Intros Can Be Interesting Times

How many of you have had conversations with someone and later wondered who you’d talked with? For us who are blind, it happens more times than we’d like to admit. Especially when we’re meeting someone new to us, we take a while getting to know their voice.

There’s a really good article from Vision Aware that I’m posting here that features a couple folks talking about their experiences with greetings and introductions. After all, I’m sure we’ve had the conversation-turned-intimate and then realized later that they were either engaged or married. Ouch! It can be quite embarrassing when we get the polite hand to the shoulder steering us away from their personal space.

Or, some voices are just plain hard to distinguish from others. It may take three, four, or five times speaking with them to get the sound of their voice matched with their name.

When I was in seminary a few years ago, before I realized God wasn’t calling me to be a pastor, I had to learn a bunch of voices at the church where I helped the pastor lead liturgical responses and with reading passages from the Bible on Sunday mornings. Well, the big bad greeting line jitters often pounced on me. *What if I don’t recognize someone?* And their husband or wife just died? *What if I forget a name?* And they had a prayer request to share.

The other tough thing about greeting folks is knowing when to shake hands. If I’m totally blind-and I am-I won’t know where their hand is to grasp it unless I get a verbal cue first. Sometimes, I’ve gaged where their voice is, guessed where their shoulder might be and go from their.

And I’ll tell you the most humorous and yet embarrassing point for me:

I met my wife over the internet when we were both in a conversation with our pastor. Something in how we each said things got us to request FB friendship soon after. Then, low and behold, she left her number on her Facebook profile, right there for me to call, asking for a date.

It happened and we now have been married just over seven years. But that first date was awkward from the get-go. As she turned from talking with some one else, I was, too. My hand was just below shoulder level and cupped…well, you get the picture whether you can see or not. My wife, Amy, and I still laugh about that encounter because, to be quite honest, it was funny for both of us as it was shocking.

So check out these stories on Vision Aware’s page about greeting someone and getting their voice.

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