Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hearing, Etiquette, and the Single Man

I’ve determined that I attract hearing-impaired men. The problem isn’t necessarily physical; it’s psychological, and sometimes, a matter of etiquette. Some teenagers have the same malady.

“Honey, don’t forget to make your bed and bring your water mug into the kitchen by 6:20,” that’s a.m., I’ve reminded my daughter for nine years during the school year. She has yet to remember these things.

But if I say, “Honey, grab your eyeliner and let’s go out for a bite to eat,” the pencil’s in hand and she’s in the car. Hearing depends on content and underlying desire. Let me pose some scenarios.

For five years a friend has driven by my house two or three times weekly. Why? “Just to see if you’re okay.” He rarely stops and knocks to see if I’m okay—or even alive, for that matter, which is fine because I don’t like to be disturbed during my workday.

During this period we’ve had our home broken into, I’ve had a procedure for precancerous-cell removal, and numerous other ripe cowpies have fallen from the sky—none of which this person learned via drive-bys.

After telling this friend over the phone several times to stop driving by because it’s weird (think stalker), he continues to do it. So I keep my blinds closed. What would you do?

On a few occasions Mr. Drive-by has knocked on my door. “Gee, I hope I didn’t bother you.” Not at all. Just trying to work. “I was wondering if you could take a look at this and tell me what you think. It should only take a half hour.” Etiquette. Maybe I need to be more complete when I say things—not that they’d be heard.

I write, edit, research, and design from home and need to focus. Some think that because I work from home, I have more discretionary time. Not true.

It’s true that I spend much less time in my car (3,559 miles in 2008), less time shopping (’cause I don’t like to shop and have no money), and less time conversing with others during the workday than most. But I also do my own home repair, have too many animals to clean up after, and have to look for missing mugs.

Being hearing impaired could be a benefit. Often I don’t answer the phone or door, because they might interrupt my little train of thought. And once my engine veers off the track, it’s difficult to get the little choo-choo chuggin’ again.

Now what was I saying?

I’ve also made it known to my friends that I go to bed early because I get up early. Where etiquette states not to call after 9:00 p.m., I tell friends I’m a little old lady who goes to bed at 8:30. I jump on my warm heating pad and read.

But there’s a person who not only used to call every day, every day, but calls after 9:15 p.m., not because he’s in jail and needs to be bailed out, or he’s drunk and needs a ride home, or even that he’s depressed and feels like going back to his wife. He just wants to hear my voice.

But after my saying “hello,” he begins an incessant oratory. I hear about how he’s still in love with the wife he’s divorcing, his actions on lawsuits, his financial dealings. This man doesn’t care about me and knows very little about me. That would take his questioning me and my being permitted to answer. If he were to ask me a question, I’d think I’d have lost my hearing and be speechless.

Dad once said, “You can tell a gentleman by asking him questions. Then, if he turns to you, asks you questions, and appears genuinely interested, you might have a gentleman before you.”

Say what?

(Puzzle pieces 33 and 34 of 38.)

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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  1. Have you read up on the subject of co-dependency?

  2. Yes, of course! Years ago when codependency made its debut, I threw more people in the pot. Now we just have parties and lean on one another ; )
    Hope you're behaving yourself and your body's feeling okay.


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