So we've been talking on other threads about how to handle various conversational challenges in a social setting, and I ran into a different problem along those lines: what if you would love to talk to anyone about anything, but it is physically impossible because environmental circumstances have rendered you effectively deaf?
I went out with my theater group the other night to celebrate our final performance (We all killed it btw
). It was tricky finding something close enough to the theater that was open late, but we found a sports bar/restaurant in the mall. When we got there we realized that it was Tuesday - Trivia Night for many bars around the city. Which would have been fine if we were there to play but we were there to talk to each other. Trivia Night involves random music and video being played and an MC speaking to the entire restaurant using a microphone. They also chose for some unholy reason to leave the background "ambiance" music on when not actively playing the trivia. This coupled with the miscellaneous conversation among the other patrons created a cacophony that basically sounded more like a techno dance club than an average size bar and grill.
I am deaf in one ear, and once a certain amount of background noise is present I really can't hear anyone unless their mouth is right next to my good ear. So I found that a) I was relegated to successfully talking to only the people directly next to me and b) spent a lot of time just sitting there watching a lot of animated conversation going on around me. I also missed when people were talking to me unless I happened to be looking right at them.
My new goal since last night is to find a different (i.e. less crowded and quieter) location for our next wrap party. In the meantime, I am wondering what I could have done. The only thing I have come up with was to actually move around the table sporadically, and possibly move my chair...but I'm not that forward of a person and I would resent having to do this to socialize with the people I came with. We were sitting in a circle (unfortunately close to the MC) so there was no place I could go that would have made it any easier to hear. I am an introvert by nature which means I am not a social butterfly in party settings. I stake out my little corner and enjoy low key one-on-one conversations that flow my way - but that is in an optimal setting with no noise barrier to block the flow.
I would like to hear (heh
) what other eHellions with auditory limitations do to cope with these kinds of issues. I love to talk and I love to listen, but I have to be able to hear
in order to listen!