In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle sings the great line “words, words, words, I’m so sick of words, I get words all day through, first from him now from you.” A close friend, home now for five months with very verbal children, went for an MRI yesterday. When the technician asked her what music she wanted she replied, “None.” The aide was confused, “Do you mean spa music?” “No,” she responded, “I want thirty minutes of total silence!” It has come to this for some people, an MRI chamber is preferable to another conversation!
Even the virtual conversations can be exhausting. I finally read that is because we are having to get all our cues about the other person just from their face. Usually we can watch body language and understand intent more clearly. Then there is the challenge of words exchanged in person behind those ever present surgical masks. The barrier requires a level of enunciation foreign to most of us. Combine that with any degree of hearing loss(true for a majority of people our age)and conversations are having to be constantly repeated. “What did you say?”
Add in each person’s way of understanding Zoom and cell phones in the house. It appears that each medium suggests that a voice needs to be raised in direct proportion to how far away in actual miles the listener is from the speaker. Clearly someone Zooming from across the ocean must need me to speak louder than usual for her to hear me! Or so it seems around here.
Silence is more than golden many times. In fact it may soon, like those fancy credit cards, be worth platinum.