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Something No One Knows About You

April 5, 2019

I don’t play “Two Truths And A Lie” anymore. My brothers don’t either. We won too much and it caused too many questions.

Your mother was married how many times?

You have how many kids?

What do you mean your brother’s sister isn’t your sister?

But, I do enjoy “What’s something no one knows about you?” People are interesting. Not just some people. All people are interesting. Everyone has a favorite book, a favorite movie, a favorite vacation. Not everyone is a good storyteller. But, if you ask the right questions and have patience, people will tell you fascinating things. And the most fascinating are often about themselves.

It’s fun to learn new things and sometimes it’s fun to surprise people.

The thing tha tno one, or at least most people don’t know about me, is that I’m fluent in American Sign Language (ASL.)

It’s a skill that is occasionally useful and often surprising. For two years I served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first in Chicago and then in Anaheim. I became pretty good at it. Actually, I became an expert.

As a missionary, most of the time I was using ASL every day. Missionaries used ASL as much as possible, even if we were both hearing. It led to times when people didn’t realize I could hear.

One time my companion, Elder Randles and I were riding on a bus in Chicago. A group of boys got on the bus and made their way to the back. When they noticed us signing, they assumed we were both deaf. I interrepted their comments for Elder Randles without letting them know I understood them.

It was typical young gang member stuff. They were harmless really. But, some of the derogatory comments they made about deaf people really started to annoy Elder Randles.

You have to say something to them!

Okay, when they leave.

As the boys made their way off the bus, they had to pass between us. As the leader came even with me, I looked up and said,

You should really watch your language on the bus.

The look on his face, and the faces of his friends was priceless. They silently filed out. As they exited the bus, their courage returned and they slapped at the windows and sides of the bus as it pulled away. Elder Randles and I just laughed.

While I’m fluent, my lovely wife is merely proficient. As I mentioned yesterday, an Expert makes a lousy teacher. I never taught my kids sign language. Not even as babies.

Now, whenever we have something to discuss as parents in front of our kids, we simply discuss it freely. . .using our hands.

Like I said, it’s occasionally useful.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

  1. Eric S Scott permalink

    Well, _I_ knew that about you. But not about your wife or your not teaching your kids any…..

    • We actually attended the Provo deaf branch for the first few years we were married. We left when my daughter was 3.

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