Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

Brenda and I have been married nearly 41 years.  We have communicated (and not communicated) a lot over the years.  We’ve pretty much understood each other.

She knew what I meant when I stormed out of the room.  I always knew when she meant when she said if I didn’t sit down and shut up I’d die a slow and painful death.

Now, she thinks we might need a translator.  Brenda says it’s because I’m hard of hearing.  I know that’s not true.  It’s usually because she talks with her mouth closed or speaks to me five rooms away and expects me to comprehend.

We were eating out one evening and the waitress came by and asked, “Do you need anything else?”.  I said no thank you and got up to leave. Brenda said, “That wasn’t very nice.  I thought she gave good service.”  “She did,” I answered, “and I tipped her 20%.”  “Then why did you say ‘no’ when she asked you if the service was good?”  “Because that’s not what she asked.  She asked if we needed anything else.”  We laughed, but this isn’t an isolated incident.

When I don’t hear her when she mumbles incoherently under her breath, she proclaims, “You’re in your own little world. You don’t hear anything.”  I silently wondered why that was a problem, as I’ve been in my own little world since birth.  But, I figured her thinking I couldn’t hear was better than her thinking I wasn’t paying attention.

My hearing is fine.  It’s just that Brenda thinks I should hang on her every word while she’s in the living room and I’m in the far corner of the back yard.  The other day she asked me, “Did you call Rob back today?”  I answered, “I didn’t know he had called to start with, so “no” I didn’t call him back.”

“I told you this morning that he called,” she argued.

“No you didn’t.  Sometimes you think you tell me things that you don’t tell me. I don’t hear what you say because you don’t say it when I’m around.  And sometimes you mumble.”  I wanted to touch all my bases.

“I don’t buy that,” she said a bit too quickly.  “You use that as an excuse!”

“Who’s a fat recluse?!?!?”

“See what I’m saying? You don’t half listen, then you jump to conclusions.”

“You’re completely off base,” I snapped.  “And I don’t create confusion. “

I can hear perfectly well.  Just about all the time.  I am not old, I don’t feel old, and I don’t think of myself as old.  But, more and more people do mumble.  They don’t enunciate as clearly as they used to.  

The other day I told her, “Honey I like those linen pants.”

“You think I’m in a trance?”

“You need your hearing checked.”

She looked at me dumbfounded.  “I’ve got an earring in my neck?”

My wife thinks we need a translator – an impartial third party who won’t take sides.  That's not necessary.  Our conversations are much more interesting on our own.

Date of Blog Story: 
March 18, 2009

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