October 13, 2020

Q&A With Ambiguously Blind

 

Mrs. Ambiguously Blind, Erin, makes her world-wide podcast debut. She sits down with John to ask some of the most common questions about his vision, podcasting, dating and how they met.




Episode Transcription:

John:
We have a special guest in the studio, my life copilot, my, my best friend, my buddy, my better half, all sorts of other positive adjectives. We have Mrs. Ambiguously blind, Erin, in the studio today. So making her worldwide podcast debut, which you probably will be surprised by because she's such a natural at doing these types of things. So Erin, welcome into the ambiguously blind studio.

Erin:
Hi, I'm happy to be here.

John:
Oh, I can tell.

Erin:
I am.

John:
Well, I'm glad. That's good. Now, if we can just get you to stop laughing.

Erin:
I'm sorry.

John:
I haven't even started attempting to be funny yet.

Erin:
I know!

John:
I'm trying to be serious.

Erin:
I, I know!

John:
This is a serious topic. So,

Erin:
Very serious!

John:
I recently got some feedback from some previous episodes from some listeners that said they wanted to know a little bit more about John, about me. So, I sent an email out to some people asking them questions that they thought should be answered. And I got, I got some pretty good questions I think. And Erin is going to curate those questions and moderate this discussion.

Erin:
You got very good questions, a lot of questions.

John:
And are there any of them that you had considered before or, and do you know the answer to all these?

Erin:
Yes. I think I know all the answers to them.

John:
You think? I guess we'll find out.

Erin:
Pretty sure I do. Well, there may be a couple that it'd be interesting to hear what your response is. Cause they're kind of about me.

John:
That could be interesting.

Erin:
It could be very interesting.

John:
This may be the only time you're on the podcast. This may be the end of the podcast.

Erin:

Maybe. No! You'll have me back.

John:

Do I have a choice?

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

Okay. Well, we'll see how it goes.

Erin:

Okay.

John:

I also want to add that the if you have questions or want to know something, you can email me. It's john @ amblind .com. With no further ado, let's get started with the questions.

Erin:

Alright. You ready?

John:

I think I'm ready.

Erin:

Ok! What secret reason do you have for doing podcasts?

John:

Secret reason?

Erin:

Secret!

John:

Not just reason.

Erin:

Not just reasons.

John:

Well, that's interesting.

Erin:

A secret reason.

John:

Well, my first podcast, I kind of lay out the groundwork for what, what I'm trying to do here. And I mentioned that I wanted to do something like this to express myself and give examples and kind of talk through a lot of things about what I can and can't see the, the term ambiguously blind, I believe is fitting for me because really often, a lot of times it's unclear what I can and can't see. And this would be a way for me to talk about it at nauseum. So maybe people would get the idea or I could point to a particular episode or discussion that I had with somebody to help somebody understand what, what my situation is. So that's, that's not a secret though, cause I've already said that. So what's secret reason. That's a good question. I don't think I have an answer for the secret part. I would just say bumblebee tuna to that one. That's the only thing I can tell you.

Erin:

Bumblebee tuna?

John:

Bumblebee tuna. A-bumba-waya-chewa, actually.

Erin:

What?

John:

The person that asked that question will understand that.

Erin:

Okay. Ready for the next question?

John:

I don't know that I'm going to be all as hard hitting as that one.

Erin:

No. What is your clinical definition of your vision?

John:

Clinical definition of my vision? Well, 20/300 is generally what I say. Cause it's pretty close to that. It does vary, I think a little bit in one eye. Well, it doesn't vary just the, the acuity I think kind of varies. My vision has been pretty constant since it changed about 22 years ago. So, I have 20/300 in one eye and zero in the other eye. And then what that kinda means is in a practical sense is a little bit more of a deeper discussion. And I will, I'll tell you what that means. If you wanna talk about that.

Erin:

Sure! Cause I tell people 20/400. So is there, I guess there's not that big of a difference between 20/300 and 20/400?

