He turned it down
Monday October 20th 2008, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Life

Joansie’s comment sparked this memory:

I was at a gas station, filling up, in a really good mood on a beautiful day.  One of those wonderful moments when your heart feels open to the whole wide world.

A young man roared up to the opposite tank: sports car, windows tinted dark and nearly pulsing outwards from the rap coming from his speakers–you get the picture.  A decibel level designed to say, Pay attention to me!, with the added subtext for anyone who’s ever parented a teenager of, Pretty please? Or, (defiantly), I’ll make you!

As he got out of his car, I caught his eye, and chuckling, yanked my hearing aids out of my ears and held them out in front of me. Thinking of some of the loudspeakers I’d sat in front of in my youth that had contributed a small bit to my hearing loss, I told him, “Just don’t make it too loud or you end up with these.”  Then I put the aids back in, which is something that never looks like a particularly graceful motion–push the hair out of the way, twist just so into the ear canal, hit the button in your ear to turn the thing back on, push a little further in to tighten up the fit in the ear canal, look like a total dweeb, know it, and laugh.

I was not the cliche of the white lady grabbing her purse close to her in the presence of a young black man; I just had something funny to share with him in the moment and a sense of delight that his music had provided a way of coming together, of being glad to have gotten a chance to meet.

He actually reached back in his car and turned the sound way down with a smile back. I couldn’t believe it.  And we continued on our day and on our way.

9 Comments so far
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Oh, how I can remember in my youth having an adult ask me to “Please turn it down”. I have a young preschool relative with hearing difficulties who has been fitted with two hearing aids. When his mother scolds him, he reaches and turns off his hearing aids. Couldn’t help but smile the first time it happened.

Comment by Joansie 10.20.08 @ 12:38 pm

Nice story — it’s funny how coming at something in a different way and with a different attitude changes the whole outcome!

Comment by Jocelyn 10.20.08 @ 1:03 pm

funny how a non-standard response can affect people, isn’t it?

Comment by Carol 10.20.08 @ 4:06 pm

What a great story! Me, if there’s a good beat and the lyrics aren’t nasty [big if on the second part], I tend to rock out while I’m pumping my gas, or standing in line to pay when the pay-at-the-pump option isn’t available. [If the lyrics are nasty, I just hum a hymn very loudly until I can get in my car and drive away.]

Comment by Lynn 10.20.08 @ 5:32 pm

Guess that thing about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar is true, huh?

Comment by Kathy in KS 10.20.08 @ 7:40 pm

this story definitely made me smile! thank you for sharing.

Comment by marti 10.20.08 @ 10:08 pm

Oh I love your sense of humor.

Comment by karin 10.21.08 @ 5:33 am

Your stories touch the heart. Thank you for reminding us that a spoonful of sugar does help the medicine go down.

Comment by Channon 10.21.08 @ 6:15 am

Love it!

Comment by Alicia 10.22.08 @ 8:42 am

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