The other day I was standing in line to buy a coffee, when the man beside me said, “They’re gonna get you!” Naturally I thought he was just a crazy person and ignored him. Once I had my coffee in hand and was headed out the door, I realized that he had actually said, “That color is great on you!” As I had on a bright turquoise top that really did look good on me, I felt badly that I hadn’t acknowledged a very nice compliment. But honestly? All I heard was “They’re gonna get you!”
This is happening more and more, and I’m starting to think that it isn’t just me losing my hearing. When I go through the drive-through for a “senior small black coffee” (LOVE senior discounts!), what I hear the person saying as they hand me the coffee is, “haggooday.” I know now that they are saying “Have a good day.” No one seems to be pushing good enunciation these days; there seems to be a lot of what I’d call “lazy speak.” And please, do NOT get up my nose about political correctness here–if more than one person simply cannot understand you, then you need to speak more clearly! I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we at least make an effort to understand each other and to be understood.
I used to complain about how loud my grandparents’ TV was; honestly, you could hear it halfway down the driveway. But I get it now. The Crankee Yankee and I now turn our own TV up, mostly to see if we can make sense of what people are saying. Wonderful John Caviezel, lately of “Person of Interest” fame, speaks in a very low voice in his character on the show. Even the Crankee Yankee, a confirmed lifetime mumbler himself, can’t always understand him.
Speaking of which, the Crankee Yankee and I have been married for over 12 years, and I have lost count of the gozillions of times I’ve hollered after him, “WHAT??” He is a combination low speaker, mumbler and evidently thinks I can hear him through his back. Shoot, I can’t always understand him when he is standing right in front of me; how does he imagine I can hear him when he turns around and walks away–still talking (mumbling) to me??
All the ads on TV for inexpensive gadgets and doodads to help your hearing are starting to look pretty good to me. These days I feel about one tick away from carrying around an old-fashioned ear horn. As a child I used to wonder why older people kept asking me to speak up. Let’s just say that I get it now–all too well!