Saturday, May 2, 2009
I had a friend ask me the following question: "Do visually impaired people call them blind dates? Or is that a derogatory term in their circles?"
I pondered on the subject for many hundreds of seconds, eventually coming to this conclusion:
The visually impaired call blind dates, "deaf dates." The following explains why:
We, as the visually abled, use our sense of sight to judge and observe people when we date. We study body language to read into the real feelings one might have - things that aren't communicated openly or vocally. Because we utilize our sense of sight so heavily when pursuing another, a date between strangers is referred to as being, "blind."
One without sight, however, can not rely on body language when studying their date. Because they are blind, they've developed their sense of hearing to help determine compatibility and interest. They listen for subtle reflections of feeling in the voice - signs of excitement, despair, or boredom that only barely make themselves known as they converse one with another. Therefore, to a blind person, a date that involves meeting with a stranger is not "blind," but "deaf."
Now, for those who are both blind and deaf (like Helen Keller, bless her soul) this type of date is known as a "numb" date. These people rely wholly upon the sense of touch to communicate, which means that when, for them, two strangers meet for a date, they are entirely "numb" to each other, much in the same way that blind strangers are initially "deaf" to each other and two completely abled people are initially "blind" to each other.
This is, of course, entirely speculative. I think I may be onto something, though, because it makes perfect sense. What do you think?