“You need your ears doing again!” She Who Knows complains to me regularly.
She means de-waxing, something everyone aged above 50 should have done regularly. Try one annual trip to the nurse for a proper clear-out or, as I do, ear drops every few months. It would greatly enhance communication and mutual understanding throughout our community.
In fact, the usual reason I haven’t fully heard all she’s told me is not, as she claims, wax or indifference, but her exasperating habit of turning away in mid-sentence as her attention is diverted.
Once settled comfortably into marriage, most couples become aware of partners’ less endearing and more irritating habits. Let’s not get too personal or unsavoury here but, for example, I’m accused of unnecessarily going about the house switching off lights she claims to require while, conversely, she seems to switch everything on needlessly. Of course, sometimes it’s best to keep quiet about such contentious matters and, similarly, we might prefer not to hear everything about us. After a thorough de-waxing, people seem to be speaking unnecessarily loud and usually are, specially into mobile phones. Also, while we’re on the subject of annoyances, people nowadays surround themselves with so much noise. Large screen TVs blare, often clashing with background music, noisy coffee-making machines, people shouting, kids screaming and all without sensible soft furnishings like carpets to soften everyday sounds. In the conveniences of public places one can no longer exchange a pleasantry or casual greeting as the hand-dryers are so loud.
It all reminds me of an old chap who irritated younger acquaintances by not turning up his hearing aid. When asked why – in very loud terms – he explained, “Last time I did, everyone was talking rubbish!”
But sorry, readers, apparently I’m being irritating again and will have to leave you there... “What was that you just said, dear?”