Dear Ann Landers, I want to express my sympathy to "J.F. in Racine, Wis.," regarding his hearing loss. I have been going through this for many years. The people you think would be the most sympathetic (my family) seem to be the least tolerant. People outside the family tend to be understanding, and oddly enough, my family is very nice to strangers who have this same problem, but not to me.
My wife screams that I am driving her crazy, and my oldest daughter just makes fun of me. The other daughter says "never mind" when I ask her to repeat something. The oldest son gives me a dirty look, goes in his room and shuts the door. The other son is like his mother -- he just yells. When I sit at the dinner table, I might as well be eating next door. They ignore me, so I usually eat with the grandchildren. They don't seem to mind that I can't hear too well. When I ask them to repeat something, they do so graciously, and nobody gives me a dirty look.
Please print this letter. It will make me feel better. -- Deaf in Chatsworth, Calif.
Dear Chatsworth, Here's your letter, and I hope it will generate some sympathy and understanding. You certainly have mine, because my hearing is also less than perfect, and I appreciate it when people don't mind repeating for my benefit.