Tonight I went to dinner with my Uncle Bill and my mother. They are siblings. They each require hearing aides. They each refuse to wear them. We went to a restaurant. But before that, we had to drive in a car whose air conditioning went out. Therefore, we had to drive with the windows open. When one drives with the windows open, it gets very loud. This did not help with their hearing loss. By the time we got to the restaurant, my reserves were nil.
I pulled the server aside and explained that no one had their hearing aides and that my own ears were ringing. I apologized in advance for any ear-splitting, elevated decibels coming from our end of the dining room.
As it turns out, my uncle and my mother appeared to have their own conversations. They each spoke about their own topics-seemingly to each other, but not so in reality. Uncle Bill was discussing loading typewriters into a truck from an "escapade" in the late 50s and mother was talking about their recent stomach ailments and how all of us should eat more fish. They both thought the other was listening and responding to their respective stories.
I was exaggeratedly nodding and overly smiling between the two. When the server came over, I realized that I was still smiling and nodding when I ordered. I was smiling and nodding when our server, for reasons unknown to me, brought up the BP spill in the Gulf, and I continued to smile and nod when our server explained that if we leave our tip on the table, she doesn't get taxed on it like she would if we leave it on the tab via credit card. I smiled and nodded when Uncle Bill asked me to pull over to a meat specialty store to purchase "orange meat", which is BBQ pork. I was smiling and nodding when I drove him home, then drove mother and I home, and then walked into our cool house.
I'm never going to smile again.