I am traveling… I just walked down to the lobby area of the hotel to get a cup of coffee. As I was descending the stairs, a little girl, about age 7, exclaimed “Your shoes are different colors!!” I had to laugh, as I’ve gotten so much mileage, literally, out of my odd matched pair of Crocs–one is bright red, and the other is navy blue.
Back story… I left for a trip to the Philippines, in April of 2007, with a pair of red Crocs on the shoe rack beside the door. I came home, three weeks later, to one red Croc for my left foot??? My daughter Kate was living with us at the time, so the possibility existed that she left my Crocs on the doorstep (she often wore them to and from the barn–sometimes it stinks, no pun intended, having the same size shoe as your daughter!!), outside, and one of the neighboring dogs carried it off to chew on, as no one seemed to know, or much care, what happened to my right, red Croc!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. For some reason I kept the one shoe? Was it providence??
Two years later… I purchased a new pair of navy blue Crocs that were on sale at the AAFES store. I enjoyed wearing them, all of four months, before leaving for a three week (hmm, maybe three week trips are the Bermuda Triangle of Crocs??) visit to New England. Again, I returned home to one shoe missing, but this time it was the left shoe. Kate no longer lived with us, but our younger daughter Sam did, and like Kate, Sam had no clue or care as to what happened to my left, navy blue Croc??? I dug out my saved red Croc, and as luck would have it, it was the opposite of the navy blue Croc–thus a pair, a mismatched pair, but a pair, none the less.
What does this have to do with hearing?? Not one thing, other than I was thinking, as I walked back up to my room with my cup of coffee, how delighted the little girl was to see me with two obviously mismatched shoes, and that maybe if those who wear hearing aids, myself not included (I’ve never had success with them, but the last pair I tried were bright, transparent red!!), would take to putting two different, brightly-colored hearing aids in their ears, and flaunt them so that others would notice, they might not be such an invisible cross section of the population? Little girls might exclaim, “Her hearing aids don’t match!!” bringing an opportunity to explain why they don’t match, as I explained to the girl in the lobby how it came to be that I was wearing mismatched shoes.
Yes, there are those who still try to hide the fact that they wear hearing aids at all, but others such as Kim (a frequent blogger here) and other SayWhatClub members, who are doing their part to erase the stigma of wearing hearing aids, and awareness plays a part in that effort. Going the mismatched route might net even more attention even than zebra stripes and/or bright colored aids in one’s ears! It’s like a dog that has one blue eye, and one brown eye, it’s not what you would expect, so it makes you take notice even more!!
Thanks to Kim, and others who do all they can to make the public aware!! I love that you embrace wearing hearing aids, as it takes some owning on the part of those with hearing loss to make it okay, first with ourselves, then with others. It’s what has made the difference for me–ownership. I almost wish I could benefit from hearing aids just for the opportunity for little girls to exclaim, “Her hearing aids don’t match!” I know it would make me smile.