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You Weren’t Listening, Were You!

July 26, 2019

A man was concerned that his wife might be losing her hearing. So, she agreed to a test. She stood facing the wall in their living room. He stoood on the opposite side of the room and asked in a normal tone of voice, “Can you hear me?”

She didn’t respond.

So, he moved to the midpoint of the room. “Now, can you hear me?”

Still no response.

Finally, he stood right behind her. “Can you hear me now?”

“For the third time, yes!”

I had a hearing problem when I was a little kid. My mother suspected something might be wrong and did a test similar to the joke above. But, the results were different. She silently walked up behind me and asked,

Rodney, do you want a cookie?

What four-year old wouldn’t want a cookie?

I didn’t. At least I didn’t respond.

I went off to the Washington State University audiology lab. A very old woman, who was probably 20 years old, sent tones through a set of headphones. If I noticed the tones correctly, I got an M&M. If I missed it, she took an M&M back. I quickly learned to eat the M&Ms as soon as she gave them to me. I also learned to recognize the tones.

I never figured out what the problem was with my hearing. I don’t ever remember having my hearing tested like that again. I’ve always had an issue with too much background noise. I like music louder than my lovely wife.

And as I’ve gotten older, I noticed people started to mumble more. Why can’t they just speak up? It’s really annoying. And inconvenient.

Anyway, this week I had a problem. It was a scheduling problem. My family went on a vacation to a location that didn’t have wifi. We didn’t really talk about the fact that it didn’t have wifi when we set it all up. In fact, my lovely wife planned the vacation without really explaining it too me. At least I don’t think she explained it to me.

It’s been a very busy summer so far. I’ve gone on three week long trips. I’m in the middle of several projects. I’m swamped with work and home and I’m trying to juggle everything. Occasionally, some things get missed.

Like the information that a campground miles up into the High Uinta Mountains wouldn’t have wifi and wouldn’t have cell phone access.

Was I not listening or did she not tell me? My guess is that I probably missed it. But, just as being in denial means you don’t actually know you’re in denial, not having heard her, means I don’t know if she actually said it.

But, she probably did.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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