When introducing a new flame to friends, it's customary to prep one's friends with pertinent information about your new lover, especially anything unusual or out of the ordinary. Last night, Zoe hosted a dinner party to celebrate Ryan's birthday, and we were going to get to meet Ryan's new fella, Mark. Zoe had been prepped on Mark, hearing about how they met, their new place, all of their fights, etc. Ryan really went into detail, filling Zoe in on their entire relationship well before the dinner. Early in the morning, Zoe called Ryan to confirm dinner plans, and left a message on their joint voicemail. Mark's voice appears on the answering machine, and Zoe noticed a prominent speech impediment. She kinda forgot about it, but as we're sitting around drinking wine waiting for Ryan and Mark to show, we hear the doorbell ring and Zoe goes, "That's them! Oh yeah, I forgot to warn you, Mark has a speech impediment." And with that, they walk up the stairs.
Ryan is one of the more adorable people alive, and his boyfriend Mark is pretty gorgeous as well. He's also deaf, and wears this headset thing attached to his head. Now, before you lambaste me for noticing, much less mentioning it, allow me to say that obviously, I'm down with deaf people. And if I were dating a deaf guy, I'd be shouting it from the rooftops (I'd probably be shouting a lot, actually). I would certainly discuss this with Zoe, and should we be invited to dinner, I'd give my hostess a heads up. As Zoe pointed out, a deaf boyfriend warrants disclosure.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner, had a great time, and chatted away, but obviously, I was fascinated with the fact that gorgeous Mark was deaf AND amazed Ryan hadn’t mentioned it. Towards the end of the evening, Mark's headset battery ran out, and the boys had to go. As Ryan and Mark hugged us goodbye and walked down the stairs, I looked over at Tim and he warns me, "Wait till you hear the door close."
Fair enough. We hear the front door slam and stand around in silence staring at each other, until I finally say, "Well, hello? He's DEAF? No one told me he was deaf."
We decided that anything protected under the American Disabilities Act warrants disclosure.
Zoë’s invited me over for dinner next week, and I'm supposed to bring a date. I hope her place is wheelchair accessible...