Argh or Ag – it’s all a matter of perspective!

While washing my hands, I looked up.

Whoa. Who was that person in the mirror?

Not only was I having a good hair day [PAUSE to acknowledge this momentous occasion], BUT my hair was showing more silver. When did that happen?

It's there, I promise!

It’s there, I promise!

Because my hair is curly, the silver strands blend in easily. But now they’re multiplying. I have short ones, long ones, and now I even have silver framing my face. It can look more or less obvious depending on the lighting.

I’m actually ok with the silver – for now. I reserve the right to change my mind when my hair is predominantly covered with it. I know some women who look gorgeous with their silver hair. With my luck, I’ll just look drab. Or maybe it’ll set off my blue eyes…

People always think I look younger than I really am, so maybe that’s one reason why the silver doesn’t bother me. I would rather not be thought of as my husband’s daughter (yes, that happened).

Some call it white, gray, or even grey. But I like silver; it sounds classy and chic.

On a recent trip out of the country, I saw multiple women who sported a cool purple streak in their silver hair. I like that; it’s all about the attitude. And I’ve got plenty. Someday I guess I’ll have even more!

How do you say?

When I complimented my daughter by telling her that her hair looked like tousled waves, she was confused. Then she realized why and told me I was pronouncing tousled wrong: “It’s “tussled,” she said. I insisted the first part was said like “tows,” as in, rhymes with cows. We deferred to my husband, who said she was right.

Welcome to my world.

Because I’m deaf, I don’t pick up on the pronunciation of many words. This means inevitably botching it, which is a little bit easier when done among family.

I still remember one time when my folks were visiting me in college. My sister was talking about a play she had to read for high school English: “Antee-gone.” It took us a while to realize she meant “AnTIGinee,” or “Antigone.” She was embarrassed, but we told her better it happened with us than in class.

I emailed a couple of my deaf friends to ask them how they would pronounce “tousled.” It made me feel better when they said they’d use the same mispronunciation. I mean, really, we say “mouse,” and “house,” so why does it not translate for this word?

I thought “pom-eh-gran-at-ee” was how to say pomegranate. Doesn’t it look like it should be pronounced that way? I still have trouble remembering, especially since I like my version better.

Yet I know how to correctly say hyperbole. Perhaps I have my degree in English literature to thank for that.

When I discover that a word I’ve been saying — either in my head and/or out loud — for years is wrong, it never fails to blow my mind. It’s like the whole world has to be recalibrated.

There’s no pattern to my word crimes, though maybe they occur with words that aren’t said out loud as often. One constant is that sometimes the English language makes no fucking sense.

“Star Wars theme begins”

My most vivid memory of Star Wars is reading it in graphic novel form with my dad as preparation for the movie, because of course, captioned films didn’t exist in the 70s. I asked if he remembered which movie the book covered. “I don’t remember the name, but it was the one that had these giant mechanical things that clomped along,” he responded. “They sort of looked like an animal, and I think storm troopers were inside.” This made me laugh out loud, because this is the main thing I remember too.

I googled “Star Wars Trojan horse,” and discovered this vehicle is called the AT-AT Walker, or All Terrain Armored Transport. (Cut me some slack; I’m not a die-hard Star Wars geek like my husband.) An attack by the Imperial forces and the AT-AT Walkers on the ice planet Hoth was part of The Empire Strikes Back. Bingo!

I was seven when that film was released, which would explain why I also recall having trouble with some of the words and concepts on the pages. We brought the book to the theater, where Dad helped me follow along. I’m amazed that I remember so much of this, but what’s even more amazing is that my father took the time to ensure I was a part of this pop culture phenomenon.

Now that most movie theaters have captioning, I was looking forward to seeing The Force Awakens on the big screen to get the full effect. My enthusiasm was dampened a bit by a friend’s experience. She lives in another state, but what she encountered is all too familiar for those of us with hearing loss. She posted on Facebook, “Well at least [husband] and the boys got to watch the Star Wars movie.” Despite having gone to the theater earlier in the week to ask about the captioning system and make sure it was working, on the day of the movie she tried three different sets of glasses, had the attendant test it, and nothing worked.

