Tag Archives: Heartwarming

It’s Always Nice When

in your search for romance—whether it be fleeting or long lasting—you stumble across some cool people along the way.

About two weeks ago, I had a date with a young man (he’s actually a few years older than me, so not so young) named Steve.  I joined him on a few errands, then we ate, and he very kindly drove me to a friend’s birthday celebration.

It wasn’t the date that was so noteworthy (though I did have fun), but the person with whom I experienced it.  His complete lack of awkwardness with regard to my vision was, to put it mildly, awesome.  There were no cringe-worthy unfounded assumptions about Dating Blind People, or awkward, not quite stilted but uncomfortable conversations whenever the topic of my vision did arise.  It was great.

I think there was even one point when I mentioned this to him, to his surprised amusement.  He seemed a little confused like, “why wouldn’t I treat you like a normal person?” Oh Steve, you would be surprised.  Though actually, perhaps not. He seemed to have a pretty good grasp on how uncomfortable disabilities make some people.

During the summer, I met a few others on the same dating app where I found Steve. With one of them, Noah, what started as a potential romantic…  something turned into a quirky friendship.  I always love finding new creative types.  And he’s another one who treats my vision as a well-integrated part of me: brown hair, blue eyes, blind, writer.  With him, talk of blindness comes as naturally as conversations about the djinn or female comedians.

I mention all that to juxtapose the others I’ve met who want to ask questions but are so flustered by this great unknown that they  can’t seem to fathom that while there may be some specific-to-blindness challenges I face, the divide is not as great as it seems.

  Over the years, my friends have said things like “you know, sometimes I forget your blind.” And that, I feel is, one of, if not the highest compliment I can get from a person.  It means that it’s not the only thing they dwell on when they think of me.  Perhaps somedays they think about my vision, but other days I’m just another one of their friends, special only because of my amazing inability to give straight answers.

There was one outing I went on, where my date felt really weird about reading me the menu.  Now, I’m not judging him for it (too much🙂), but it was a bit entertaining to see him so flustered, when I’ve met others to whom dealing with my blindness came so naturally. we actually ended up changing where we ate, to a place with a menu that I was familiar with. I could have just Googled the menu to the place we were at originally, but I wanted to move things along. He had a family thing to tend to (his mom was locked out).  

Before I end this post, I want to clarify that I’m not saying that you can’t initially feel anxious around me (I still have some laughably awkward moments with friends I’ve known for years), or ask questions—I love questions—but you’ll definitely get brownie points for immediately being open and receptive.  I guess you can argue that if I’m hanging out with a person who already knows I’m blind, then they’re already open.  But not always.  There’s something about the amount of hesitancy, or whatever expectations you go in with that affect how you treat me.  Marveling at me, and everything I do as though I were a science experiment is just weird and discomfiting,, but then, completely ignoring my blindness in an attempt to act “normal” has the opposite effect.  Just be natural.  If you’re anything like me, your natural is a little awkward (though I like to think it’s apart of my charm😉),but that makes it even better, we can have awkward moments together.

Be hesitant initially (if you must), but don’t let preconceived biases, especially the ones you come up with and never ask me about (or even Google) color our relationship, be it romantic or otherwise.

I don’t know what will happen with Steve, but it’s awesome knowing that there are people out there willing to give me a chance. It’s all anyone wants (along with riches and world peace and stuff).

Well, till next time

Happy fall🍃🍂

There are some cool strangers out there

This was originally posted on May 28, 2017, at 5:00 PM on blogger (this was also the last entry posted there).


Last Monday, I was on my way home (to my actual home, not the dorm) after my first, and painful final exam of the semester.  I needed to get my eye drops from my mom.  And even though it was one of those days of near continuous rain, I was excited because I was at last finished with U . S.  History class, and for the home-cooked meal I knew awaited me.

My excitement started to dim, however, upon entering the subway and hearing the announcements about train delays and rerouting.  But I took it in stride and decided to stick with the messed up train line rather than walking in the rain to another station.

A few stops before Bowling Green, the last stop in Manhattan, the conductor made an announcement informing us that we wouldn’t know whether or not the train would be heading into Brooklyn until we’d gotten to the stop.  I, and many of the other patrons on the train, were not pleased.  So, as I mentally cursed at myself for my laziness, I got off of the train and planned my next actions.  I knew I could transfer to the train I needed at that station, I just didn’t know where the train was.  But as I adjusted my bag and prepared to ask someone for directions, someone approached me instead.

“Hey,” the person said.  “Are you trying to get to another train?” Or that was the jist of what he asked.

