Friday, April 23, 2010


I am not proud of this fact, but I have a very loud voice and an even louder laugh. As a matter of fact, my laugh is so loud and so cackling that if I am outside and I get to laughing, I check the skies for fear of drawing seagulls. That being said, it is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine if I say something that is not heard because there are only two reasons for not hearing me - 1) not listening 2) deafness.

Obviously, you can't be angry about the second one, unless that person REFUSES to do something about it (ie. hearing tests and hearing aids) and you have to hold all of your conversations with that person at a shouting level that borders on violent and draws stares and dirty looks.

Such is the problem with my Uncle Ronnie and most of the parental generation of my family. They are victims of what my brother likes to refer to as ears that are "strictly ornamental". In the case of my Uncle Ronnie, the years that he spent with his head under the hood of a car, running a pneumatic drill and filing down metal parts has left his hearing at (my estimate) at about 25%. It has been failing gradually since his 50's, when he could still hear our pleas to have it checked and to do something about it.

This year, about a week before Easter my mom called him and invited him to dinner at 3PM on Easter, which he enthusiastically accepted. On Easter Sunday, we pulled the ham out of the oven and looked up at the clock. It was 3:15. Where was Ronnie? It was not like him to be late.

At 3:30 we picked up the phone and called his house. Not there.
What to do? Was he asleep? Did he forget? Was he OK? By 3:45 it was clear that he was not coming and we sat down to dinner.

After dinner was cleared away and the kids had found their eggs and opened their baskets, we sat down to dessert and made another call to Ronnie. This time, he picked up the phone. My brother asked "Ronnie? Where are you?". In a bit of a tizzy, Ronnie replied "I sat and sat in front of your house and tried the door and the bell, but you never answered.". My brother shouted into the phone for maximum volume that no one came to my mother's door at any time during the day. At this point Ronnie realized that he wasn't talking to his brother, but his nephew. Seems that when my mom called Ronnie to invite him, he assumed that it was my father's wife Sandra. And since my mom hasn't had her ears checked either, she missed it when HE said "OK, see you Sunday Sandie".

31 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

Menopausal New Mom said...

Yes so annoying. My mom refuses to get her ears checked and can only hear a conversation as long as there is no background noise in the room, ie TV, radio, my 4 year old, you get the picture. I hate having to shout at her but I have to say, she's getting pretty good at reading lips for someone who "doesn't have a hearing problem"

hokgardner said...

My dad and his brothers all have hearing loss - as did their mother and grandmother. So far, only one of them, my dad's oldest younger brother, has done a dang thing about it. We chase after my dad on a regular basis about getting his hearing checked, but he has yet to do anything about it. Sigh.

Carol said...

I remember when my grandmother's hearing was going and any time you talked to her, no matter which side of her you were on, she would say "Speak up, you're talking in my bad ear" Apparently she only had one bad ear, but it was mobile!

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

I have been advocating for years that ASL should be taught in all schools. Well, I guess that wouldn't help on the phone but I sure get tired of the mumble mouths around me forever talking with their hands over their mouth and whispering. How sick is that? I sound like a parrot...what, what, what, what??

linlah said...

My dad has had ornamenatal ears for as long as I can remember and just last year my mothers became ornamental too.

foxy said...

My husband is going to be the one with 25% hearing soon - and we're going to be the little old couple that's yelling every word at each other because they can't hear a word the other is saying otherwise. I can't say I'm really looking forward to that time.

Arizona Mamma said...

I am not quiet either...not by any stretch. Yet my husband always has trouble hearing me. Until I say something like "Well, I'll just go ahead and drill it together myself." That gets him moving.

The Blue Zoo said...

Aw, poor guy! LOL But it makes for a great story!

3LittleMonkeys said...

I am a really quiet talker. Most people are always asking, "pardon?" when I speak! I probably frustrate them to all hell. Oh well, just listen up, dangit.

Sara said...

God help me, this is so familiar it hurts.

My grandpa has a hearing aid, BUT he never gets it cleaned. Therefore, it doesn't work properly and he still can't hear shit.

Having a conversation with him is often painful/amusing, except it's really obvious when he has no idea what you just said and you feel bad repeating it a 7th time.


Lin said...

Oh, criminy, that is some family you've got there DG! I'd want to kill all of them!!!

I've got a really low voice and one that is loud. I have gotten in trouble my whole life for being "too loud". Now I have to be really careful as I know it isn't always a good thing. Like you, it annoys the crap out of me when someone says they didn't hear me. Yeah, right.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Menopausal New Mom - I spent an entire weekend with my mother telling me that I have to be looking at her for her to hear. Read lips much?