John:

It's a, so the just so we let it let you know, kind of understand what the, what those numbers mean. The 20 it's 20 it's a fraction it's 20 over 300 is what I would, what I say normally 20/300 and the way it, the way it works is, you know, what really need to do is get, get with a optometrist and talk about more specifics about what those what that, what that 20/300 or 20/20 or whatever it means, but generally normal or perfect vision, if you want to call it tha,t is 20 slash 20. And those, the numbers represent a measurement of feet. So at 20 feet, when you look at the eye chart with the big E at the top, E for Erin probably.

Erin:

That's why they did that.

John:

Yeah. When you look at the big E and then you read down the lines, there's a certain line number that somebody with 20/20 vision should be able to get to, to get to and see correctly.

John:

And at 20/300, it's just a lot, like we're probably looking at the E kind of thing.

Erin:

Okay.

John:

And in the optometrist office, they have mirrors and things to make it to get the distance when you're looking at it, depending, unless you're in an exam room, that's 20 feet long. There's a mirror, so you'll look, you think you're looking ahead, but you're actually looking at a mirror that's bouncing it off to get the distance. Right? But, so my vision is basically at 300 feet, if you are standing, what I like to use for this is a football field. Cause a football field from goal line to go line is 100 yards, which would be equivalent to 300 feet. So if, if somebody with 20/20 vision is standing on one goal line and an object is standing on the other goal line. So let's just say you, Erin, is standing on the other goal line and I'm standing on the seven yard line closest to you.

Erin:

OK.

John:

What, how I see you would be the equivalent of how the person at the other goal line sees you. So they're 93 yards away from me, actually a hundred yards from you.

Erin:

Okay.

New Speaker:

It's not necessarily blurry. It's just kind of like your it's kinda like I'm farther away.

Erin:

Like a tunnel vision type.

John:

No, it's really not like that either because I have, I actually, my, my range there's another, another term would be, or clinical definition would be range. I don't know what my range is. But a normal eye would have 360 degree range. You'd be able to see all around without moving your eye. I mean, you could move your head or move your eye to look a certain direction. But when you're looking straight ahead, you have a 360 degree field division. I probably have like, I don't, I don't know what it is, but I'm gonna give, I'm gonna give Erin an example that you can see that will do nobody listening any good. But when I put my hand up here, like I cannot see my hand. I can now. So with, with a normal field of vision,

Erin:

Right.

John:

All this down here.

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

Would be in my range.

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

So like, I don't know what, I don't know what degree of, you know, that's something that an optometrist could help, help me understand or convey to others, but

Erin:

You can see better peripherally.

John:

My peripheral vision is better than my straight on vision.

Erin:

Do you know why that is?

New Speaker:

I do not, but it is. And, and my vision hasn't changed since since it since it changed. I mean, it hasn't gotten better or worse. It's been stable since, since the change, so.

Erin:

Ok, because you've the description you just gave about the football field is clearer than a description than you've given me before. Like when we first started dating, I tried to understand what you could see. I really wanted to understand that. So I, when I went to have my eyes checked, I went to an optometrist and while I was there, it just popped into my head. And I was like, hey, he can probably show me what your vision is like. And so I told him a short version of your story and that I'm a visual learner. So he's like, yeah, I can totally show you what he can see. So when he was able to do that, then it kind of just all was clear to me on what you see every day or what you don't see every day too.

John:

What did that look like?

Erin:

I remember it as it was years ago. I remember it as blurry. I mean, I could still, I could see the outline of the letters and depending on what, like you said, what letters I was looking at, I could make out some things, but not a lot. I couldn't make out a lot of the letters, I think like maybe the, like the E and maybe the letters underneath it, maybe. And that was it.

John:

I don't know how they do that. It seems to me like maybe it would be blurry because they're using a lens.

Erin:

Right.

John:

to project that whatever that distance is, and maybe it would actually be blurry. But I don't know. That's.

Erin:

Something to look into.

John:

Let's check out. Good old fashioned. I mean, to may, it will, you know, it's one of those, it's like a vacation, like a vacation we'll, we'll go to the optometrist together. We go to the dentist together.

