I am extremely myopic, but I make up for it with extra-keen hearing. This is a glimpse into what my life is like.
My vision started going bad when I was around nine years old. "Extreme myopia," the optometrist called it. Glasses helped, certainly, and as the years went by my sense of hearing (and smell) tried to make up for the handicap of my limited vision.
It was daunting at times. I was—and still am—able to hear sounds most people either take for granted or are completely unaware of. Certain sounds grate my very nerves. Other sounds can prevent me from getting sleep, while still others actually hurt my ears and can usher in a migraine headache.
But I wasn't going crazy, the doctors assured me; this was all a perfectly natural compensatory reaction by my bodily functions. Still, it didn't stop my dad from playing his favorite trick on me: playing with the TV remote from another room just to hear my reaction. The high-pitched sound from the remote was frankly painful and I'd screech—which of course made him giggle from wherever in the house he was hiding. Not that he did it so often it was cruel, just enough that I can still smile about it to remember.
The eye doctor I see now said I will always be as near-sighted as the proverbial blind bat, to which my husband told him, but doc, have you never seen a bat flying through the dark just to suddenly swoop down and pounce on the unexpected little mouse and just devour it? I reckon that's hubby's way of a joke. But he wasn't laughing when he realized I can hear every word he mutters under his breath in anger from the other side of the darned house! I suppose the laughs evened out that way.
Most folks have no idea what it can be like living with extra-keen hearing. So this article is written for those who do, and who will appreciate knowing they are not alone in this big world. And since I'm writing from personal experience about the subject, I'm going to touch on these issues in "first person" style:
- Hearing fireworks doesn’t disturb me; it’s the crackling of the clouds that keep my ears ringing ‘till morning.
- Of course I don’t mind sitting in the hot car while you walk over to the auto shop for help. It isn’t like I told you three miles back the thingy-ma-bob was making a tingy sound against the whatcha-ma-call-it!
- No, that's a Lockheed Martin F-35. Can't you tell?
- Honey, please go to the neighbors and ask them to stop blowing that d*mned dog whistle!
- Sigh. My violets are having an argument with the cactus again.
- Call it a truce email all you want. I heard the peevish way you typed it.
- The passion in your eyes may say you love me, but the trill in your heartbeat says you smell my pot roast.
- Sure the heart attack was scary, but nothing compared to the ghoulish moans of the electronically pressurized mattress the hospital staff stuck me on to “recover peaceably."
- What am I rushing outside for? My god, don't you hear that toddler whimpering from the park?
- (While watching King of the Hill) Sweetheart, I’m not sure this is appropriate for the kids what with Boomhauer’s constant references about his sex life.
- Look at these scales if you don’t believe that clerk overcharged! I knew by the plop when you set the bag on the register this was no five pounds of potatoes!
- Have you seen today's obituaries, hon? I thought that bassoonist on the second row sounded sick.
- Blow on it! That pie still sounds hot!
- (When we still used a landline phone but had little need for caller ID) By the urgent, irky sound I’ll guess that’s your mom. Hello? Hi Mom, yes, he’s right here.
- This article states the coroner believes George from the next block shot himself in the back of his head through a cushion after buying a new silencer for his revolver. Personally, I believe the gun store owes George’s widow a refund.
- Look here, doctor, just because I was under doesn’t mean I appreciate those kind of jokes being told during my operation.
- I do not care if it is ten below zero outside, if you expect me to sleep, or more importantly if you want to sleep, you will leave that fan on.
- Yes, I suspected our daughter had sneaked her boyfriend into her room when I heard the sheet corners popping like bubble wrap.
- We have got to buy quieter pillows!
- We’d better pick up good light bulbs this time. A couple of the "environmentally friendly" ones are making their death hisses.
- Better take your mittens. I hear snow coming.
- Congratulations, dear! I thought you sounded pregnant.
- Going to the funeral home doesn’t depress me. It’s just a little discomforting to hear someone’s organs settle.
- Your friend Stevie just pulled out of his driveway and is on his way. I can hear the deaf metal gyrating his car all the way from the county line.
- Oh, don’t look so proud you’ve finally called an exterminator. I told you three weeks ago moths are mating in the attic!
- (To my son) Don’t tell me you took a good shower, I know the sound of soap not being used.
- Sure, I like Harry Potter movies. But can’t those kids tell by his tone that Dobby is one totally insincere smartass?
- The sound of silence can be so obnoxious at times.
- I will never visit those people again. Their ultrasonic bug zapper gave me a headache all evening.
- The waitress may say this is real butter, but I know the sound of a knife slicing through oleo.
- I had to stop playing the Etch-o-Sketch as a kid because of the squealing dials.
- By the scraping sound of the paper pulling off the roll, may I guess you brought home the store-brand tissue?
- We’d better add insecticide to the shopping list. I didn’t sleep a wink for the roaches storming through the kitchen.
- I don’t care if you smoke, but can’t you find a vape that doesn’t make such a racket?
- This popcorn definitely sounds like it’s passed the expiration date.
- That’ll teach her to invite me to play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey after flirting with my husband!
- No, I haven’t any proof your buddy’s new girlfriend is a meth user. But I don’t often hear somebody’s tooth crack while eating Cool Whip.
- Officers, thank you for checking out the horrid screams next door. You say it was just a country/rap group playing and not a mass bludgeoning of livestock? You’re right, who would know the difference?
- Hey, that yodeler just missed a note.
- Sweetie, how did I know you got into dad’s liquor instead of the soda? By the sound of the pour, duh!
- Amazing, I got something on my first hunting trip! And they call rabbits stealthy!
- Scientists may never find a cure for the common cold. But you’d think they could at least invent an air mister that doesn’t sound like a vacuum cleaner when it’s low on water.
- Don’t act disappointed I moved off the sofa. You should know there’s no such thing as a silent-and-deadly one around your mom.
- I don’t care what the manufacturer calls it, take some WD-40 to that thing before you call it a Mute button!
- Don’t complain now that we can’t make s'mores for dessert. I heard you munching marshmallows into the wee hours of morning.
- Just because I couldn’t hear your exact words over the dishwasher running and the
- A/C going doesn’t mean that sarcastic tone doesn’t count.
- I only knew you’re looking at a dirty magazine, young man, by the sound of the cheap pages turning.
- I can always tell when we’ve had too much rain by the pleurisy-type hack of the sump pump.
- Here, I bought you some clang-free slippers.
- It was bound to be another unpleasant visit to the dentist when I heard him pause at the exam door long enough to unwrap a pack of breath mints.
- I knew the diet was working when I stopped hearing my underwire bra making that steel girders-breaking-apart moan.
- You do know there’s a live ant screaming in the microwave you just turned on, right?
- Hey, I’m trying to finish writing an article. Mind getting Snap, Crackle and Pop to hold it down to a minimal roar?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 Beth Perry