There was an interesting Miss Manners column over the weekend which caused me to reflect on my own experience in social situations as a person who cannot hear in noisy environments. The advice seeker had a couple of friends who preferred silence when they go out to dine and she was frustrated and perplexed about the situation, turning to Miss Manners for counsel. I know this scenario all too well and found myself in a similar position over the weekend at a trampoline park birthday party. If you’ve been to one of these, you know what I’m talking about.
I cannot hear. Let me just put that out there. That’s not completely true because I’ve gone to lengths to improve my hearing over the last several years. About 11 years ago, when I returned to work from maternity leave, I found myself with a new boss, a boss who was a soft talker. I thought maybe the last twelve months I’d spent at home with my child had left my hearing for the worse, with the crying, screaming and tantrums that had been occurring. I gave it a few weeks but finally decided to address it with an ENT. I was 40 years old and if I needed hearing aids, so be it.