A line borrowed from one of my favorite goofy comedies, but really, it’s the truth. Let me explain:
My mother has trouble hearing. A lot of trouble hearing. My dad is half-deaf as well, as is all of his siblings. Mom’s hearing loss is from calcium build up and scar tissue in her ear canals. Dad’s hearing loss is from some weird little bone growing over his eardrum. Is it any wonder, then, that I speak loudly?
They both have hearing aids, but they don’t always work (although I think they have selective hearing as well). Funnily enough, they’ve been divorced for 30+ years, but they each have to be spoken to in the same volume: loud. After nearly 34 years of talking to them, if I don’t forcibly moderate my tone, it can seem like I’m just a very loud and obnoxious person. Okay, so I can be loud and obnoxious.
I’m blogging about this because I’m remembering this weekend. My sister and I were shopping at JCPenney when we stumbled across one of our cousins (my dad’s niece). We start talking and I noticed our stepsister (my dad’s stepdaughter) coming up to us. So there we are, four women in the lingerie department, all talking loudly. Why? Because we’ve all had to deal with deaf relatives.
I’m sure other people in the lingerie department would’ve preferred not hearing about the school shopping woes of two women, the smirking happiness of one woman whose children were all out of school, and one unmarried, childless woman who gives her opinion even when it isn’t asked for. But there you have it. We were chatting. Loudly. We said our goodbyes and as we were walking away, my sister whispers, “God, we’re so loud!”
And it’s true. I can whisper. I did it at my brother’s wedding when my uncle fell asleep in the pew next to me.
Me: Wake up!
Uncle: I wasn’t sleeping.
Me: You were snoring!
Uncle: I was clearing my sinuses.
Or like when my sister and I were shopping and I picked up something off of a top shelf.
Me: Oh my God, Mel, I stink!
Sister: No, you don’t.
Me: Yes, I do! My deodorant wore off, I just know it!
Sister: If your deodorant had worn off, I’d be the first to know and tell you.
These are all whispered conversations, by the way. But I can’t have them with my mom or dad. Talking with them via cell phone is a matter of repeating myself half a dozen times as loudly as I dare without shouting. It gets frustrating, but I do try my best not to get impatient with them.
Of course there are all of the hilarious misunderstandings. Like the time my mom was with my aunt and her daughter. Aunt told her daughter she should be ashamed not picking up her own husband some Burger King like he wanted. Daughter said she wasn’t going to. Aunt said something like, “Well I’m going to give it to him!” My mom gasps in horror and says to aunt: “I can’t believe you said you’re going to give him good! You can’t do that with your daughter’s husband!” *giggles* God love her.
So that’s why I’m loud. Are you loud? Do people stare at you and your family when you go places because it seems like you’re all shouting?