I went into town this morning to do my weekly shop. We live out in the country so I usually keep it to a once a week trip.
Coming home, just as I was about to leave town, I decided that I would buy a Chinese takeaway for lunch. Hubby was going off fishing in the afternoon so a few leftovers would make a nice late night snack as he fished into the evening.
So I went into the takeaway, placed my order – sweet and sour pork, chicken chow mien and fried rice, if you must know – and sat down to wait. Another woman came in, placed her order, sat down on the other side of the shop, turned to me and said, “mumble, mumble mumble?” jerked her head at a sign and scowled at it.
Yep – that’s right. I’d forgotten to put my hearing aid in. After a lifetime with out one I still have to consciously remember to put it in.
So I did what we all do. I examined the sign for a clue as to what she was referring to .
Not much to go on. I don’t follow the ups and downs of the chicken wing market but I guessed that was a reasonable price. But there was clearly something she wasn’t happy about.
So I raised my eyebrows and said “Really!” in a voice that hopefully covered every situation from “they haven’t got them in stock so why don’t they take the sign down” to “I ordered them last night and there was a cockroach the size of a cat amongst them”.
My voice must have conveyed the right sort of response because she grinned at me, raised her hand to shield her mouth in a parody of “don’t let them hear me” and said “mumble , mumble mumble” and laughed.
I laughed back.
She seemed content. A moment later my order arrived and I was gone.
I’ve been through that situation a hundred times over the years. sometimes I get it right – other times, I sense I’ve got it wrong and need to ‘fess up that I didn’t hear and could the person please repeat it.
It’s a lonely experience when you frequently miss the words. I hear the words but I can’t make sense of them. They’re a meaningless jumble of noise. Some people’s voices are worse than others. There are some people that I understand everything they say. Others, I’m forever having to ask them to say it again or try to bluff my way through. Clearly it is to do with the pitch of their voice.
I haven’t worn my new hearing aid out yet but must remember next time I go to town. It is certainly making a big difference when my husband speaks to me. Although now he tells me off if I haven’t got it in!
For some reason I feel a little self-conscious about going out with it although it is very discreet.
But I must.
Maybe the woman was telling me “should have ordered the chicken wings – last night I found a cockroach in the sweet and sour pork and fried rice!”