Erin:

We do.

John:

now, which is exciting.

Erin:

Very exciting.

John:

Yeah. It's pretty awesome.

Erin:

What are you able to see? And can you see the question says, can you see your wife? So what is it like when you're looking at people or looking at anything? Like what, what do you see? Like me, if you're looking at me right now,

John:

I am looking at you right now.

Erin:

Yes. What can you see?

John:

I see you sitting across from me.

Erin:

But can you see me?

John:

Do you want me to be more descriptive than that? I, you're not wearing any clothes. That's a little shocking. It's a good thing we are in an audio medium here.

Erin:

I'm fully clothed.

John:

And I guess I do need to get my eyes checked.

Erin:

We need to schedule that optometrist appointment.

John:

Sooner than later.

Erin:

ASAP.

John:

What can I see? I don't know. That's a pretty general question.

Erin:

Like me. I mean, what can be, am I, I guess blurry is not the right. Cause you just said you couldn't see your hands. So if you couldn't see your hand, can you,

John:

Well, and, and for those that are listening at home, what I was doing was putting my, essentially my hand, if the way I describe it, another way is if you take a, like a circle 360 degrees and you put the horizontal and the vertical axis on it, and what I essentially see of those four quadrants is the top left quadrant. So that would be from, I guess, that, so that would be from the 180 degrees, which would be, I believe the, the left. Does that make sense? And then all the way up to the 90 degree.

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

Okay. And I see a little past that. So maybe like between 180 and maybe like 75 degrees.

Erin:

Okay.

John:

Okay. So if it's anything outside of that, I have to move my eye or my head just looking straight at something that's that range, I guess, is what is, what it's referred to as would be what I see without moving my, so I would just, I would just move my head or move my eye.

John:

And again, often I see better from the periphery. So I might look to the side of you to see you actually clear, then I looked directly at you.

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

So, I mean, I've already described you, so I think we've got that down, but I think, I guess the better, the best way to say is what do you see? It's just like, I'm standing further away from, you know, much further away from something.

Erin:

Yeah.

New Speaker:

So that kind of detail, like if you had something on your shirt that, that like something written, unless it's in very large bold letters or I get uncomfortably close to you, which could be a problem if I don't know who you are, or even if I know who you are, it could be a problem.

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

I probably won't see what's on, what's printed on your shirt kind of thing.

Erin:

Right. Okay.

New Speaker:

I don't know if that helps at all, but maybe some, maybe there's some other questions that will touch on that too.

Erin:

Ok. When, and this kind of goes along with that, when someone walks up to you, you can, you usually tell who they are before hearing their voice.

John:

I would say generally not. And you may be a good judge of that as far as, I mean, obviously if we're together, it's going to be pretty, I guess I'm, I'm usually very aware of who's around me. If I know who's around

Erin:

And we've been in situations where you didn't and that, and I'd tell you, Hey, so, and so's here or

John:

Yeah, like in a, just in a general setting. No, it, I, I mean, not if I'm at a certain place and certain, certain people I would expect to be there. Right?

New Speaker:

Right.

New Speaker:

So I, I can, I can guess, but no, really I rely heavily on, on hearing.

Erin:

You've got very good hearing.

John:

I don't know if I, I mean, I think I do have good hearing. Yes. But I don't, I don't think it's any better than it really. I don't think my hearing, I do get asked if my hearing is been better and it might be, but I think, I mean, I certainly pay much more closer attention to hearing now. So I, I don't know whether it's better or.

Erin:

You just rely on it.

John:

That I am in tuned into it so much more that where, where with, with vision, it's not necessary to be that tuned in to hearing, but like, I have had situations where, I mean, I do somebody that I know. I mean, I could, I could be within feet of my parents and pretty good chance I don't recognize them in once, once there's, but there are, there are also times where I do notice and it might, again, might be in a situation where I'm expecting to see them, or I am in an eminent place where they would likely be or something or somebody would likely be.

