Monday, July 11, 2011

Speaking softly

In China, loud speakers are everywhere, they don't know they are loud.  They walk around like 1.3 billion of normal people!

Having speaking loudly habitually, I have lost my hearing over time.  Wait, maybe it is the other way around, having lost my hearing since childhood, I became a loud speaker over time.  Regardless, the reality is that I no longer can hear you if you speak to me softly.

On the contrary to what's in China, low talkers are everywhere here in the U.S..  They mumble and they assume everyone has normal level of hearing.  So I nod and smile often to thses low talkers.  It does not matter since most of the conversations don't necessarily lead to daring me waring puffy shirt anyways.  Naturally, when I talk, people will either step back to protect their ears or simply tell me they are not deaf and I don't have to shout!

So I usually feel a bit ashamed to be a loud speaker, especially in public area.  Therefore I often try to lower my voice, so long as I remember to.

This morning was different.  At the women's locker room, I was chatting casually with my 17-year old niece about tampons.  She came to my University to give research a try for 6 weeks this summer.  Since she had never used tampons prior to this visit, I felt that she had to take the advantage of this great invention for us sport-loving women. "Imagine in my youth, I could not go swimming when we had periods..."  I was talking shamelessly as if no one else was in the room.  Then I realized that I forgot to bring the very thing we were talking about for the imminent activity.  I shouted helplessly, "Oh, no, I forgot tampons at home. I can't go with you into the pool."

Swimming on Saturday mornings has been our family routine since I was pregnant with Zhuzhu 5 years ago.  I have never missed this beloved sport unless I am out of town.  I would have hated to miss this one particularly since it's the last Saturday that my lovely niece would spend with us this summer.  While I was feeling sad and hopeless myself, I heard this soft voice behind me.  I turned my around and found a lady at the end of the room handing me a light green plastic stick, "Did anyone just said that she needed a tampon?" she repeated.  This time I "heard" her with the help of reading her lips.  What an angel!  I thankfully accepted her kind offer.

Well, speaking softly may never be in the list of my virtues yet in rare cases speaking loudly gets me what I need.

The moral of this story is to remind myself to embrace who I am.

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