I said yes, told him which train I needed and asked if I could take his arm after he offered to assist me.  As we walked, we talked, about writing, irritation with the train, school, the city.  It was fun (well, as fun as a meandering journey through a big train station can be).  But it was a nice, normal conversation.  He even gave me a few suggestions on how to get into freelance editing.

There was one point, near the end of our interaction, that I thanked him for not taking on that patronizing tone people tend to use with children.  He may have thought it a little odd, but took it in stride.  I don’t encounter many people, strangers in particular, who talk to me as though I’m a normal person.  It’s usually “you’re so brave…” or “I can’t even imagine…” or, even when discussing school or occupation, there’s sometimes a condescending air about the person.  It may not be intentional but its there.

But that’s not the point of the post.  With the many irritating experiences I rant about, I like to acknowledge the good or entertaining moments (like my letter to Margaret and Roman or that time a waiter acknowledged me).  Even if they seem simple or silly.  It’s nice to know that, despite what we’re taught as children, there are some cool strangers out there.

To Margaret and Roman: Two of My Favorite Strangers

This was originally posted on May 7, 2016, at 9:00 AM on blogspot.


Hello my dearest readers,

I know, it’s been nearly a month since I wrote to you all.  But this semester has been more trying than the last (which is something I feel like I’ll be saying every semester).  I’ve also, as has happened in the past, been having trouble coming up with things to write about.  It’s been a lot easier rambling on camera for the vlog than sitting down and writing.  I hold a far higher standard for my writing than I do for my videos-which, of course, isn’t to say that my videos are of poor quality-but I am a perfectionist when it comes to my main craft and it is so easy to digress on camera.

But the final day of classes is the 19th, and while I’ll be taking a summer class, I’m going to be a lot stricter with myself with my “at least one post a week” rule.  And I will try to make it consistently on Saturdays.

But anyway, I’ve managed to digress from the reason behind this post: Margaret and Roman.

A few weeks ago, I went to a Yankees game with my sister (she was given two tickets at work).  It was actually my third time going to a baseball game: the first in fifth grade where the Mets lost to the Yankees 0 to 1, then came the camp trip when I was thirteen or so (it was the Staten Island Yankees) and I never got to see the game because it rained, and then this event where the Yankees won 6 to 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On my way back to my dorm that night, my sister and I were in a different part of the train than I normally ride in.  So when I got up stairs, I was slightly disoriented.  I knew which intersection I was at, I just wasn’t certain of my direction: so which way was east, west, etc.  As I pulled out my phone to check maps, the kind lady who’d helped me find the turnstile when I was in the train station, offered me further assistance by orienting me.  The kind lady, who I later came to learn was Margaret, and her son, Roman even went so far as to walk with me the entire way to my dorm.  I was going to take the crosstown bus (because though it was a rather nice night, I was feeling lazy) but she told me that they were headed in that direction anyway.  So after a brief bout of indecision (that’s one of my personality traits) I agreed and we set off.

On the walk-which involved crossing four avenues (for my readers who have never been to New York, an avenue block is the equivalent of anywhere from one and a half to two and a half regular city blocks)-the three of us talked about all manner of things with school and books being two of our main subjects.  Nine-year-old Roman is an avid reader (a trait I hope you never lose) and Margaret as well, so we traded names of authors and books we liked.

I think one of my favorite moments was when I asked Roman if he’d read the Percy Jackson series and he said “yeah, I read that a long time ago” (or something to that affect).  I definitely had an older person moment because I thought something along the lines of “really dude? How long ago could it have been? My long ago was about four years ago when I was fifteen, and you were probably just past toddlerhood.” Of course this was thought good naturedly.  I think I then went on to think something along the lines of: “kids” and how different time is depending on your age.  Then I reminded myself that I wasn’t even that old, only nineteen.  And I laughed at myself and resumed our discussion.

Once we’d reached the point at which we were to part ways, Margaret offered to just walk me all the way home.  It only put them about two blocks out of their way, but it was still an extremely nice gesture.  And then, upon arriving at my dorm Margaret realized that this was the location where she and Roman came to swim weekly (the school rents the pool and gym to outsiders).  And that was an exciting coincidence.

As they walked me to the front doors, she also commented on the beauty of the tulips that were blooming outside of the building.  I made a point of stopping and checking them out in the daylight the next morning, and they are quite lovely.  So thank you for mentioning them, because it might have been a while before someone else pointed them out to me.

Upon entering my room after leaving them, I called my sister to let her know that I’d arrived and about the pleasant strangers I’d met and promoted myself to (by telling them about the blog).  I then talked to one of my friends, who I also regaled with the story of my walk with the strangers.

“They walked me all the way home,” I told.  “And we spent the entire walk talking but it was neither awkward or frustrating.”

“Oh that’s good,” she responded.  “I was actually going to ask if they were annoying.”