John:

So, but if it's just, if I'm walking down the street and I pass somebody at just total random, there's about a 99% chance I won't, I won't be able to identify them without any kind of audible cue.

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

And sometimes I think people that may or may not know that about me, find that to be like I'm being rude or I'm not paying attention to them. And while sometimes that could be the case, the majority of the times it is not. So I've, I'm a little self conscious of that. Cause I don't want people to think I'm, you know, snubbing them or something, walking, literally walking within inches of them and, and saying nothing that would, you know, like they may have given, they may have even waved at me or,

Erin:

Well, that happened the other day, we were out riding bikes and you and I had split up, you were farther ahead than I was. And one of our neighbors was walking and he, I saw that he waved and you didn't see him, but I've told him and his wife before you know of your situation. So

John:

So hopeully he doesn't think I'm a big jerk.

Erin:

I'm sensitive to that too, because,

John:

And I don't like that cause.

Erin:

Of course not.

John:

I'm generally social. So I like to talk to people. So it, I feel, I mean, I guess I don't know what happened. I don't feel bad about it, but I feel like it happens that I, more than I, that I know.

Erin:

Right.

John:

And I get uncomfortable because I have missed the social interactions. So.

Erin:

Yeah. Okay. When you meet a new person who isn't familiar with your vision loss, what's the general reaction,

John:

Generally it's positive and inquisitive. I don't, I don't know that I've ever had any real negative first impressions or something. I mean,

Erin:

Well, I think people would be more surprised because I forget about your vision loss because I mean, you don't use.

John:

Yeah. So I don't use a cane. I don't use a dog. I have no, no, no visual cue.

Erin:

Right. And your eyes are good.

John:

Yeah.

Erin:

So you can't, I mean, just looking at you, you can't, you can't tell and you get around so well and you do see things a lot of times that you know, I'm just like what he saw that. And so I completely forget it, but like, it doesn't even register to me a lot of the times. So I'm just always kind of curious too, as to what people, if people have that same reaction.

John:

Yeah. Maybe that would be the first word to use probably is surprised or, or obviously not expecting expecting it. And there's oftentimes where sometimes I go in, I could really go into a long conversation about it, but I don't have the time to do that. Like when I'm in line at a Starbucks or something and there's six cups on the.

Erin:

Right.

John:

on the counter and one of them is likely mine, but I won't be able to identify the writing.

Erin:

Yeah.

John:

So I would ask the barista and depending upon the situation and how busy things are, I could get into a little bit of a conversation about it or I could just ask them. And sometimes they'll probably look at me like, yeah, it's right here. What's going on.?But in those situations, I don't know that, I mean, if I, if I'm, if I have a guide dog with me or I am using the white cane, it resolves that issue pretty quickly, but I, for whatever reason don't do either of those.

Erin:

Yeah. Okay.

John:

What was the question on that?

Erin:

When you meet a new person who isn't familiar with your vision loss, what's the general?

John:

Well, I also think people are generally, generally, it's a it's positive. It's not, there's never really been a negative situation once we get past the, the surprise element of it, I guess. And generally people are inquisitive and I think want to at least know something about it because generally people are pretty helpful too. So when they, once they identify that I need assistance with something, or I'm asking a question that might be abnormal based on my appearance, they generally are helpful.

Erin:

Yeah. I would hope so. Do you still see normal colors and shades of light? It's a good question.

John:

The answer mostly is yes. Oftentimes colors that are similar to each other, which I think maybe even fully sighted people could have some challenges differing from colors, but it has a lot to do with me with lighting. Like if I'm looking at something again, I guess it's just close in color. I would say probably depending upon the lighting of the room or the environment I'm in that I'm looking for light difference, probably about 90% of time, I can tell the differences, but similar colors are, are more difficult. And what was the second part of that?

Erin:

Shades of light.

John:

Kind of the same answer, I guess.

Erin:

So when we go into a restaurant or any, I'm just using a restaurant as an example, one in particular, when we go in, it's really dark in there. And then yes, that is your eye. We have to wait a minute, cause your eyes have to adjust why's that?

