Posted by: Kate | January 31, 2008


I drink too much soda. I do. It’s not a point of pride, it’s just slowly become a habit and I actively crave it if I haven’t had any in a while. We’re not talking a case-a-day habit here; I have one or two glasses a day. But still, for someone who went several years in grad school drinking a half-gallon of water a day, this is a fall from grace. I promise to behave better if and when I get pregnant again. But until then, grab me a can on your way past, would ya?

The Coca-Cola/Pepsi thing has never made much difference to me. I have a mild preference for Coke, but not enough to lead me to buy it if Pepsi’s on sale that week. But we’re having a Superbowl party this weekend, and we’ll be serving Pepsi, regardless of the supermarket sales for the week.

Here’s why.

I’m not, by nature, an activist, even for the causes that mean a lot to me. I breastfeed, and would (and have!) go through any manner of physical discomforts and personal inconveniences to make it work for my children; I would get up and find a way to protest if I thought my rights to do so were being threatened, but on a normal day, it’s just my thing. You can bottle-feed, ain’t nothing wrong with that, just not the way I roll. I work with, and for, people with mental illness, and this matters to me; their rights and freedoms matter to me. But I choose to act on an individual basis, not by marching on the State House. I have children, but I choose to put my energies into raising them into functional, responsible adults rather than following legislation and proclaiming the flaws in the No Child Left Behind act. I knit for charity, and enjoy it, but if you don’t, you can still come and hang out on Monday nights to watch bad television. You get the idea.

So I don’t go searching for causes, but every once in a while I’ll see something and think, “Good for them.” Something will be somehow relevant to my life, and I’ll appreciate their efforts to raise awareness or fundraise or what have you, and sometimes I’ll even go so far as to point it out to others. Like now.

I’m not deaf, but I am hard of hearing – last exam was in 2003 and I was told I hear between 30-50% of normal range, depending on the frequency and tone of the noise – and have spent the past fourteen years of my life waiting to slide farther into silence. I was diagnosed at 16, never even realizing that I had learned lots of tricks, big and little, to unconsciously compensate: I read lips, sat in the front of the classroom, tuned out background noise. I’m not sure when I would have figured out the problem on my own, but my mother came into the TV room one night asking me to turn it down, because she could hear the individual words all the way in her bedroom, on the opposite side of the house. Meanwhile, I’d been thinking about turning it up a little louder because I was missing half of the words. Various testing and procedures and consultations followed, with a bottom line of, “It’s a mild to moderate symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. Which means, we don’t really know how it happened and there’s nothing we can do to intervene. Let us know if it gets worse. Oh, and you may want to go learn sign language, just in case it’s progressive. You don’t want to be stuck without a language.”

Fabulous, thanks. Because me, at 16, I wasn’t already angst-filled and miserable enough.

It didn’t progress at the worst-case-scenario rate. I could hear about 60-70% of normal sound at that point, and ten years later was down to 30-50%. So, no improvement, to be sure, but at least I can still hear my babies laugh. And I’m just deaf enough to sleep through them crying at night, which has its advantages, particularly when combined with a husband who treats fatherhood like a responsibility rather than a curse.

Anyway. So, I identify with the hard-of-hearing and deaf community, though I don’t consider myself a member. And they’re happy with this Superbowl ad, it’s clever and a cute idea, so I’ll go with it. Pepsi wins a round in the ad wars, and we’ll wait for the next commercial.



  1. That’s so freakin’ cool!!! I really, really, REALLY dislike Pepsi, but I do hope that they pick up a bit more revenue as a result of this ad. I think it’s fantastic!

  2. What a neat idea. Like WN, I am not a Pepsi person (when you’re born in the South, it’s linked to your DNA to only want Coke, (real coke in the red can). LOL.

  3. How very cool! I will definitely be watching for the commercial, and I think I’ll join you in buying Pepsi.

  4. Very cool! I prefer Pepsi anyway!

  5. Hahaha . . . nice to see something inclusive and not too PC. I love the superbowl ads, we often have a whole ‘show’ on them once they’ve been aired. As for the game? I just don’t get it. Have a good party!

  6. hey – this is awesome. I realize I’m bombarding your blog with comments, but I coulnd’t pass this one up. My 11 year old son has “mild to moderate” hearing loss and wears hearing aids. Most people (including myself before I had him) have no clue what being hard of hearing entails. I didn’ t know about this commercial until I read it here. Guess I don’t watch enough TV… and I really don’t care about football… but, I’m looking forward to this tomorrow now. I bet my son will appreciate it too. Again. Very cool.

  7. […] top it all off, they never did bother airing the Pepsi ad I was watching for. Good thing I had margaritas on-hand, instead. […]

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