Wednesday morning, the Starbucks barista recognized me. "Hi Shannyn!" She waved at me, flashing a nice big smile when I walked in. 7:28AM, and she made my day! I smiled, and waved back. "How is the not-talking-thing going for you?" I gave her a thumbs up. "That's good! Do you ever slip up and say a word or something?" I shrugged my shoulders, and shook my head no. Since I am constantly thinking about not being able to talk, and always looking for new ways to communicate, it's pretty hard to forget! She laughed. "Girl, you are good! I am seriously amazed. What can I get for you?" I signed "thank you" with a smile, and showed her my order, on my phone.
At lunch I reeeaaally needed to clean out my car... I stopped by a tennis court, next to a nice looking park, to do so. (If you plan on going hungry on your journey to recognizing adult priorities, you might as well look at something pretty.) I folded the clothes in my back seat, organized my 580 pairs of shoes, and filled a target bag with paper, and trash. (Yes, I know, "oink, oink." Forgive me, I am a 20 year old female.) When I threw the bag into a very public-looking trash can, a country-club-soccer-mom with a Botox-gone-bad face, and HUGE fake boobs falling out of her teeny tiny Nike top, turned around to greet me. "Um, excuse me, but, um, are you like, a member here?" she said (Imagine Alicia Silverstone's voice in "Clueless" mixed with a long-term smoker) I just looked at her ridiculousness. I didn't really know what to say... She continued "Cause I'm a member here, and my husband like, pays for our family to like, come here and like, work out, so we can like, better our health." I nodded, and may have let slip a tiny sarcastic smile. "Is this like some new hippie thing? Not talking? Like a mime?" I shook my head no, and signed an apology "Oh god, you're deaf! You can't talk!" She practically shouted "I...am...sorry..." Now she was speaking very slowly, over-pronouncing her words. I smiled, waved, and started to walk back towards my car. "Nice... meeting.... you..." For the word "nice," she gave me a thumbs up. For the word "meeting," she shook her own hand. For the word "you" she pointed at me. "You are very pretty! You can do anything! Like that Helen Keller girl! Stay in school!" My eyes were wide with shock, and embarrassment. I drove off wishing so badly that I could call someone and talk about what had just happened...
At work, I stumbled upon an article that talked about around-the-house items and foods, you can use for skin care. I went to Target after I got off, to stock up on some fresh produce for a healthy dinner, and a healthy face! Just FYI, my favourite thing in the world is zucchini. (<--- irrelevant to anything I will probably ever talk about, but now you know.) I got to the check out line, but had been busy texting a friend, so I did not have a note prepared. The guy said "Hello" I smiled, and waved, as I scrambled to prepare an explanatory note on my phone. Then he asked "How is your day going so far?" I gave him a look that could probably be described as somewhat panicked, or upset, with a touch of impatience. He then gave me a look that I could clearly describe to you as: annoyed. I held up a finger, asking for a moment, and pointed to my phone. As I was finishing my note to him, he tapped my arm to get my attention, and signed to me "Are you deaf?" I signed back "No, I just can't speak." finished my note, and showed him my phone. It said something like "I'm doing this challenge thing, where I can't speak for a week! I'm sorry, I really don't mean to be rude!" He signed to me "It's okay. I know sign language." I signed back "I know very little sign language." He laughed, and asked, (out loud) "Is this for school or something?" I shook my head, no. "Why are you doing it then?" I signed "I am learning." He asked if I was learning sign language, I signed "no, learning about life." He stared and smiled for a minute before saying "You know, that's really cool. My sister is deaf, and can't speak for herself. People don't just don't get it. What you are doing is very admirable." I signed "Thank you" with a smile. "Have a great day" He signed "You too" I replied.
My day was made twice.
Some stuff I have learned so far:
1) People get upset about such silly little things. - Ex: I sneezed at some point, and instantly thought "ugh. I hate sneezing." Then I thought, "Wait. Why do I hate sneezing?" And I couldn't come up with a good reason, so I no longer hate sneezing. When I thought about sneezing, and what happens when I sneeze, I realized, it's not so bad. It's getting all the nastiness out of my system. What's to hate about that?!
2) Sometimes, friends just need to talk. Not talking this week, has made me a much better listener. If advice is needed, or rather, wanted, I can write down what I am thinking. But if not, then I can be there for that friend in the way that they really need me. I can still hug without a voice, and I can still smile. Sometimes, when going through a hard time, friends don't want opinions. They just want hugs and smiles. It's hard to see that when my mouth moves faster than my brain, but with my words gone on holiday, I am paying closer attention to things that really matter.
3) My mom gets upset when she calls to talk about taxes, and I don't communicate. Oops. Sorry, mom. I just really want to stick to something the whole way through for once. I have a quitting problem, and this last year has been messy. I just want to do this week right. I love you. See you on Friday.