It’s not exactly true that having crappy vision means you have magic super-hearing to compensate. It’s more that you learn to listen carefully because you have to make the most of the senses you’ve got. At this point, my hearing is so sensitive that not only could I hear my cat peeing on the area rug one floor below my bedroom, it actually woke me up (true story). I was only half-asleep, but still: impressive, right?
Well, yes and no. For one thing, I had to get out of bed before dawn to clean up cat urine I could have happily not known about for another couple of hours. A bigger problem, though, is that modern social norms don’t really account for a sense of hearing that finely tuned. You know those embarrassing conversations you have in restaurants that you think are private because you’re talking quietly? I can hear them. Every word. If I could see, I wouldn’t know where to look.
It doesn’t end there, either. I can also hear what’s going on in the restaurant’s kitchen, which has ruined more than one date for me, and I can hear both sides of the conversation when you talk on your cell phone in public (most common topic, if you’re curious: how you really, really need to clean your apartment/house this weekend). It’s been an educational, voyeuristic, traumatizing experience. So, because I like you all just that much, I’m going to share with you the top ten things I wish I’d never overheard:
10. “I can’t file for divorce for another two months, so don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant yet.”
9. “He took out 27 inches of the guy’s colon, and there was no sign of a tumor in any of it.”
8. “Adult diapers are a lot more comfortable than they used to be.”
7. “I wouldn’t say she’s my girlfriend, I mean, it’s just too soon for that. She might be moving in, though.”
6. “It’s on the shelf below your grandmother’s urn.”
5. “The dry cleaner says she can’t do anything about the stain because it’s a biohazard.”
4. “It had to be your hair; you were the only one handling the spaghetti.”
3. “Yeah, I peed in his bed. I don’t understand why he’s making such a big deal about it.”
2. “Does the country of Europe have more states than we do? I can never remember.”
1. “I’ve been uncomfortable all day because the hole in my underwear is in the wrong place.”
You’re welcome! Feel free to share the things you wish you’d never overheard in the comments section. Or you can just mutter them under your breath. I’ll probably be able to hear you.
[image in public domain via pixabay.com]