Last weekend I became the proud owner of a much-awaited iPhone 6. (Broke the bank, but put an un-wipeable smile on my face!)
And then I discovered the fancy moulded earphones!
Now I do know that there are some problems with the earpiece. People hear crackling sounds and stuff.
Me? I don’t hear anything! Chiefly because they just don’t stay in my ears! And that reminded me of something I had written some years ago. To be exact, in 2008!
Well, ears don’t change!
So here goes.
Yes. I need a hearing aid No I am not stone deaf (nor tone deaf for that matter).
Just a case of less-than-perfect ears.
It couldn’t have been at birth. I am sure my solicitous parents would have done something about it. After all, didn’t my mother trudge from homeopaths to allopaths alike to get rid of my ‘common cold’?
Unfortunately when it was discovered it was a bit too late. And a trifle embarrassing. Because unlike me the world had moved into the ‘Pod Age’ and anything (except maybe a washing machine) had earphones!
It started with the walkman. But that was not so bad. It reminded me of my school days when truant hair was kept in place with a hair band. (That it quite stopped the blood flow to my brain is something I could go back with to my teachers now. But I digress.) The walkman, like I was saying, was not all that bad. It had ‘headphones’. A band round the top of your head, ending in earmuffs on both sides.
How cool was that!
That unfortunately got progressively worse. Before you could really start walking with the walkman, the disc player came in to force. And with that came a change in fashion. (Electronic fashion maybe, but then I have never been able to keep up with the latest trends. Bags, shoes or clothes, I always find I am outdated. Outshadowed by quite a few years, by those ‘today’ women. I mean, I was not born yesterday, but in the wardrobe department, I am still there.)
Anyway, there I was with this metallic purple disc player, the right thing to carry when you are on the move. For me, this was a sort of ticket into ‘today’. I mean, what does it matter if the shoes belong to the nineties as long as the disc player is the centre of attention? No one will ever notice, I thought. And so jovially I started out to make my almost first impression in this impressionable world.
The cd I was going to listen to was slapped together by today’s generation. Hip, happening music. Bands whose names you dropped to get raised eyebrows and a nod of approval from the younger generation. I was there… or at least getting there.
I start the player, the cd revolves madly in the player, I am supposed to hear the music, but I can’t. I just cannot. To my dismay, I realize that the earphones have slipped out of my ears. I hastily put them back, sponge and all… and get ready for the grooves again.
The music starts. I listen to the first few beats and as the music builds up… a trifle too much on the right! Mono…it’s mono…I turn my head to the left…ooops…it’s the left earphone… slipped out… wonder how.
Quite un-cool but guess I should not be moving too much.
So I decide to sit still. And it happens again. These earphones are not quite there in terms of product design, I think. My solution to this was to stop using the disc player. Later on, an attachment to small speakers made the Discman more desirable again.
But before that could happen, the cell phone came into power. And with that the ubiquitous handsfree. The rules the traffic police came up with in terms of using the cellphone while driving still confuse me.
Any woman worth her multi-tasking life will tell you that the handsfree is really a boon to her existence. For the simple reason that, whether she is driving or not, her hands have to be… you guessed it, free. Free to put on the final touches of make-up. Free to comb her hair. Free to look for that laundry receipt in her bag. Free to even paint her nails while she is talking to a client. So handsfree it was for me.
I was undeterred by the fact that the wires would get inextricably tangled. The fact that it was ‘mono’ was initially a great delight. At least it would fall off only one ear. Besides, I had a choice. Two ears, one earpiece! Voila! If I could get them to stick to my tympanic membrane I would have done it. But while I unsuccessfully tried them on my left ear and then my right, the single earpiece kept falling off.
The roads, I blamed this time. The bumps on the roads. Extra air in my tyres. But imagine my frustration when it would fall off even when the car was stationary. I started looking around: at other people. No one seemed to have the problem. The earplug seemed to be glued to their ears. As if made to size. I tentatively asked a few youngsters if they had ‘a problem’ with their handsfree. They looked at me confused. Problem? Why would there be a problem? They listened to FM, mp3 and had conversations with friends with the device safely lodged into their aural cavity and it did not seem to bother them.
It was then that I started looking inwards.
Looking inwards at your own ears is, if not difficult, close to impossible. It’s worth a try if you haven’t done it before. And on no account was I going to get the friendly neighbourhood ENT specialist to look into my ears. But even without expert medical opinion something inside me tells me things are drastically wrong.
While I can hear, I do have a hearing problem. And while my ears (unlike Tyson’s) are all there, there’s something missing. The shape, the model, the construction. There is something that could be drastically wrong.
Recently I heard that there are new soft spongy earphones that kind of adapt to the shape of your ear. I have not tried them. Something tells me that if these do not work, it could just be the final proof that something is wrong with the ‘shape’ of my hear.
In summary, today, I’m coming to these thoughts I had back in 2008!
My ears are funny! My years are not helping! SIGH!