And I’m delighted to report that you were not.  There are so many people who offer assistance to me and, when I take it, talk incessantly about things I either don’t care about or don’t have that much to say about.  I realize that that may sound unkind, but generally, when I accept assistance from people it’s because they were being pushy and I did not want to argue.  How I feel about the chatter is also dependent on my mood.  As I told Margaret, I don’t care that your best friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s ex-wife is, was, or is going blind.  Well, actually sometimes those stories are interesting.  Or if the person is going blind, I can offer up information about resources.  But generally people just throw the information out there with no real purpose.  Usually causing me to respond awkwardly “oh, that’s cool” or “really?”.  And after the person says “yes” or something to that effect as response, it doesn’t lead anywhere.

On Thursday, someone asked if I needed help crossing the street, upon shrugging and saying sure, the guy said “my elbow is here”.  When I looked up in surprise, he was like “my mom’s blind, so I know what to do?.  Then we crossed and parted ways.  That was a cool interaction; it was short, sweet and the relationship to the blind person was relevant.  There are other people that know to offer their arm/elbow because of helping other bl/visually impaired people or maybe from observation or the assumption that offering one’s arm is less strange than holding hands.

But anyway, I went completely off track there (so much for my words at the beginning of the post, right?).

As I arrived at my dorm yesterday, the public safety officer stopped me and told me that Margaret and Roman wished him to give me their regards.  I was very confused initially so he began to hesitate a little:

“Margaret’s the mother,” he said slowly.  And after another second, the lightbulb snapped on.  And I was excited.  As was the security guard (I guess for it not turning into an extremely awkward situation).

He said that Roman had read through all of my blog posts and that he was extremely enthusiastic about it.


So I hurried to my room and immediate began writing this post…  and then I laid down, watched Jeopardy!, fell asleep and finished this at 2 AM (with clips on The Tonight Show’s Youtube as my soundtrack).

So I wanted to write this post to let you know that I did receive your regards and that I wished to send my own in return.

Well till next time “Adieu, adieu

To you and you and you?”-Sound of Music

Freewrite: A Musing on Children and Their Adaptability

This was originally posted on February  21, 2016 at 5:01 PM on Blogger.


So, I shan’t spend a paragraph apologizing (though I am sorry) or coming up with excuses (it’s the beginning of my second semester!).  But, you know, I’m an artist, we’re supposed to be inconsistent and flighty.  And inconsistency is far better than the other legacies left me by past writers (and other artists): reclusiveness, torrid yet doomed romances, depression and suicidal tendencies, etc.

But, my dear readers, I digress.

Two weeks ago I went to spend a few hours with my eldest sister and her daughter, my niece.  Upon arriving at the train station, I called my sister—who was going to meet me—and discovered that she had not yet left the house.

Initially, I’d planned on staying downstairs in the station and waiting for her (I didn’t want to use the wrong exit), but the scent of urine had wafted into my nostrils one too many times, and so I decided to head upstairs.

While up there, inhaling deeply of the fresher air, I began playing with my phone; texting and eventually calling one of my friends for entertainment.  In the midst of my phone conversation, a being slams into my stomach and, in a deepened voice says “Bebe.”

(note: My actual nickname is Lily ‘or Lee Lee’ but with the arrival of my niece eight years ago, Bebe or Bee Bee ‘but that one looks weird’ was born.)

As I laughed and told her that she was a little creep, she was telling me !”come on”.  She took my left hand and put it on her arm before we started walking.  And then she and I walked home together (with my sister following behind us, of course).

Kiki—my niece—was actually a pretty good guide.  She sometimes wouldn’t tell me to stop at street corners but I think a part of that is her still working out the stop sign and traffic lights and when to and not to go herself.  She would also just make short stops rather than slowing down.  But other than that, she walked me into nothing.  (I was also still using my cane and eye, of course.)

Now, I’d noticed this before too, with my god sister (who is the same age).  Though with her, she would always hold my hand.  That’s actually what Kiki used to do as well so I’m not sure what changed.  But anyway Naya (godsister) was generally a far better guide than her older—by five years—brother.  I was going to write that it is because I grew up with Kiki and Naya why they are such good guides, but I grew up with Jamari (godbrother) too.  But he’s just an interesting young man 🙂

But it seemed like they were less worried and caught up in…everything. They look out for themselves when walking, and now they were just looking out for one more person.

There have been many times when someone was going to guide me, and they were so busy apologizing for doing perceived wrongs, or obsessing about whether or not they would walk me into anything, that they usually do all of the things they’re worried about.

