Explain to Me What it Sounds Like

Earlier this week I was talking to a friend of mine while outside work after classes. We were just talking about unimportant trivia; the kind of chit-chat that co-workers/moms/teachers tend to find themselves talking about when they find someone who “gets” them.

Some geese flew overhead. I spotted them immediately as they were in my line of vision, and I had already looked up to watch them fly by.

However, my friend pointed and said, “My! Aren’t they noisy?”

Without skipping a beat, I said, “Explain to me what they sound like…”

Her face immediately turned ashen and her lip even trembled as she grabbed my arm and wailed, “I’m SO sorry! I didn’t even stop to think!”

Well, honestly I couldn’t have been more surprised! “EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE…” is a common phrase in my household. I ask it all the time!

If my hubby says, “gee the microwave sounds funny”… I say, “Explain to me what it sounds like…” (I don’t ask for detailed description as he might do something AWFUL like take it apart to pretend he can fix it!)

On a hike with the family when first arriving in Maryland, my son pointed to a Baltimore Oriole (his first ever) and said, “How pretty they sound!”

I said, “Explain to me what it sounds like…”

When my daughter says her cat’s purr sounds like it has a cold, I say, “Explain to me what it sounds like…”

I say it all the time! I don’t mean anything by it; simply put… EXPLAIN TO ME in words. There are so many things I can’t remember WHAT they sound like, even though I know I’ve heard them before. I’ve been using the vacuum cleaner since I was a kid (wasn’t my mom a slave driver?).

But I can’t hear the vacuum cleaner today unless I lie on the floor and “hug” it. (Don’t laugh! It’s what I do after it is explained to me what it sounds like! I can still FEEL!)

So my friend’s watery eyes and quivery lip took me by surprise! I squeezed her arm and said, “Hey! I’m not upset! I automatically ask for an explanation in words. You didn’t do anything wrong! Be my ears — EXPLAIN IT TO ME.”

So… she did.

Denise Portis
Frederick County SHHH
Frederick, MD
©2006 Hearing Loss Diary

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