American Love Stories
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Peter and Mary's Story -- Mary's View

Dom & Tina - Dom's View

Dom & Tina - Tina's View

Dialogue Excerpt: "I have a dream." Was it the wrong dream?

The Opened Oyster

Peter and Mary's Story -- Peter's View

As time goes by, I am feeling more comfortable with my blindness, and also seem to be more tolerant of people who are not sophisticated about relating to a blind person. In the past, I frequently experienced hurt, anger, and frustration. And I suppressed these emotions. Now, even after I tell people what it is I need, and they do not catch on, I can find it amusing. Patience is serving me well. People sometimes talk around me. With visual cues missing, I can't know when it is appropriate to get into the conversation. This makes me feel sad and frustrated because I am somewhat isolated.

It is difficult not to be able to see Mary. I would enjoy seeing her smile or other facial manifestation of what she is feeling. These are important cues that I am missing, and would be helpful in the back and forth exchange of conversation.

I feel bad that I can't relieve Mary in driving, so that she can sit back and relax or enjoy the scenery when we are traveling. At a time like this when I feel bad, I give myself a reality check, during which I review the real choices. It helps me out of any sad feelings that I may experience. It is also an exercise in patience, and for that, practice makes coping easier if not perfect.

Switching roles doesn't make me feel any less of a man. I feel partnership, instead. We're getting the job done, and that benefits both of us. However, like most men, I take out the garbage when Mary tells me too. Normally, I would enjoy pouring the wine for guests, and it is disappointing not to be able to do this. This is not to say that blind people do not pour liquids for themselves, but they use their finger inside the glass as a guide to assess when the liquid reaches the brim. Dinner guests might be put off by this technique.

When we are in a strange place and I can't visually check out our new surroundings, I feel anxious because I am not able to assess our safety. Evidently, it is in the nature of males (or Me) to feel responsible for the fairer sex. Fortunately, Mary has good instincts, and I too, have some sense of when something in the surroundings is not quite right. My anxiety is relieved most of the time by our communication and teamwork.

When Mary and I are working on a house project, and I know we need something from the hardware store, for instance, I can't just jump in a car and run over to get it. This is frustrating to me, because we have to wait until Mary also breaks from the project and has time to run this errand. Double time is hard on both of us. One of the ways we compensate for frustration on most practical matters is to find some humor in it.

As for my relationship to the general public, my ego is now secure enough that I am not overly concerned about what people are thinking of me. However, I do seem to care about what they think of Mary. I want her to be accorded their respect. Only on occasion has someone like a repairman not given her that respect. At those times, I really do feel like kicking the bastard out the door. Of course, my kick could miss the bastard! All in all, Mary and I both feel well treated by all we meet.

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