Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

At least, that’s what I think you said.

Dropping items off at the Santa Clarita Laundry Center yesterday turned out to be an ear-opening experience.


“Okay, that’s two queen comforters to be washed.  I’ll just enter this into the computer.  What is your last name?”










“No.  K-A-T-Zeeeee.”




Sigh.  Clearly, one of us was having issues.  For a moment, I thought it was because I was not speaking slowly and clearly enough.  Then, I thought either the young man behind the counter was having a language-barrier moment or maybe just experiencing the selective hearing that comes from being a teenager.  No matter, in order to ultimately solve this Whose-on-First exchange I had to write my name for him to C.  I mean, see/Z.


Poor kid’s cheeks were on fire from this wacky discussion, so I tried to be helpful and show him that anybody could have made this kind of mistake.  I excitedly explained to him that really, almost one-third of our alphabet could be mistaken for one another, like they could be in their own little letter witness protection program!  I flipped my receipt over and quickly wrote out all of the doppelganger letters: B! C! D! E! G! P! T! V! Z!  The young man backed slowly away from the counter and politely excused himself. 


I’ve really got to stop drinking coffee before I run errands.


On the drive home I thought about how the ears of the youth and the ears of the aged have an awful lot in common when it comes to auditory omission.  I have a couple of elderly relatives who often engage me in long, entertaining conversations – long because half of the time is spent with the never-ending volley of me having to repeat my answers as they constantly reply “Huh?” and entertaining because they refuse to acknowledge that this dance is even taking place.  Plus, over the years they have employed dozens of people from various countries and the combination of hearing loss and colorful dialects make for a great ring side seat for me.


My spouse, who is neither a teen nor a senior, seems to suffer from a different form of audio-deficit but, with similar results of information lost.  Over time, though I have come to realize that his hearing loss is subject-specific.  For example, when speaking to him about football or politics his hearing is super sharp, to the point of making corrections of any erroneous information he catches mid-sentence.  However, he often claims to have not heard a word I say when I communicate information about my day, the children or funny banter with the postman.  A helpful friend (male) suggested that perhaps his ears weren’t tuned to hear me drone (well, Mr. Fancy Pants, I’m a busy bee that’s what we do).


Maybe that’s why, in my heart, I like the written word best.  Information gets related most efficiently and can always be referred back to in a letter, email or fax.  There’s none of this, “Oh, you didn’t tell me that!” or “I guess I didn’t hear that” monkey business.  Although, with all the typos out there, I believe there’s still room for misinterpreting that, too. To. Two. 2.

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