* * *

My niece still occasionally asks about my eyes.  For example, two weeks before this event, she asked why my eyes were different from those of her and my sisters’.  I told her that I was born like that (I know, I know, not really an answer, but I wasn’t going to launch into the explanation of pigmentation and stuff… but perhaps I should have), and also that it was sometimes good to be different.  She disagreed, saying that people laughed at you when you were different (I’ll be working to change that point of view).  And later that day, when I was talking about my BrailleNote, she asked if it was something that only people with blue eyes could have.

But even though she’s still trying to grasp all of the intricacies of my disability (what I can and cannot see), she does get it, mostly (as evidenced by every time she shoves a book in my face so I can more clearly see a picture).  Kids learn so quickly.  And I appreciate their candidness (that many adults lack).

Initially, I just wanted to write this post to tell you about what good guides some kids make (some kids are naturals, just as some adults), but as I wrote, it morphed into how easily they adapt.  And how many of us lose that as we grow older.  My niece, godsister, and godbrother grew up with a blind person in their midst, and I feel (hope strongly) that I’ve helped with a new generation of at least three open-minded kids. Not only in terms of how they react to and treat blind people, but other disabled people too.

I hope this for everyone I’ve spent a prolonged amount of time with. Peers, older people, cousins, my other godsiblings…

In the case of my niece and my godmother’s kids, knowing their parents, I don’t think they’ll loose it (I’m not sure what word best fits here)..

It saddens me a little when a person who, as a child might have asked questions like: “why are your eyes like that?” or something, grow up to be terrified, for lack of a better word, to ask questions because of perceived societal rules.  Especially as we become more and more sensitive and increasingly obsessed with political correctness.

Moral of the post: be open.  Embrace your inner child.  Be okay with guiding and speaking to a blind person (or other disabled person).  Maybe don’t ask your questions as bluntly as a child might “What’s wrong with your eyes?” but still ask, maybe start with “your eyes are interesting.” But please, and I beg of you, if you ask someone if they have in contacts, and they say no, please don’t ask if they’re sure/certain. Yes, this has happened… more than once.

I realize that the eyes questions are a little specific to me and a handful of other people, so something else I’m asked is: “how do you use your phone?”  While sometimes it frustrates me (if I have an earpiece in, I’m probably listening) but I realize it’s irrational.  My favorite is when people ask if there’s “some sort of braille” or “tactile feedback” on my screen.  It makes me laugh, I’m not sure why, but I do appreciate that the asker is trying.  Their trying to come up with a solution, and even if their wrong, it’s a conversation starter.

And while I am asked these questions outright, more people spend the time whispering to their companions instead of asking the person who can give them an answer. Most kids would ask.

Kids also whisper, both to their parents and friends, but I feel it is more likely that they will say something.

Why do parents hush their kids when they ask things? Or apologize profusely even after the question is answered? Especially when they were probably wondering the same thing?

But I guess this is where we straddle the line of “politeness” and “being rude”.

In conclusion: be open.  Let yourself be open.

Till next time

Ps. 655 pageviews!

And over the last two or three days, I’ve acquired 4 new subscribers to my vlog, giving me 37!!!!!!!!!

He Acknowledged Me

This was originally posted on February 25, 2015 at 6:41 PM on Blogger.


“Last Friday night”, my sister and I went to a Cuban restaurant.  Upon taking my sister’s order, the waiter turns to me with no hesitation and says:

“And you?”

I was beyond ecstatic.

“He acknowledged me!” I stage-whispered to my sister after he left us.

The first time it happened—a waiter acknowledging me—was at a sushi restaurant a few years ago (also with my sister).  The guy seemed a little flustered on how to address me, but he did.  I think I might have teared up then.

I get that my eyes can be…  startling but were my vision problems not so obvious, most people would not know.

Usually, the waiters go “And what will she be having?” And even, sometimes, when I speak up they still talk to the other person.



This was originally posted on  January 24, 2015, at 8:20 PM on Blogger.


Originally, I was going to start our relationship off with a rant. But they say first impressions are crucial so I decided to go via the route of positivity.

I am currently at my niece’s seventh birthday party and I am bored out of my mind. The people I haven’t seen in awhile but who were there as I grew up are firing questions at me about my nonexistent love life and who I am texting currently. I am sitting in a corner (literally)  and waiting for food.

But what did add a highlight or two to the night was this three-year-old girl telling me that my eyes were beautiful. She kept coming back to me to say it. The second to last time she told me that I was beautiful just the way I was. And the final time was to invite me to her Frozen party…awwwIn case your wondering, both of my eyes are blue with what looks like a white film on or around them. The filmy stuff is from corneal scarring as a baby. They, my eyes, move (I have nystagmus).

Ps. Now that I’ve finally written something, posts should come regularly. Expect anything from one-liners to novellas.