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Day 10: Movies

Oh lord, did my heart break when my child told my mother that she had one wish for Hanukkah (2011)~ and the wish was that I go to a real movie theater with her.  Sigh.  Big sigh.  But, the child doesn’t understand that movies really aren’t fun for me.  I don’t understand what’s going on.  All I can see are actors, their emotions and hear bits and pieces of what they’re saying~ but words are entirely the whole point of the movie.   It’s like a young child who sings the alphabet song where so many of the letters are missing~ the song simply isn’t complete.   To hear snippets of the movie makes it very incomplete for me.  So, for me to sit there and guess what is going on is just plain frustrating for me.

Even with your new sounds?  You may be wondering.  First off, my new sounds still doesn’t mean that I’m fully hearing.  I think people don’t understand that~ I often get comments like this: “But, shouldn’t you be able to hear the movie, I mean, you have two new things, right?”  My hearing has improved greatly~ but it’s still not perfect, nor will it ever be.

By some chance, someone told me that there are certain movie theaters that have closed captioning/open captioning.  When I found out, my heart leapt with joy, for I can now give my daughter the gift of going to a movie theater with her.  Little did I know, that movies with closed captioning/open captioning are very limited and movies either take place during the day or late at night.  Somewhat inconvenient.

Today was a furlough day~ no work.  So, I seized the chance of going to see “The Lorax” with Dan and Elyza in the middle of the day ~ in the middle of the week.  This is really the second time I went to the movies with both Dan and Elyza.  The first time I went, there were subtitles in English.  It was such a liberating feeling~ to be a full movie goer and leave satisfied fully understanding the movie.  When we go to the theater,  we double checked with the man at the ticket window to see if the movie was closed caption.  It was and then he picked up some weird shaped black thing.  It had a round stand on the bottom and a bendable tube with some box on top of it.  He handed it over to me.  I asked what it was~ he said it was the closed captioning device.  Tears brimmed up in my eyes~ and I told Dan that I didn’t want to see the movie and I was ready to walk out.  You see, I had expected the movie to be subtitled just like the first  movie where it actually the captions right on the screen~ everyone had to read it together and no one knew who it was for.  Little did I know that there was a difference between open captioning, where the words are on the screen like a subtitle and closed captioning with that black thing where you read from the box.  I felt so embarrassed that I had to walk around with  have  kind of contraption to help me understand the movie.  Dan kindly touched my arm and said, “I’ll pretend it’s for me.  Please come see the movie with us.”  He carried it, and I walked a few paces behind him.  It was shameful.  Then he sets it up in between us~ and said warmly, “Amy, I think it’s actually kinda cool~ you get to watch a movie and understand it.”  I couldn’t help but wonder if all the people behind me were curious and I was worried that they would think I was weird.  Some things I never outgrow~ the desire to be like everyone else and to look like everyone else.  It was a bit challenging to read from the box and watch the movie~ but, yes but, hearing bits and pieces of the story lines made it easier to read and watch the movie.  It completed the movie experience (however, I really prefer the open captioning by far).

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About Amy Pogrebin Bremenstuhl

Life is noisy~ in a messy way. I thought I'd try writing about surviving the hearing world every day for 365 Days.

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