It’s not what you think. The young singer’s song “Problem” plays constantly in my workplace. Enough so that I’ve begun to think there has been an exchange of money between Ariana’s camp and my employer. I refuse to believe that “Problem” will play every three songs like clockwork without someone getting paid for it, but that’s just me.
Anyway, the catchy song is very upbeat and features a popular hip hop artist (I guess?), Iggy Azalea. It’s about wanting to continue a relationship that’s gone sour even though you know it’s no good for you. My problem is that to find the meaning of the song I had to look up the lyrics. I couldn’t hear them.
Don’t get me wrong. I could hear the music and I could hear the chorus okay, but everything else was extremely garbled. Every time. This probably isn’t a big deal, but for me it raised a bright red flag: Was I finally losing my hearing?
I won’t go into too many details, but I’ve had issues with my ears and hearing for as long as I can remember. My early childhood was plagued with ear infections and doctor visits. Even now as an adult I still remember the taste of that deliciousness called amoxicillin. I even remember going to speech classes because my hearing wouldn’t allow me to speak properly.
I was moderately jacked up: hearing loss in both ears, problems with my middle ear, and issues with the inner. That meant years of dizziness, ringing ears, unbalance, pain, stuffiness, etc. Noise greatly diminishes my hearing. I’m not too bad off to where I need a hearing aid, but I’ve perfected the art of pissing people off by repeatedly saying, “Huh?” or “Come again?” Plus, I stare into people’s mouths when they talk. Not trying to be rude. Just makes things easier.
But that’s the thing, though. In spite of everything, I didn’t need a hearing aid, but has that changed? Because of my history I knew there was a chance my hearing would continue to diminish over time. Had it become a reality at the ripe old age of 31?
While waiting for my appointment with the doctor to approach, I tried to be a bit more conscious of how I was hearing and responding to people. Was I leaning forward more? Did I ask people to repeat themselves more often than usual? Was I trying to “fill in the gaps” in conversation when I couldn’t make out what was being said? Were my ears physically bothering me more? My balance off? Getting dizzier? Did people have to call me more than once to get my attention?
The answer to all of these questions is yes.
I won’t say I’m not nervous. Who wants to learn one of their senses is going out? The idea of going deaf does frighten me. It always has. No one knows that, though, except you, my readers. Here I am, totally naked, baring one of my deepest fears.
I’m sure I’ll cope if it ever comes to that. At the moment, my ears are on the fritz but only to a certain extent. I can still hear. Just not as well. Whatever treatments I may have to endure down the road, I will do so with a smile and a truckload of optimism and sunshine. But right now, right this second, I’m nervous as hell.
Thank you, Ariana Grande, for creating a pop song in which you mumbled 95 percent of the lyrics. I asked around and discovered I wasn’t the only one who had no idea what the hell you were saying. But having to hear your song for days, hours, and minutes on end and forcing me to decipher your words made me question everything about my own problem, my hearing. Because of you I’m more aware that things aren’t as good as I thought they were. So, cheers.
Wish me luck.