John:

For whatever reason. And this would be another good question for the doctor. My what, it's tough for me to go from highlight to low light or low light to highlight. So like an example would be the restaurant you're walking into where it's like a low lit restaurant. And if it's, if I walk in there and it's the middle of the day and it's sunny. Yeah. I do have to. I mean, it, it literally is pretty much black for maybe like 10 seconds is what, what the adjustment time is. Or another example would be, if I walk out of a movie theater, like just watching a movie and this has happened where it'll be still daytime and walk out of the movie theater in a kind of a dark environment and then walk out and it's like a blast of light. So what the reason for that is I can't tell you, but that does happen to me. So I wear sunglasses for a few reasons. That's probably the biggest is to balance out the difference between the environment coming to, or going and coming from or whatever.

Erin:

But, and then normal, you're just out for a walk or something. You can tell the difference between you're standing in the sun or you're in the shade. You can see the difference.

John:

Yes. No trouble with that.

Erin:
Okay. Do you have secondary medical issues related to your vision?

John:
I don't think so. Nothing that I've been told or said to watch for? I do know that there are times where my, my, the eye, that I see, which is my left eye feels like, it feels like it gets fatigued. Like I can feel my eye getting tired.

Erin:
Yeah.

John:
Because I do have to look at things pretty intensely when I'm focusing on something, which is, I think, normal for everybody.

Erin:
Right.

John:
However with, with my limitation, I, my focus is I think a little more intense. And so I have noticed there are times where my eye will feel fatigued from looking at whatever I'm looking at for a long time. But other than that, there's not any there's no medical

Erin:
Diagnosis or anything.

John:
There's no, there's no, there's, there's nothing that would that at any professional I've seen said, you know, we get to watch this. Or, you know, like, I think maybe might be like migraines or something like that. I don't get headaches or anything other than the little eye fatigue, which generally goes away relatively quick. I don't know. I don't have any, anything like that.

Erin:
Okay. That's good. This is a great question. This next one.

John:
Well, I'm looking forward to it.

Erin:
How was the dating world before you found your, now, I did not come up with this question.

John:
Where did this question come from? This must've been one of your friends then.

Erin:
Yeah. Yeah. One of my really closest friends. How was the dating world before you found your beautiful, smart, talented, kind and supportive wife?

John:
A lot of adjectives in that one.

Erin:
And they are all true.

John:
Yes they are. Yes, they are.

Erin:
Totally kidding. And then she also asked how did your loss of vision affect dating life? So how is how we'll start with the first part? How was the dating world before you found me?

John:
Maybe we should start with a second question. First.

Erin:
How did your loss of vision effect.

John:
Yeah, because.

Erin:
your dating life.

John:
Well, again, I think as we talked about seeing people or what, what was the question before about when you see, when you meet somebody or when you, when you,

Erin:
When you meet a new person who isn't familiar?

John:
No, just when I'm, like I was saying, I could be standing next to somebody. Not really,

Erin:
Oh yeah.

John:
not really know who they are. So there's a lot of social implications with that. Right?

Erin:
Right.

John:
So wherever I am, there's a lot of visual cues are mostly gone for me. There are some visual cues that I can still pick up on. They gotta be pretty, pretty big. Like if I see a fire, okay, I'll probably see that cue. But if somebody winks at me or gives me like the waves at me, or some sort of indication that they want to talk to me, or they want to engage in some, you know, something most of the time I'm going to miss those. So the reason I say this might be better to start with is because before that I was into that, you know, as, as a normal sighted person. So I also should mention maybe that my, my vision change occurred when I was 19 years old. So my dating life was probably like 17 years up to that point.

John:
So there was a change in my technique, I guess, or how, cause I had to adjust a lot of social things there. Right. And what those things are. I don't know that I can tell you. Cause I don't know that I ever remember exactly. But whatever those adaptations were for meeting people and then going through the, the understanding of what it is and why, when I'm sitting across the room from you, I don't, I don't know that that that's you. Right. So how did that change for me? I mean, all those things changed. Of course. What was the second part of the question or the first part of it?

