Is This You? The ears have it

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The phone rang and after checking the caller ID my other half decided it was nobody he knew so — he answered it. I don’t understand that. Because then when the caller turns out to be a salesman or some other type of robo-call, on the walk back to his chair there’s rumbling and grumbling about boiler rooms full of men and women bilking money out of lonely people. Does this sound familiar at all?

Recently one call in particular got my attention. My other half answered the phone and he sat and was listening — and listening — and listening. He got a questioning look on his face and finally said to the caller, “I have no idea what you are saying. Here is my wife, talk to her,” and he handed me the phone. He said he couldn’t understand the caller. She was apparently talking too fast.

Yes, too fast. Not another language, or speaking too soft to hear, or mumbled and garbled from a bad connection. But too fast. So I took the phone, listened for a second or two and hung up on the obnoxious caller who without even a hint of taking a breath or letting anyone get a word in edgewise, wanted to sell us some new doohickey that we couldn’t live without. Click!

But the talking too fast thing. Talking too fast to understand. Saying words in a line of sounds of vowels and consonants making words that flow from a mouth at such a rate it’s indistinguishable to the ears that are listening. This happens to me more and more as I seem to add years to my ears. I haven’t ruled out I need a hearing device. I wouldn’t be opposed to one, I just don’t think, in our two-person relationship, it’s me who needs to go to the hearing specialist. Ah, finally we’re there — hearing and the lack of it.

Seems we both seem to say, “Huh,” more than we used to. I find I have to calmly holler to him to wait until I’m in the same room with him when he’s talking to me. I have to do this — a lot.

His previously somewhat cute at times, selective hearing has become much closer to non-hearing, and not on purpose. So what to do about this double hearing problem?

Well, first we must come to a compromise we both go to the ear/hearing center together. At the same time. On the same day. See, I know enough to know if I say I will go if he will go he will go after me — like in the next century. Just as soon as we agree on this one thing we will be on the way to better ear health and the decibel level in our home will come down to a dull roar instead of every conversation sounding like a 747 taking off.

But until then I was thinking of things to increase the hearing in our house. First of all, if I remember right, isn’t it true ears never stop growing? Well, I used to believe I had ears as petite as Tinkerbell’s. But just looking in the mirror and across the living room at him, we both have normal sized Dumbo flappers on the sides of our heads. They’re going to have to hurry and grow before we lose our voices from repeating everything we say!

I have a friend who has hearing helpers. I asked the spouse if when it became clear one of them needed hearing help, if the one with the loss actually talked quieter. The answer was an unexpected but resounding, YES! I asked that because I don’t really think I need hearing help, I think he does and because of that loss he’s talking much, much quieter. Like he’s talking through a goose down pillow quiet. Now that it’s quiet. No wonder I can’t hear him, huh?

He of course says no, it’s my hearing. But then when I say he doesn’t hear me his comeback is I never told him whatever it is we’re discussing. Thus making me feel I’m losing my mind. Maybe I just thought I told him something. What a trip this hearing adventure is.

I don’t know what the final outcome will be in regards to resolving to our muffled “pillow talk.” It has been going on for more time than we either will admit. Yes, our TV is loud. Our radio in the car is loud. We can’t tell if that noise is the doorbell or the smoke alarm. We say, “You first,” when we see a hearing clinic in a neighboring town. So far the nay vote to stop and go on in has always won. So it seems in our home when it comes to a vote, truly, the ears have it.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS is on Kindle. Share with her at


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