Coming from a large family, dinner time conversation would run the gambit of emotions. The most prevalent being that of joy expressed through laughter. Gregarious conversation about anything from A to Z. Loud outburst in agreement, and occasionally disagreement, on varied topics would always result in “a great time had by all.” In many ways, this has changed for me.
My husband and I went out for dinner a few nights ago and dinner was silent but not still. Hand gestures with occasionally odd facial expressions are what people see when we eat out. My husband is deaf and communicates in sign language. He can speak and read lips but he is trying to become more comfortable using sign language most of the time. Even with the ability to read lips, the message can sometime become lost in translation. I am LEARNING ASL (American Sign Language) so that he and I will be able to communicate without writing things down. Needless to say, it has been quite a challenge. We get stares from others sitting at tables around us. Sometimes (not always) those stares accompany a smile.
I have not mastered ASL well enough for the conversation to be fluent and natural but I know in time, with practice, we will get there.