“The captions were only visible out one lens of the glasses, so one side was blurry/cut off,” my friend wrote. “Then the captions would start and then every second to third line would be a blank green box with no words. THEN (and this is the best part), it would start captioning words to songs and the year they were released…”Greatest Hits, 1977″…in between the words of the movie. Yeah, that’s not distracting at all!!!!”

Ironically, she had stopped going to movies because she was so fed up with this recurring issue.

Generally, I’ve had better luck, but almost every time, have run into a problem. Most previews aren’t captioned, so I don’t know if the captioning is working correctly until the movie starts. It’s a wonder I don’t have an ulcer, especially with the endless trailers.

When we left for the theater to add to Star Wars’ box office record, I brought some things to do in case I had to leave my family at the theater. We got there an hour and 15 minutes early with prepaid tickets and were first in line for our showing. We got our favorite seats, which meant an optimal spot for captioning. We asked one of the managers to be there once the movie started in case we needed to try a different captioning device. He said to give him a thumbs up or down.

During the opening crawl, when the captions read “Star Wars theme begins,” I knew the force was with me.

The verdict: Thumbs up for the captions working, and thumbs up for the movie!

Show me your cards

My son has the incredibly annoying habit of showing his cards when we play games. If he’s holding them up to his face, it doesn’t matter, because he’ll reveal his hand when he picks up a card from the deck or adds one to the pile. WHATEVER he does, his flashing is hard to ignore and makes me feel like I’m cheating because I have knowledge I shouldn’t.

Pushing his cards into his chest or saying “I can see your cards!” for the billionth time gets old real fast.

I stumbled onto a solution when we recently played Sorry Revenge, which I received as a gift. I was told that the game takes a little while to get into but then becomes addictive, which we found to be accurate.

My enjoyment in playing was dampened by Doran’s lazy habits. We’re a family that loves games, but this was going to be a serious detriment; I had to do something to save us. I told Doran that for each card of his that Samara or I saw, we would get to flip over one of our own, bringing us that much closer to winning. To make it fair, we extended him the same courtesy.

Needless to say, we had a bit of fun repeatedly exclaiming with glee, “I saw [insert number] of your cards!” Since the object is to turn all four of your “pawn” cards into “home” cards, we had a huge advantage.

Doran quickly knew that he was in trouble. After a few rounds, we realized that the strategy seemed to be working – even if Doran was at one point keeping all his cards face down in a pile so he wouldn’t accidentally reveal any.

The real test, however, will be the next time we play. Has his behavior truly changed or will we need to reinforce our new “rules?”

Either way, I think “hitting” him where it hurts is a good motivator. I bet we can adapt this method to get him to chew with his mouth closed – something we’ve been on his case about for years. We can threaten to take away — either in minutes or days — his most precious commodity of screen time each time he noisily chews.

I think Lysistrata would approve.

Lessons from my daughter

The first time I heard of the word pansexual was from my eighth grader. I had to look up the definition. My husband thought it was a Dr. Who reference, which it is, but it’s also one of many sexual identities of which my peers and I are likely ignorant.

A later conversation with my daughter resulted in more homework. Words like “demisexual,” and “heteroromantic” were foreign to me. Apparently these terms are being discussed among her classmates. I told her that most of my counterparts probably wouldn’t know what they meant either. “You’re from a different generation,” she oh so kindly explained.

Ouch.

It’s a different world now, that’s for sure. I applaud their knowledge and openness, and hope that this will increase self-awareness and confidence.

While my daughter may not know who (the original) Holly Hobbie is (hello, childhood bedroom wallpaper!), at least she’ll be familiar with Captain Jack Harkness. And I’d rather she know the latter.