HOk Gardener - Sounds like this is a problem that a lot of us are facing. Are stubborn parents our paybacks for being rotten kids?

Carol - Could you repeat that in my other ear?

Happy Hour - At this point it would be easier to just learn it and use e-mail.

Linlah - Sounds like it will be a festive christmas at your house, what with all the ornaments.

Foxy - My husband and I are that couple now and we have perfect hearing.

AZ Mamma - That's because he has husband hearing. A hearing issue all unto itself.

Blue Zoo - Yeah, poor counfused Uncle Ronnie. Such a character.

3 Little Monkeys - I wish I was more quiet.

Sara - Oy is the perfect word. It's exasperating.

Lin - You would mow them down for sure. Very frustrating.

Kat said...

Oh good grief!! LOL

MiMi said...

Oh geez, I have a piercing laugh. It's kinda bad.
My dad can't hear worth shit. He worked in a mill forever and it was really he always talks really loud too. It can be funny or embarrassing depending on where we are. :)

Linda Medrano said...

This is so awful (funny though!). Poor guy! I have a friend who has a very loud voice, and nobody wants to tell her that she needs to get her hearing checked!

Marla said...

Holy Cow! LOL Could be all those years of gun toting too. Poor Uncle Ronnie.

My dad was so hard of hearing, we had to practically scream to be heard. Then he'd ask why we were yelling. Geesh!

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

What a funny story! I like a loud voice. I have nerve deafness from...well years of listening to loud music. Now I have to listen to it even louder. I may be the only mom on earth whose teenagers tell her to turn the music down, it's too loud! I just say "what?, you know I can't hear you if you aren't facing me!"I'm hoping someone will get me a hearing aid for my birthday.

Jen Chandler said...


So good to "hear" from you (sorry, I couldn't resist :).

I'm hoping to be back in blogland in about a week. I just wanted to drop by and say hello. I hope all is well!

Happy weekend,

Allyson said...

Oh heavens to betsy...that's a HOT mess!! Although I'm totally stealing "ornamental ears" because up until about a year ago, that's what my dad had. I'm not saying it's his fault...he had a grenade go off in his tank in Vietnam...I'm just saying the VA exists for a reason and perhaps wearing a hearing aid has nothing to do with pride and everything to do with hearing your daughter. Here's to hoping they put those ears back to use. I spent a LOT of my early 30's repeating myself to Dad...which I think has made me more than a little crazy. May have to send him the bill for that later.

KK said...

I'm an audiologist and I can't even get my mom to wear hearing aids!

Lady Hill said...

Oh man. That reminds me so much of my grandmother. She was the same way.
My dad is now in his early 70's and I really think he needs to get his hearing checked as well since the neighbors can hear everything he watches on tv but he's too proud/stubborn to do anything about it.

I'm your newest follower btw! I hope you'll stop by my blog and say hello.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Kat - That's a nice way to put it! I am more likely to say #($*&@!

MiMi - Sit near me any time. I have no issue with a loud laugh.

Linda - It's a pain in the buttocks.

Marla - Oh yes! The guns are definitely a contributor.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded - At least you're willing to get one. Can you talk to my mom?

Jen - Hi there! Good to 'hear' from you too!

Allyson - Great idea. I may bill back for my therapy too ( as soon as I find the right therapist for my particular brand of crazy).

KK - Really? What an interesting career!

Lady Hill - Welcome! So happy to have you here.

Eternally Distracted said...

Arghhhhh bless him, that is such a sweet story... I hope he got some dinner in the end?

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

ED - He is over 50 miles away from us and does not drive at night, so we owe him one. We'll make good on it!

blueviolet said...

My ears are both clogged right now and so I'm starting to wonder what I've been missing over the weekend...

Aunt Juicebox said...

I actually suffer from the opposite, my hearing is too acute. The least little noise will disturb my sleep, and of course I can hear every move the neighbors upstairs make. However, without my glasses, I wouldn't recognize my own kid if she's more than 5 feet away.

Candice said...

Bahahaha, still, that's pretty effing hilarious.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

My husband's Grandmother Sylvia (She's 92) met her current boyfriend Nat (He's 96) because he was her hearing aid salesman. And he lives in Boca. And he still drives. Now that's a catch!
Take note ladies.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Blue Violet - You might want to check you answering machine for dinner invitations.

Aunt Juicebox - Not being able to sleep is a great fear of mine. I love sleeping and sleep through most things (for better or worse)

Candice - It's classic Uncle Ronnie.

LPR - Grandma Sylvia sounds amazing.

miss jo said...

OMG ! Poor Uncle Ronnie and his ornamental ears. That's an Easter no one is going to forget !

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