Before I get in to today’s post, I want to give a very special happy birthday shout out to Helene and Laurie. I hope today is as wonderful as you are. I pray this is a blessed year for the both of you and I can’t imagine life without you two. Here’s to many more birthdays and years of friendship. I love you both very much.
One of my lovely followers told me recently they would love it if I wrote an article about how I shop and pick out clothes as a woman who is completely blind. She wanted to know how I pick out what coffee, treat or tea I would like.
When I go shopping, I take someone with me I trust and someone who I know is not afraid of being honest. As a woman with absolutely no eyesight, I need people around me who don’t tell me what I want to hear. If you are blind, I think you should surround yourselves with these kind of people also. One challenge that comes along with being completely blind is not being able to say for myself if something looks good on me or not. Sure, I can think something feels cool but in my opinion you can’t always go by that. Maybe that’s because I grew up around mostly sighted people, and they told me that from an early age so now that stuck with me. I don’t often go by how something feels because I know that’s not everything. Looks aren’t everything and sometimes you want to be comfortable, but it depends on what you’re dressing for. People also judge on how someone looks. I’m already quickly judged on my white cane. I think the hardest part for me, even though I trust the people I take with me, is that I’m going off of other people’s opinions about me. Let’s say I have a boyfriend who is sighted. I have yet to date a guy who can see, but we’ll go with this as an example. Say we’re out to dinner. His sister could say I look beautiful. His cousin could say I look okay but maybe try another outfit. My boyfriend? He could say, “Why are you wearing something like that? Really. Change your shirt.” Not everyone looks good all the time. It’s life. Everybody takes bad photos sometimes and have colors they look better in than others. We’re human.
I have heard some people allow blind people to go out in public without matching. This is not okay. Would you go out looking weird? Probably not. As a person with eyes that work, you need to tell the person without sight what colors look good and what ones don’t. If you are afraid of telling them they don’t match for fear of hurting them, change your thinking about that. Seriously. Right now. When you don’t tell someone they don’t match, you’re harming them, not helping protect them.
Sometimes my mom helps me pick out outfits but my sister Morgan is really great about helping me dress well. I often ask her how I look and she’ll help me. Sometimes I will FaceTime my best friend Helene and she will direct me on which way to point my camera. She’ll tell me what looks fine and if anything needs to be different. I know, I have such a great friend don’t I? Show her some birthday love. And send some to Laurie, too.
I’ll be honest and say sometimes I care more about comfort, but this depends on the situation, of course. Anyone like me who gets cold a lot will understand. I’m talking chilled into your bones cold. I remember Kaylan and Phillips (readers I had in school. I call Tyler Phillips Phillips so people know if I’m talking about him or Tyler from Perkins.) Sometimes Kaylan and Phillips would talk about different outfits people were wearing. Sometimes I would hear Kaylan and Phillips have little conversations during the shift change about what outfits looked good or not. I found this pretty funny to listen to. At college, Mom would tell me what students looked like but being so cold, I really didn’t care. Plus I mean, I wasn’t there to impress anyone.
I don’t buy concert shirts much anymore, but when I did, I would ask someone I was with to describe what was there. What color the shirts were, what they said and whether or not they had pictures of the artist or band I liked.
I love purses. I have an entire bin full of them! I will ask who I’m with what color they are and what the prints on them look like. I also feel them to see what they look like. Once people get to know me, they know what I like. They can point out bags I should touch. When I go out to eat, I will have someone read the menu. They will tell me about specials or food related to things I like. I don’t drink coffee anymore, but I handle getting treats or tea the same way.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Have any ideas I should blog about? Please connect with me! You can find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, on Facebook at Miranda Oakley or you can leave me a comment here on my site. Whichever you decide, I’d love to hear from you. I see I have views from many places around the world. England, Canada, Italy, Jordan, etc. Please don’t be shy. Whether you like my blog and have posts you’d like me to make, or if you read my blog and decide it’s not for you. I’d like to hear that too because it’s making me better either way.
Have a great weekend everybody!