Erin:
Yeah. That is the second part. The first part was, I mean, it kind of goes hand in hand. How was the dating world before you met me?

John:
Well, so for the first, you know, 17 or so years of my dating life there were, it was pretty normal. You know, I'm just a nerdy guy that, you know, does whatever he does. After that it was, it was definitely different. I mean, life was significantly different. So that was just one of the things. And I think I relied a lot more on kind of like networking with people instead of the, the total random run into was going to be a lot less likely to happen.

Erin:
Yeah.

John:
So I would be, I did some online dating. I did some of that stuff and I would just work, you know, which is, I think normal, normally people do that at least nowadays. And then also just the normal, you know, in your circle of friends kind of thing. But I relied much more on those than I did just, you know, randomly running into to, in this case, girls was, was a lot different. So, and then of course that's, I think how we met, right? How did we meet?

Erin:
How did we meet?

John:
Yeah.

Erin:
Through a friend of mine that I worked with, who volunteered with your parents, feeding the homeless. And I did not know your parents at the time.

John:
Nor did you know me.

Erin:
And I know you, we only knew the mutual friend and I just happened to work with her. And she happened to volunteer with your parents and got to talking.

John:
And said, there's a homeless guy that you might want to check out.

Erin:
That's right.

John:
And you agreed to try that.

Erin:
I did. Yeah. She said, I have someone I want to set you up with, but I don't know anything about him.

John:
Wow!

Erin:
But his parents are great.

John:
Well, what does that mean? I mean, I guess that's a good start.

Erin:
She said

John:
His parents were terrible.

Erin:
She said his parents are great. And they just said nothing but wonderful things about him. And I think you should go out with him.

John:
What do parents say about their kids though? You know, what are they going to say?

Erin:
This is true, but you know, I trusted her.

John:
Well then let me ask you a question. Did she mention anything about the vision and that discussion?

Erin:
She did?

John:
And what did she say?

Erin:
Just that, let me think about this for a minute. She said that he went to Texas Tech University.

John:
Strike number one.

Erin:
That is, yeah. I was like, okay, what else do you got? That you

John:
That's Texas Tech for those unfamiliar.

Erin:
Oh yes. Sorry, Texas tech. And that you worked for family business at the time.

John:
Okay. And you didn't go to Texas tech?

Erin:
No, I am an Aggie, Texas A and M.

John:
Through and through.

Erin:
Through and through.

John:
A two percenter though I might add, which makes it kind of what's makes it tolerable.

Erin:
Now why did you have to throw that in there?

John:
Because it makes it tolerable.

Erin:
Yeah. I'm not a, you know, I love my school, my university, but yeah, two percenter. They got to come up with a different name. Two percent's really low.

John:
I think it might be pretty true based on some of the Aggies I know.

Erin:
Yeah. I'm not, I don't want to say I'm not a diehard because it's, I mean, I love A and M but anyway, we're veering off course that you went to Texas tech that you worked for a family business at the time and that your parents were great. They spoke very highly of you. And that, I think she just said that, that you had gotten sick in college with spinal bacterial meningitis and that you had lost most of your vision.

John:
And that I'm homeless and you should check this guy out.

Erin:
That I should. Yeah. Yeah.

John:
And you said, Hey, it sounds great. What a catch!

Erin:
I actually said, I need to think about this. And it was not because of the description that she had given me at all. It was the fact that she's like, but I really don't know anything about him. I'm just getting this information from his parents. So I was like, Oh, I'm going to have to get back with you. And then it was just something.

John:
You got a little tickle.

Erin:
I, you know, I think it was just God telling me that, yeah, there was just go, just go. And I had this feeling that I needed to go. I needed to meet you.

John:
And 50 years later here we are.

Erin:
Yeah. The best years of your life.

John:
But when we were, so we talked on it, we did. So I don't know if our relationship, if it started, you know, I don't know in air quotes normally, but we did. I think our first interaction was through email.

