I have decided to give deaf peers a miss next year and to revert to my age-old fantasy of being a hearing and normal person again, or whatever today passes as normality. I suspect it won't be as easy as last time when I had a hearing aid nobody could see, and I couldn't hear with anyway.
I keep reading on the social media and dedicated deaf sites about how they can include me, but none seems to suggest I get some hearing to facilitate that which is the only valid way of doing it. I read a blog recently on 'How to get Hearing people we dislike and who discriminate us, to include us.. in 12 easy lessons and under penalty of court action..' but the very advice seems a non-starter, given they never emerge from a deaf club to attempt it, and get uppity if hearing want to take the message to us on our own ground, so I'll offer realistic advice any hearing person can follow, like e.g. Give deaf Xmas parties a miss, all that signing while you are trying to eat is a big mistake (Wearing disposable overalls is great advice, as is maintaining distance so you don't get splattered).
(1) Buy a round table, and pretend you are King Arthur being face to face with 16 blokes dressed in scrap metal and tin helmets, one of whom is bonking your missus, and discuss the next crusade against hearing society.
(2) Turn the Subtitles on, or not, given the usual wall to wall crap of TV repeats again 89% this year the rest are stupids having fits on the dance floor, or more repeats of bad news from 1978, we can all quote the scripts from memory and cannot fail to notice the Xmas shows were made last June in a heatwave by self-indulgent nobodies who last had a hit in 1989.
(3) Give the kids a pep talk: Assuming you can get them away from their iPhones long enough, or get them to text you or something. Forget the batteries at your peril. Expecting more than the odd grunt or complaint is unrealistic. They don't master proper speech until they are 24, even then it is them asking for money again.
(4) Speak Clearly. Erm not advisable unless you have A levels in lip reading or gibberish, or if your next-door neighbour is a dyslexic Japanese. I refer you back to (3).
(5) Shave: Not on, who wants to see Santa without a beard and shatter your kids Christmas?
(6) Brush up your sign skills. Then struggle vainly to find any neighbour/man/woman/whatever in the street who can sign back to you. Approach deaf people at your peril, they are a bit touchy of hearing people signing ABC at them, they usually require a bit more than that for a decent conversation.
(7) Include us. We want lots of free presents and you to sit there while we lecture you on what you have to do for us before we deign to talk to you, you including us, does NOT mean we have to include YOU. Know your place.
(8) Give us a role. I prefer Herod at Xmas parties and events myself, a much more realistic role than cooking for everyone else, because I will be under the table spark out after 16 sherries and OD'ing on the Sprouts anyway.
(9) Play a game. Like what's the sign? Handicap them by insisting they can only use two fingers and must quote the Milan treaty of 1880 in Hebrew.
(10) Go easy on the dimmer switch. (Dimmer switch?), how many deaf do you know have dimmer switches in their house? DUMB!
(11) Go slow on the drinks, (it's Xmas for god sakes, read (8) ), last one sober is a loser.
(12) Make phone calls deaf-friendly (Include your bank numbers and passwords/pin numbers), don't use English, Swahili is the new black.