Friends: Lend Me Your Ears!


What you hear never seems to be as important as what may escape your ears.

Case in point. The television is an ongoing battle every night. I am accused of keeping the volume too high. Others like it so low, you can’t follow the dialogue.

There’s no happy medium.

So the remote goes through two pairs of hands and is often hidden from view, turning the whole ordeal into a delirious scavenger hunt.

I need the remote to control the sound. Watching a movie takes a little extra calculation. One minute, you’ve got the sound at a reasonably audible mode when, all of a sudden, the music or noise sends you reeling off the sofa. Commercials are like that.

“Will you turn that darn thing down?” comes another firm warning. “Are you deaf or what?”

It isn’t the first time people have accused me of going deaf. Did they ever think I might be ignoring them?

People who usually talk non-stop never seem to come up for air. They have a difficult time engaging the listener who tries to act halfway interested. I have friends like that who pretend to hear you but seem to be miles away from the conversation.

There’s a cousin who’s so loud, it’s annoying. He sticks his nose into your face and babbles along like a hurricane with gusts up to 180 words a minute. Sometimes, you have to tune him out.

I have a formula that works. Listen with your eyes. If you want to hear something, keep both eyes open. I’m not talking sign language here. Gesturing. Facial expressions. They go a long way.

Still, it doesn’t solve the TV dilemma.

The other day, I ran across a “Wanted” ad in the local paper. The Miracle-Ear Hearing Centers are looking for qualified people to test their latest product.

So here’s the catch. You must have difficult hearing and understanding background noise. Your hearing must fall in the range of a hearing aid. Was this for me?

They told me I would be able to walk into their office and walk out hearing. Candidates are asked to evaluate the instrument, which features the latest advanced digital hearing solution. It’s said to be the smallest device known.

My friend has one. He has difficulty hearing. Sometimes he forgets to change the battery. Other times he’s so embarrassed, he’ll leave it home.

With others I know, they refuse to wear a hearing aid because they already hear more than they can understand. I’d rather take my chances than go around cupping my ear like some people. I found myself doing that once or twice. It only heightened the chagrin.

Cupping you ear is a dead give-away. It’s like walking around with a horn in your ear. Actually, one of the best hearing aids you can possibly have is an attentive listener who goes along with everything you say.

I grew up with these words of wisdom from a sage. My grandmother was always one to utter platitudes. She sat me down one day after a shouting match with my parents over things that matter most for teens. They were trying to drive some sense into me.

“Think of the wise old owl who lived in an oak,” Grammy said. “The more he saw, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why can’t we be like that wise old bird?”

Not a day goes by when I don’t get befuddled over what people are trying to tell me. Like last weekend when we were entertaining guests at our cottage and mixing drinks.

“Do you have the lime?” came the request

I glanced at the clock and said, “One-thirty.”

“Not the time. Lime. We’re adding it to our gin and tonics.”

People tell me to have my ears checked and cleaned out. They say the wax builds up in your drums and impedes your hearing. Somehow, I never take the time.

It’s true. We don’t act accordingly until it’s too late and we have a problem. Hearing is one aspect of your anatomy that’s taken for granted. Like sound, speech, and vision, our faculties are in perfect order. Sometimes awry. Other times unpredictable. But consistent with everyday life.

Of all my precious gifts, there is nothing more valuable than my health. A journalism colleague of mine was born blind and never knew the benefits of sight. Chuck Snow was probably the best reporter I ever worked with. He was flawless on the keyboard and developed his other faculties beyond normalcy.

What’s more, he developed a photographic memory that came in useful when he was writing obits and chasing down stories. I was often his eyes and he was my voice.

We made a great team.

The post Friends: Lend Me Your Ears! appeared first on Armenian Weekly.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Friends: Lend Me Your Ears!

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