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Old ears, the secret to a happy marriage

My husband and I have a great marriage and I think it all boils down to great miscommunication. If I didn’t hear him tell me he loves me, it’s because my hearing is bad, not because he didn’t say it.

Fortunately for my husband and I, there is a benefit to the hearing loss that comes with aging. We are a great source of amusement for each other and our kids. It’s not only that we can’t hear; it’s that we sometimes hear things that weren’t actually said.

Last Christmas I had an idea for our gift exchange, something both my husband and I would love. He was soaking in the hot tub in the back yard, so I headed out to have a conversation.

“I hate scrubbing floors and you hate vacuuming so let’s buy each other those little robot things that vacuum and scrub for Christmas. I researched and they have names, Scooba and Roomba.”

His face lit up and he said, “That’s a great idea! But I thought you didn’t like scuba diving.”

“Huh?” said I.

“Scuba diving,” he yelled, “I thought you didn’t like it.”

I reached down and flicked off the jets in the hot tub. “What do you think I said, Jim?”

“That we should go to Aruba and scuba dive for Christmas?”

It’s probably also a good thing that I can’t always hear my kids and they, of course, are amazing at not hearing me! Yesterday, for the hundredth time, I asked my son to clean his room. I may have screamed the request.

His response, “Geez Mom, a little cranky since you quit smoking?”

“No, Kevin, I’m not cranky because I quit smoking. I’m cranky because you left a dinner plate on the floor in there and the leftovers grew and grew and came to life and now it wants my car keys.”

I called my husband to dinner the other night and he replied, “I’m coming, you old witch.”

Naturally I was holding his soup bowl in a threatening manner when he arrived in the kitchen.

“What?” said he.

“Repeat what you just said to me.”

“What I said was, ‘I’m coming, just one more pitch.’  I was watching the ball game, couldn’t you hear it?”

“Hear it? The neighbors called and asked me to get you to hold the TV up to the window, seeings as how they had to hear the game, they figured they might as well watch it, too.”

“Who called you? The Reyburns?”

“The neighbors!” I shrieked.

“What did they want?”

As soon as I am done writing this, I am calling one of those hearing aid places. We won’t wear them all the time as that would suck some joy from life.

— Sharon Gerger

Sharon Gerger is an award-winning writer with work published in New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Harpe…okay, that’s all balderdash.  She writes a lot and sometimes people publish her work and that fills her with bliss.  If they happen to pay her; well, good-gosh-galoshes, she gets sorta delirious.

Reflections of Erma