Erin:
I did. She our friend now, our friends, this was the woman that I worked with, but she is now.

John:
Yeah. She was your friend.

Erin:
She's my friend.

John:
Now she's my friend.

Erin:
Now she's our friend.

John:
And she, I believe if we're talking about the same person has a slew of Texas Tech.

Erin:
Oh, they are through and through like, like I am about Texas A and M they are the same thing.

John:
She's an alum as well. So let's not underplay that cause of,

Erin:
Well, I think her husband didn't they both go there and their, yeah. Their children.

John:
Yeah. Barn of kids. Yeah.

Erin:
So yeah, I said that I wasn't about to give my phone number because she didn't know didn't know you, I had never met you. So I said, here is an email address that he can have. And if he wants to email me, he can.

John:
And I did.

Erin:
Because didn't she and she reached out to you. She emailed you, correct?

John:
Yes.

Erin:
So she got your address, I guess, from wasn't your mother.

John:
I was, I think it was one of my parents' friends.

Erin:
Yeah. Who also volunteered in the same group and feeding the homeless. Yes.

John:
Who I had known for quite some time as well.

Erin:
That I did not know.

John:
That are now your friends.

Erin:
That are now my friends!

John:
Look how that works!

Erin:
So I sent you my email address and or her, I gave it to Kerrie or our friend

John:
Yeah, Kerrie!

Erin:
Kerrie!. And I think you emailed me. It was the end of, I was a teacher at the time and it was the end of the school year. And so we were wrapping up with that and I think I got an email for you the next day.

John:
Oh no, I'm sure I waited the requisite number of days before.

Erin:
Oh, no, no, I have saved all the emails. I can go back and it was within a day or two.

John:
Okay.

Erin:
So we emailed and I think we emailed for a couple of weeks and then that turned into, I felt comfortable giving you my phone number. We were texting and

John:
Yeah, I don't, I don't know if it was, it seems like it was shorter than a couple of weeks.

Erin:
Maybe it was.

John:
It might've been a week or so.

Erin:
Yeah. And then I gave you my number and we were texting and then that led in, you know, led to phone calls. And then, and that summer, I remember I was really, I was busy at work meetings and staff development, things I needed to go to. And I was also traveling a lot that summer. I remember. So I was actually my best friend, I would say, who asked that question earlier. I was at her house when,

John:
Oh, that's right. There was some Facebook stalking that occurred.

Erin:
I was not on Facebook at the time. No!

John:
That's correct. Cause I I won't hide the fact that I, I looked there too. Cause I, I did not.

Erin:
You did?

John:
Have a visual. Of course

Erin:
I don't. I don't think

John:
I don't. Yeah. I did not have a visual.

Erin:
I'm surprised you went out with me then, because back then you were a big Facebook person. You got me started actually another good friend of mine got me started on Facebook, but then I just never really got into it.

John:
Well, I did have an out planned.

Erin:

You had an out planned?

John:
Yeah! We'll talk about that.

Erin:
I apparently, I don't know everything!

John:
But you were at your friend's house.

Erin:
I was at my friend's house and I did not in very quickly through emails. And then when I was actually, you know, cause emails and texts, you can't really, you know, it's hard to understand the tone and all that. So once I was actually talking to you on the phone, I learned that you were very funny and I don't want to say not serious, but you just joked around all the time, which is I love that's one of the things that when I was looking for somebody, they needed to have a good personality and needed to, I like to laugh. So I needed the person to make me laugh. And it was very obvious from the very beginning that you could do that. So I did not know. You told me that you were six, four and a soccer player that you used to play soccer, which I did not believe for some reason.

John:
Yeah. I don't know. I'm I'm still that tall. I'm pretty tall for my age, but that it's accurate.

Erin:
So I did not have Facebook, but luckily my friend did. And so I got on Facebook and typical, John has everything on lockdown. I mean, I could not click on your profile picture or anything.

John:
It's only for my friends and the algorithms of Facebook.

