Is it just me or does it seem as if men suffer from hearing loss 10 times more than the women in their lives? That’s certainly true of the men with whom I associate– including my two sons who habitually complain of not being able to hear out of whichever side I’m sitting on.
I’m growing increasingly suspicious that all this hearing loss is “faked” a majority of the time. Last weekend I spent some time in Memphis with two of my old high school boy friends. Now hold on. It was completely innocent. They were the ones that got away, but I wasn’t trying to rekindle anything because their wives were present the entire time.
What struck me was that initially the guys jockeyed to sit next to me so their good ears were turned my way. They were hanging on to my every word. That lasted about 15 minutes when it became obvious I could ramble with the best of them. They glazed over and became restless. I’m pretty sure they shuffled around so that their “bad ears’ were on my side. Suddenly I was repeating everything two or three times and shouting as loudly as vocal cords would allow. I became so exhausted that I just gave up which was likely the effect they were going for.
I’m pretty sure music, sports and television were all invented so men and women wouldn’t have to talk to each other.
This male hearing thing is complicated by new data which shows women talk almost three times more than men using an average of 20,000 words a day, compared to the mere 7,000 uttered by men. Talk about the “prattle of the sexes.” It’s a problem, especially among the older crowd I seem to be hanging out with lately.
The data suggest women have an eight-lane superhighway for formulating their speech patterns while men have a small country road. Women also speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat and actually get a buzz out of hearing their own voices. I know I do.
I must admit that hearing loss can generate a goldmine of laughs, especially for those who don’t have it. I was attending the dug-out club dinner for the Mississippi State baseball team last week. All three men at the table ignored everything I said which their wives apologetically attributed to hearing loss. I bragged that my date had just installed a new superdooper hearing aid.
My friend Eunice asked him, “Do you have them in both?” The fella responded that he would love a remote.” He thought she asked if he had a remote control for his hearing aids – I guess so he could just cut the sound when conversations get too boring.
I got him back though. When we got back to my house I asked “the fella” to get me some ice out of the icemaker. He went screaming out of the room. He later said the ice maker sounded like an avalanche. I was just testing to make sure he had them on.
In a committee meeting lately, “the fella” arrived late. I bragged that I had brought the topic up. He responded, “You brought your coffee cup?”
I rolled my eyes and shut my mouth. See how that works?
In Memphis, I asked my old boyfriend’s wife to confirm that he was losing his hearing. She responded, “Things haven’t changed that much. Only difference is, before, he didn’t listen. Now, he can’t.”