Thursday, August 20, 2009

Journal of Living Lady #354b

Nancy White Kelly

Huh? What did you say?

The dog needs braces? The dog is a racist? The dog likes to race.


Ever had a similar dialog with your spouse?

Buddy’s hearing loss over the last few years has gotten progressively worse. It passed the funny stage long ago. Spousal frustration is more like it, especially when my lovable, but stubborn husband won’t wear his hearing aids.

Sometimes Buddy nods when I am speaking to him, pretending to hear but knowing better than to ask what I said the third time. My patience wears thin with Buddy when he doesn’t cooperate by wearing those hearing devices that he just had to have.

Three years ago Buddy went on a tangent about wanting hearing aids. I didn’t doubt that he needed them. But I know my man. We’d buy those expensive ear plugs and in no time the volume-enhancing gadgets would end up in the bureau drawer.

Buddy promised that he would wear them faithfully. Though it was a lot of money for us retirees, I gave in. It might save our other-wise stable and happy marriage.

Buddy got the hearing aids. He hated them from the start. He said that they didn’t fit right and he had difficulty adjusting the tiny knobs. One Sunday, in the midst of the pastor’s sermon, the annoying aids repeatedly screamed worse than a high-pitched little girl.

Sure enough. Just as I predicted, the hearing aids stayed in Buddy’s underwear drawer most of the time. Thereafter, Buddy insisted that I mumbled. I complained that he wasn’t listening. Our daily communication suffered.

Finally I consented to his getting a better set of hearing aids. It took a few weeks, but they finally arrived. He liked them. I liked them.

Then I suddenly noticed the incessant “huhs” again. He meekly admitted that he had lost the new pair. To add insult to grief, he had also misplaced his cell phone.

The hunt began. We checked anywhere he might have stuck the little black pouch that housed the hearing aids and for the little blue case that housed his cell phone. No success.

This usually jovial husband of mine became depressed. No cell phone. No hearing aids. For a non-stop, talkative man like my Buddy, life was intolerable.

Last week the hearing specialist fitted Buddy with hearing aids, pair 3. They are exactly like the second pair. For now, Buddy is a happy camper. I am a happy spouse who again enjoys hearing humor.

During a January revival an evangelist asked the people in line what they needed. One man's request was for his hearing. The evangelist put his hand on the man’s ear, prayed for him and then asked him, "How's your hearing?"

The man replied, "I don't know. It's not until next Tuesday.”

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