Erin:
Yeah. I had actually, before I got on Facebook because I was not on Facebook. When I say get on Facebook with my friend, I did some searching of my own because I think I knew the name of the, the family business at the time. I think you had told me that. So I was doing some research online as well through

John:
Like the FBI and

Erin:
Well, and yes. I do have connections not with the FBI, but with some people that could have looked you up.

John:
and might have, it sounds like.

Erin:
And maybe they did. I don't remember. And I found your dad first saw his picture, but I could not find a picture of you. So when I went to go visit my friend, I like you're on Facebook, aren't you? She said, yes. And so we, I went upstairs and got onto her Facebook and found you, or what I thought was you and you were wearing a particular shirt. You know what shirt I'm referring to?

John:
I recall, I remember that photo and I was, I was in a band in college.

Erin:
Oh yeah. So you were wearing that shirt and you had told me that you had always I think, you said that you had wanted to play guitar, like be really good at playing guitar. So in the profile picture, this fabulous portrait of yourself, you're wearing this shirt. And then in the background I see a guitar and I'm like, that's him.

John:
But I think I was wearing a wig.

Erin:
You were wearing, it looked like the best that I can describe was the comedian Carrot Top his hair. It was just, and you had this, I call it a headband. But

John:
Yeah, that was a head band

Erin:
It was a head band wrapped around this wig, this red, orange, red wig with just hair going all over the place. It looked kind of curly, but not, I think you had your finger in your ear.

John:
I believe I did. Yes.

Erin:
And you had the shirt, the band shirt on.

John:
Do you remember the name of the band?

Erin:
Yeah, of course I know the name of the band, The John Grimes band.

John:
Yeah. So that would be another indication. That likely was me,

Erin:
But there were other John Grimes's on Facebook. There are a lot of John Grimes, but for some, it said where you lived at the time. And I was like, that's the only one there. And I know you're on Facebook. So I was like, this is him. Like this can't, can't be this isn't him. So I yelled for my friend. She comes upstairs and we're both just cause we can't enlarge the picture. So we're both really close to the screen trying to get as good of a look as we can visual. I was like, that can't be him. That can't be him. That's not him. But it was you!

John:
And you agreed to go forward.

Erin:
And I still went out with you.

John:
That in and of itself is pretty amazing.

Erin:
But you, I think you had told me at the time that you had like dirty blonde hair or something like that. So I was like this gotta, Oh, that's what I kept telling her. I was like, it's gotta be a wig that has to be a wig. But then you joked around all the time. So I, and I had, obviously I had not seen you. So I didn't know what you were telling me was you just being goofy or if it was accurate information.

John:
Now, were we talking on the phone at that point?

Erin:
That was our first phone conversation was that night was at her house. I remember I had a cold and I remember telling you that this is not how I normally sound.

John:
Did we discuss the picture on Facebook or were you holding that? Cause you didn't want to seem like a stalker.

Erin:
I withheld that information, but little did I know you were doing the same thing.

John:
Of course!

Erin:
I was just a little bit more successful than you were. Oh no. You did tell me that later on. I think you went to my school website and found a picture of me.

John:
Yeah. Later down the road, there was a picture posted of you on a school website or something.

Erin:
Yeah. my website and my web page. Yeah, my class page.

John:
It took, I didn't find that for some time. Well maybe we should leave it there. And the next time we pick it up and we'll talk about what my out was.

Erin:
I no, I want to know what the out was. Now. You had an out, I didn't have an out.

John:
I'm sure you did.

Erin:
I didn't!

John:
I find that hard to believe.

Erin:
I'm not that kind of person.

John:

So after a few emails immediately, you're just like, well here comes

Erin:
You and I. Our first date was, what about a month after you and I had started?

John:
Well, and I also should say my out was if, if I did not find you visually pleasing, that's my, I mean, everything was fine up to that point, but we hadn't seen each other. Right. So I had an out, I had an out for the, if you weren't visually pleasing.

Erin:
So what was the out?

John:
We will talk about that on the next episode of the ambiguous blind podcast.

Erin:
OK!