You are here:
I was out for lunch with a high school friend last week. I finished high school many, many years ago and she and I have maintained a friendship through marriages, children, career changes, divorce and rebuilds, and aging parents. As always, we shared stories, we laughed and we bragged about our children.
We had just finished lunch and were enjoying coffee when a man approached our table and said hello to my friend. It turns out he attended our high school as well. I have not seen him for years but my friend has kept up with him. She hugged him and asked if he remembered me.
There it was ....... that awkward moment of silence. “Oh, yes,” he said. “I remember you. How are you doing? I heard you had gone bl........”
“Yes,” I answered. “I am blind. Life is so good it should probably be illegal. How are you?”
Why are people afraid of the word ‘blind’. Why the need for euphemisms and political correctness? I prefer clear, concise, honest words. When I say “blind”, people understand that. My apologies to those who prefer euphemisms and politically correct speech. This is my opinion only.
I appreciate there is a difference between blind and visually impaired. I know some blind friends who prefer “visually impaired”. I have met a few who prefer “My eyes don’t work as well as they used to.” In dealings with some service personnel I have heard “unseeing”, “sight impaired”, “visually challenged”, “a person with a visual impairment”, “visually handicapped”, “visually disabled”, “hard of seeing”. I once had someone ask how long I had been “that way.” What way, I wondered - female (all my life), white haired (since I stopped colouring it), smart and quick witted (most of my life), stunningly beautiful (lol)?
I have also heard, “You don’t look blind.” Hmmmmmm - I think to myself, “You don’t sound like an idiot, but ..........” Not to worry, I have an appointment to get the “I Am Blind” tattoo on forehead.
I am a woman, a mother, a daughter, a grandmother, a friend, a volunteer, a reader, a knitter, a cook, a lover of crosswords, divorced, middle aged. I am many things, including blind. Each of these in isolation are only part of the whole. Let’s celebrate who we are.