Ask a Little Blind Girl, Part 3

Old woman at desk, 1967

Old woman at desk, 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t done an installment of Ask a Little Blind Girl lately, so I thought I would share a few more of the questions that my anxious public keeps begging me to address, or at least answer a few questions that random curious people who probably have no idea I keep a blog have asked me.  All right, I made up the questions.  Like Dear Abby never made up a question or two.  There can’t be that many clueless people in the world.  Regardless:  allow me to present the latest contribution to the blogosphere’s only (known) advice column from a Little Blind Girl:

1.  Dear Little Blind Girl:  If you can’t see the television and you have trouble seeing the computer screen when you go online, what do you do to pass the time?

–TV Addict in Tennessee

Dear TV Addict in Tennessee:  It’s hard to believe these days, but there was a time when people had neither television nor the internet to entertain them.  Of course, in those days, everyone was in the same boat and would meet up in their town halls to go buggy riding together, whereas today, if you’re not online, you’re out in the cold.

If, because of vision impairment, religious or ideological beliefs, or a lack of connectivity, you find yourself cut off from the online community and without a television to stare at for hours, there are still things you can do.  I like to pick a bar I’ve never been in before, take in a board game, and see how many people I can talk into playing with me.  If you’ve never had an evening of Yahtzee with a crowd of inebriated strangers, believe me, you haven’t lived.  Clue and Trivial Pursuit also work well, but take the benefit of my experience and stay away from Twister.  Someone falls on someone else the wrong way when beer is involved and things get ugly fast.

I realize that this won’t work as well for those whose religious and/or ideological beliefs also prevent them from drinking alcohol.  I don’t know what to tell you about that, except maybe to find another advice column.

2.  Dear Little Blind Girl:  I’m visually impaired and trying to navigate the tricky territory of the dating scene.  Do you have any advice to give me?

— Squinting in Savannah

Dear Squinting in Savannah:  That is an excellent question.  Being something of a dating pro myself, I would be happy to pass along my wisdom to you.

  • Rule 1:  Never be late for a date.  Rude for the blind, rude for the sighted, rude for everyone.
  • Rule 2:  Be open to the experience.  Dating is nerve-wracking and exhilarating and difficult for both parties involved, even when both parties are really trying.  If you’re not into it, say no.  If you say yes, go into the date with high hopes, low expectations, and a can of pepper spray, just in case.
  • Rule 3:  Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu on the first date.  That’s just tacky.

Notice a pattern?  Dating for the blind is pretty much like dating for anyone else.  That said, I’d avoid places with lots of stairs until you’re more comfortable clutching at your date’s arm.  Also, avoid movies with subtitles.  And mimes.  And complicated meals that involve a lot of cutting meat around bones.  There are few things more embarrassing than having to ask your date to cut up your meat.

Dear Little Blind Girl:  Be honest.  What would you do if Johnny Depp ever commented on your blog?

–Depp Fan in Dakota

English: American actor Johnny Depp The Touris...

English: American actor Johnny Depp The Tourist premiere in Tokyo, Japan 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Depp Fan in Dakota:  I sincerely doubt that I will ever know for sure, but I do have a policy of trying to respond to every comment on this blog, so I’d have to say something in reply.  I’d like to think my response would be witty, charming, insightful, and endearing.  However, having known myself practically since my birth, I think it’s more likely that I’d respond with something along the lines of “Oh my God!  Are you him?  Are you really him?  Oh my God!  Wow, you’re even cuter in your comment than you are on screen!”, probably followed with a string of inappropriate emoticons.  This would be even more embarrassing given that his comment would probably be something like, “If you don’t stop sending me marriage proposals, I will be forced to take legal action.”  But hey, live in the moment, right?

As always, feel free to leave your burning questions in the comments section, and I will address them in our next installment.  Until then, au revoir–and, Johnny?  Anytime, sweetie.  I’m just saying.

Whitney Houston

Miracle (Whitney Houston song)

Image via Wikipedia

I love music.  I may not be able to see the sunset, but I can hear and appreciate music in a way I never could if I’d grown up with perfect vision.  I grew up depending on my ears because I couldn’t depend on my eyes, and I grew up learning how to sing and how to play the flute and piano, and I learned the theory and the practice and the soul of music.  No, I learned the theory and the practice of music.  The soul of music I found when I gave my time and love to learn how to perform those incredible songs.  If you want a memory worth having, blindfold yourself for a month, then at the end of that month go to listen to a symphony performed live.  It’s worth losing your vision for a time to be able to experience music properly, to hear that overwhelming, melting, glorious music for one evening and remember it forever.

Whitney Houston died.  She was a beautiful and intelligent woman and obviously had family and friends who loved her very much, and it is a tragedy that she died so young and after so much suffering.  But her voice died a long time ago.  I can’t mourn the loss of an irreplaceable talent because I’ve already done my mourning.  Her voice was one of the wonders of the world.  When I think to myself that I’d rather be blind than deaf, the inability to hear her songs is one of the reasons I think of.  Beethoven’s Eroica symphony; the incomparable performances of Yo Yo Ma; the perfect voice of Whitney Houston.  As I go blind, I’ll miss the incandescent clarity in the blue of the daytime sky and the wonder of the stars at night, but if I had the image of the world in flawless detail, I would trade it to be able to hear her sing.

It shook me to my core to hear what had become of that voice.  When she sang, her voice was a river in flood, terrifying and awe-inspiring, carrying everything before it.  When she softened her voice, the river sparkled in the sunlight, flowing gently and whispering, “Follow me.  I will lead you somewhere new.”  When I found that the river had run dry, I grieved as though a living person had died.  I hope that she is somewhere beyond suffering now and that her voice, that voice that angels would die to have, is ringing through Heaven like a reminder of Eden before temptation, like the way the world could have been if we had made different choices, like the musical expression of the will of God.  If I’m very good and very lucky, when it’s my turn to die, I think the voice calling me home will be the voice of Whitney Houston singing the first, last, and only Song.

Rest in peace, Whitney Houston.  I’ll remember your voice when I’ve forgotten that I was ever able to see at all.