I was remembering the days when I could hug my friends and family. As a blind person, I was often asked to touch people’s faces. They wrongly believed that the only way a blind individual could physically know another was to feel a face. Voice, inflection and strength can be read in a hug. Below is an article about feeling faces to remember when social distancing is lifted.
Here is to days of social closeness again
. I don’t do faces. I don’t get much out of touching a stranger’s face. I will touch my husband’s hair and eyebrows after a trip to the barber, or my daughter’s new hair cut or a friend’s new earrings but I try to avoid feeling faces. Many people think that is the only way a blind person can know another person. They forget about voice, body image and vocal inflection. I try to decline offers of face touching by giving a alternate… a quick hug. I get more information about a person from the strength , and body image that I can get from a quick hug.
I have had two occasions that I couldn’t avoid face touching . Both incidents happened at a church in New Mexico. I was coming out of church, when Father spotted my white cane. As I offered my hand to shake Father’s, He grabbed my hand and tapped all over his face. The only thing I learned from this touching was he was tall and had a receding hairline!
As I started to back away a voice next to Father’ spoke saying,”Now you must touch a REAL man!” I thought,”I am in trouble now.” The deacon didn’t grab my hand but gently put my hand not on his face but on the most soft, thick and clean beard I had ever felt. I took several moments to feel the beard from ear to ear. I murmured,” it’s lovely, Thank you!” He looked sideways at my husband and remarked,”He could grow one too.” “I don’t think so,” I retorted.
This face touching doesn’t occur with just women. My friend ,Allen, was celebrating his birthday with several friends at a favorite restaurant . The table next to him had several ladies listening and inquiring about Allen and his abilities without sight. One of the ladies dearly wanted him to touch her face. He declined several times but when he rose to leave, the she grabbed Allen’s hand and tapped and rubbed all over her face. Later, Allen stated that the only he got of that face touching was a bad cold!
face touching like hugging and handshakes should be at the request of the blind person.
Roots and Connections
We are all connected to each other by many roots.
We call, email, fax and message to stay in touch.
But the best way is face to face, Now with six feet distance.
How I long to give my friends a hug, a smile, to be physically connected again.