. Thanks and happy Halloween.
-----Original Message----- From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rose Combs Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 9:04 PM To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [bct] Relationships
I'd like to comment on relationships but I am not able to do recording at this point. As I mentioned previously, my husband is working on his Master's degree and his time is limited to help me this weekend as he has a project due tomorrow. For anyone interested, he is obtaining his degree through University of Phoenix online program, so, he never has to leave home to attend a class but there is a lot of teamwork and projects he has to complete for each class he takes, and he is about half way through his program right now.
We have been married for 30 years last May. Tom is partial vision, and the ability to use it fairly well. He does comment to me often that people seem to be annoyed with him because he does not recognize them if they are really far away and wave at him or something. Oddly enough, he has to take off his glasses to read which can be a problem if he forgets where he laid them down, I generally know where he has been if he does not.
We have had our problems, of course, and as neither of us can see well enough to drive, we depend on public transportation a lot, or friends and family occasionally. However, Tom does see fairly well and feels competent to ride a bicycle. Since we are in Arizona, we ride our tandem to and from work, to the store and to places that are reasonably close. We have large saddle baskets on the back and it it is amazing some of the things we have carried home on it. In 30 years we have had maybe four accidents, none of which was our fault, three different cars have pulled out and hit the back of the bike, damaging the baskets two times, once we went down in some slimy mud on a bike path a fall that happened so quick it was almost like we hit the ground before we fell, and I broke my collarbone in two places, and we were going about two miles per hour when it happened.
People around the area are used to seeing us, wonder where we are if we are absent for too long.
My husband tends not to be organized, he thinks that if he put something back in the same room he got it from it is perfectly OK, and it drives me crazy, not only do I have to hunt for it again, so does he because he cannot remember where he put it. I tried the break this habit early in the marriage by peppering his popcorn when he put the pepper where I normally put the salt, but, alas, it got a laugh but did not teach him anything.
I remember one Christmas time when I had a severe cold but was tired of lying in bed so I decided to clean up the desk and the end table near it. I dumped everything in the trash and then discovered a couple of weeks later that I had also dumped our unpaid bills which explained why the checking account seemed fuller than normal. It was funny but some of the utilities did not see it that way. Since then I don't mess with the printed papers.
There is a lot of give and take in a long-term relationship, and there are times when I do not understand things from tom's perspective and he does not always understand mine but we sometimes have to agree to disagree.
On the other hand, in the early 1980's when I was learning about computers, Tom read a lot of the books to me despite the fact that it was not always easy for him. In 2002 after he broke his arm I attended an Oracle class with him to carry his flipper-port camera and set it up and to do his typing so he could finish the course. The only thing I did not do was help with the final, not that I could have given him any answers, but by that point he was typing a bit better despite the cast.
Early on I tried to do everything for myself, cutting up my own meat, insisting I did not need help. In 1989 I had to have a glomus tumor removed from my left ear and for a few months had absolutely no hearing on that side, and during the healing process there were many things I could not do well due to weakness in my left hand and arm--it was not connected to my ear but the surgery did cause some weakness. I started letting him help more, and now it is almost routine that he will cut up a steak for me, except when he had his broken arm, then I had to do it for both of us. He had to help me even more in 1997 when I broke my collarbone, again on the left but doing things like combing my hair hurt even when I was using my right arm. I was in this figure-of-eight brace and could not even get dressed without help. Of course, the first couple of weeks after he broke his arm I had to help him dress, and It isn't easy to dress an adult male.
I gave tom information on University of Phoenix in 1996 after I signed up on CompuServe, and he was at a point in his life where he wanted and needed a change so he pursued the BS degree he had abandoned nearly 30 years before. When he said he thought he wanted a Master's degree I told him to go for it we'd rearrange things so he could have the time to do that. It means our social life is almost nonexistent at the moment but I am an avid reader so I don't mind all that much.
We don't do a lot except our jobs where we are not together. We shop together, vacation together (I know people who do not), we prefer to go to parties together. Tom prefers TV, I prefer books, he is a sports fanatic, I could care less but those things we work around.
In some ways for me it is like having a sighted husband but then again it is not. Tom has always been willing to describe things for me, movies, items at the store, even sporting events I am not particularly interested in. He is fortunate to be able to use the vision he has well. I am not certain how he would handle vision loss, for now he would never carry a cane, although he never objects when I have one with me. I know he would definitely feel the loss should it ever happen to him but I have confidence that together we would get through it.
After 30 years I cannot imagine having this type of relationship with anyone else.
Rose Combs rosecombs@xxxxxxxxx