Tag Archives: “selective hearing”

Matching Ears

This post comes from Inky, our Real Blonde! guest writer. So just ignore the NQB “signature” that appears under the date. It’s a programming thing. Rather than fight it, we’ve chosen to ignore it. We’ll let you know up-front when Real Blonde is writing.

Nobody prepared me for this. Certainly not my Nordic family. To start with, I am married to an American – Italian man, which means that nothing is held back and he needs to be heard.

We’ve reached the age where ears play a major role in our lives. We just came home from dinner with friends at a local restaurant. Here’s what happened.

Can you hear me?
I'm all ears, honey

We checked in with the 23 year-old hostess and informed her that we would like to be seated where the noise level was manageable because of bad ears. She had no clue about Old Man Ears.

“Matching ears ” is an essential part of restaurant life in our world. That, and the location of the air conditioner, which I will get into later.

The men tell us which ear is the good one and which one bad. The wife should sit next to the bad ear because she really doesn’t have anything new to say to the husband anyway. When we are all matched up, ears aligned to the right listeners, the wives sit down in assigned places. (With the ear issue organized, we turn our focus on whether there’s an air conditioner blowing on anybody’s eyeballs or giving anybody a stiff neck. These things don’t happen to anybody under 40.)

My husband’s right ear is bad, which makes it hard on me when he drives and I am saying something brilliant. Hearing “What?” three times (getting louder each time) takes away some of my spontaneous brilliance and after awhile I just ask myself “Do I really want to say this three times?” The answer is usually “No.” I give up.

Another common ear thing that happens is when you are three rooms away from your husband and you hear “Have you seen my keys?”

You answer, truthfully, “No. I have no idea where they are.”

Then you hear a cranky voice, “How do you expect me to hear you from three rooms away?!?!”

Of course, if you are five rooms away and whisper, “Do you want to have wild, uninhibited sex, anything goes?” The ear thing clears up in a second.