I’m getting too old for this?

Well, I promised myself I would post to this blog consistently. And its only February and I am falling down on the job. I have been sick Let me tell you, being sick is not what it used to be! Twenty years ago (maybe less?) I got sick, I got well, it just didn’t last too long. Now, good grief, it seems to last forever. So being sick joins the list of things I think, sometimes, I am too old for. I’m not really, many of those things I just don’t want to have to learn, re-learn or do again. I finally master hooking up the computer, all those crazy wires and then I had to learn how to set up a wireless network. I just about have that down and then I have to figure out how to get the printer to work on the wireless; haven’t got that one so everyone in the house has to print in my office. I love this of course since the teenager leaves foodwrappers and juice boxes in a swath everywhere he sits. Now I am trying to master the whole internet marketing thing, yikes! The hardest part is finding someone to explain it to you that speaks english rather than geek. I would like to change the template of this blog, for instance, to one not preset on blogspot, can’t do it; but I will. It is just tiring having to learn all this new stuff, I prefer some days to exercise my tired brain cells by doing the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle (they say this will keep my brain young?) I still can’t fix the dryer or the air conditioning, but I’m not really too old, just unwilling. It’s good to be back.

On Hearing and the Invisibility of the Old

ON HEARING AND THE INVISIBILITY OF THE OLD

I want to express my gratitude for an internet blog such as this one in its endeavor to make women more visible – at all ages and in all circumstances. The term “invisible women” covers so many topics in so many places that it is hard to know where to begin to talk about it. I chose the topic of “hearing.” Women with white hair and wrinkled faces and bad hearing look alike to those who are accustomed to being with different groups. American women tend to become invisible as individuals after menopause and even more so into old age. Elderly people, not just women, who become increasingly deaf are likely to find themselves isolated from the world around them. Other people often give up trying to talk to the deaf as too much of a struggle.

I lost some 80% of the hearing in my right ear when a tumor broke the eardrum years ago, but I can still hear reasonably well with my left ear, depending. My son and his wife suggested I was playing games if I said I couldn’t hear them because sometimes, obviously, I could even without my hearing aids. This prompted me to pay attention to whether and when I could hear. What made the difference? Sometimes air pressure — heavy, sullen days were the worst. Sometimes wax or dirt blocked my ears – getting them cleaned out by a professional from time to time made a difference. Too, if I had a sniffly nose and my eustachian tubes were clogged, my ability to hear went down.

I tended to miss some sound registers. I discovered that I could fill in with guesswork that took advantage of context and became so good at it as to deceive myself as well as others into believing I could hear well enough without the aids. Sometimes I encountered people who would speak in an aggressively soft voice, as if testing me. Then trying to hear became exhausting. When you have to guess, discard, and search again mentally to discover just what it is that you are hearing, having a conversation becomes hard work.

Too, just where a speaker was in physical relation to me was important. I needed to have someone looking at me when he or she spoke. If his or her head was turned, I couldn’t get the speech, often even with hearing aids in my ears. Generally, I could hear someone quite close; with more distance the problem increased. And other sounds intruding – music or television in the home, diners in a restaurant – would isolate me from companions even more.

Women should refuse to sit in neglected silence.

.

On Hearing and the Invisibility of the Old

ON HEARING AND THE INVISIBILITY OF THE OLD

I want to express my gratitude for an internet blog such as this one in its endeavor to make women more visible – at all ages and in all circumstances. The term “invisible women” covers so many topics in so many places that it is hard to know where to begin to talk about it. I chose the topic of “hearing.” Women with white hair and wrinkled faces and bad hearing look alike to those who are accustomed to being with different groups. American women tend to become invisible as individuals after menopause and even more so into old age. Elderly people, not just women, who become increasingly deaf are likely to find themselves isolated from the world around them. Other people often give up trying to talk to the deaf as too much of a struggle.

I lost some 80% of the hearing in my right ear when a tumor broke the eardrum years ago, but I can still hear reasonably well with my left ear, depending. My son and his wife suggested I was playing games if I said I couldn’t hear them because sometimes, obviously, I could even without my hearing aids. This prompted me to pay attention to whether and when I could hear. What made the difference? Sometimes air pressure — heavy, sullen days were the worst. Sometimes wax or dirt blocked my ears – getting them cleaned out by a professional from time to time made a difference. Too, if I had a sniffly nose and my eustachian tubes were clogged, my ability to hear went down.

I tended to miss some sound registers. I discovered that I could fill in with guesswork that took advantage of context and became so good at it as to deceive myself as well as others into believing I could hear well enough without the aids. Sometimes I encountered people who would speak in an aggressively soft voice, as if testing me. Then trying to hear became exhausting. When you have to guess, discard, and search again mentally to discover just what it is that you are hearing, having a conversation becomes hard work.

Too, just where a speaker was in physical relation to me was important. I needed to have someone looking at me when he or she spoke. If his or her head was turned, I couldn’t get the speech, often even with hearing aids in my ears. Generally, I could hear someone quite close; with more distance the problem increased. And other sounds intruding – music or television in the home, diners in a restaurant – would isolate me from companions even more.

Women should refuse to sit in neglected silence.

.

Learner’s? Permit

OMG, I live in one of those crazy states where the government has decided that it is a good idea for 15 year olds to be turned loose as drivers on the roads of our communities. Well, my beloved child hit the golden 15 this past weekend and is off to the DMV to take the “road rules” test and obtain his pass to the American Dream – driving! He does not have to be insured. He does not have to be added as a driver. He does not have to take a road test or driving school of any kind. He had to take an online course on the evils of drugs and alcohol, useful but not so much since he can only drive with one of us in the car? So we might notice the odor of alcohol; you think? He has to take a 15 minute test on the road signs; mostly the shapes like those baby toys where the baby has to put a diamond in the diamond hole. And he has to take a “road rules” test, 15 minutes. But he does not have to show that he can apply them. $20 later, he’ll be on the road. I guess they figure if a licensed adult is in the car nothing bad can happen. I can’t imagine what I can do to prevent an accident from the passenger seat in the split second I might have to speak advice. I am short and certainly could not reach the pedals. I am menopausal and certainly could not get a coherent thought out in reflexive time. I am getting older and do not have the reflexes of a teenager. So, life will be interesting for the next few months until he gains some confidence (and then God help us). But I do have a one year reprieve on that unbelievable insurance bill.

Learner’s? Permit

OMG, I live in one of those crazy states where the government has decided that it is a good idea for 15 year olds to be turned loose as drivers on the roads of our communities. Well, my beloved child hit the golden 15 this past weekend and is off to the DMV to take the “road rules” test and obtain his pass to the American Dream – driving! He does not have to be insured. He does not have to be added as a driver. He does not have to take a road test or driving school of any kind. He had to take an online course on the evils of drugs and alcohol, useful but not so much since he can only drive with one of us in the car? So we might notice the odor of alcohol; you think? He has to take a 15 minute test on the road signs; mostly the shapes like those baby toys where the baby has to put a diamond in the diamond hole. And he has to take a “road rules” test, 15 minutes. But he does not have to show that he can apply them. $20 later, he’ll be on the road. I guess they figure if a licensed adult is in the car nothing bad can happen. I can’t imagine what I can do to prevent an accident from the passenger seat in the split second I might have to speak advice. I am short and certainly could not reach the pedals. I am menopausal and certainly could not get a coherent thought out in reflexive time. I am getting older and do not have the reflexes of a teenager. So, life will be interesting for the next few months until he gains some confidence (and then God help us). But I do have a one year reprieve on that unbelievable insurance bill.