Deafness · Social bluffing

Social Bluffing Rears its Ugly Head

Today, during lunch, I decided my Jeep Wrangler needed a bath (and I, a break from work). My girl hasn’t been really cleaned in a good long while, so I decided to do the works: vacuum, dump trash, pre-soak, wash, wax, etc. I needed change, so I walked up to one of those change machines the car wash offers. I was standing behind a guy, rooting around in my purse, with a million things going through my head: Where’d all my cash go? How am I gonna solve that problem at work? Where the f did I put my chapstick? Oh my god, is that a stain on my shoe? …

Suddenly, I realized the guy in front of me was talking. To me. Uh-oh.

Now, I must digress just for a moment and give you little bit of background information. I am hard of hearing. I have no hearing at all in my left ear and a profound loss in my right. I wear a hearing aid, speak fairly proficiently, and get by the best I can. I rely on lipreading. I do not use the telephone (in the conventional sense). And I am proud of all of this.

Ok, back to the story. The guy had taken me by surprise as I wasn’t really paying attention to him. I was suddenly trying to figure out what he was saying, why I should care, and how to respond, all while checking the guy out. He was a pretty good looking black dude, if you like the dripped-in-gold look from a Jay-Z music video. He was also driving a brand new Hummer, which, if you follow cars, you know aren’t being made anymore. Since he managed to snag a new one, he must be rollin’ in dough.

Dragging my attention back to the guy and what he was saying, I realized he asked me a question and suddenly felt this sense of panic take over. I could not look like a moron in front of this stranger! I MUST act carefree and in-the-know! So I said, “no.”

Seems like a safe answer, wouldn’t you think?

The guy breaks into a huge smile and says, “now that’s just fabulous isn’t it? I’m not attached either!” Panic seizes me again and I miss the next question he asks. Since ‘no’ was a horrible answer the first time, this time I simply say, “yes.” The guy laughs and does a skip-hop and goes, “you wait right here, I’ll be right back!” Panic seizes even harder. What have I gotten myself into?? The guy comes back with his cell phone and says, “What’s that number, honey?”

Now, at this point in time, what I should have done is simply set the guy straight. I should have said, “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I am an idiot and can’t hear a damn thing. I wasn’t paying any attention to you either and I just have to admit that. I’m not interested. Goodbye.” What I actually said was, “Uh, okay. It’s XXX-XXX-XXXX.” And I didn’t even have the decency of mind to make up a number. Sheeesh.

Now, to digress again, I am not a weak person. I’m quite strong-willed, to put it nicely. And I’ve been told so, frequently. So where did this asinine persona come from? I was stupified at how I was handling the situation but couldn’t seem to change my path once I was on it. I was gonna have to give myself a talking to later….

The guy punched in the number, sent me a confirmation text, and said, “I’ll be talking to you soon, good-lookin’. We gonna have a night we won’t forget.” And he saunters off to his Hummer, all 90 pounds of gold chains blinding me in the sunshine. And I don’t say a word.

Now, a mere hour later, I am absolutely horrified with myself. I can only hope my boyfriend forgives me too. And I still don’t know why I couldn’t set the situation straight. Panic makes you do strange things, and social bluffing is a monster that sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

So what have I learned?

  • I love my boyfriend.
  • Don’t go to the car wash ever again.
  • And next time, don’t say “no” OR “yes”! Say…. something else. You’ll figure it out, won’t you?
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2 thoughts on “Social Bluffing Rears its Ugly Head

  1. lol, Sarah, lolIn an attempt to avoid bluffing, I've taken to raising one eyebrow when I have no clue what someone just said. People either think I'm confused, aloof, or a total space cadet. Works really well with strangers. 😉

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