Does anybody else react with sarcasm in place of cursing when something goes wrong?
One of the wires of the whisk attachment for my hand mixer came loose, spraying flecks of butter-saturated brown sugar everywhere. “Oh, fun! A mess!” I exclaimed. It was already past ten at night. I’d misjudged how long that evening’s baking project was going to take, and now I had a mess to clean up too.
Along with this after-dark banana bread production, I’d also powered on my food processor for some hummus. My landlords went out of town for a few days, so I used their absence as an opportunity to raise a ruckus!
“If a tree falls in a forest and only I am around, does it make a sound?”
Yes, yes it does. I grew up with a mother who had sensitive ears. I remember her telling me, “I can hear you stirring chocolate syrup into your milk from upstairs!” Chocolatifying milk is supposed to be a joyous activity. Instead, I drank my chocolate milk in shame. I also had to learn how to pour liquids quietly. I learned to close doors and drawers gently, keeping the latch in the recess until it lines up with the doorframe slot.
“Pick up your feet when you walk but walk softly.”
“YOU TYPE SO LOUDLY! CLICKETY-CLACK CLICKETY-CLACK!”
I remember the time I was six and my parents had guests over. They were gathered in the dining room, about fifteen meters away from the bathroom, where I was doing my business. I must’ve not eaten enough fiber for a few days because I was having quite the struggle in there. Immediately after I exited the washroom, Mom confronted me about the excessive straining noises I’d just made, which were audible to her friends. All the way over in the dining room. I was mortified. While I’m glad I learned to be mindful of my bathroom noises, I think Mom could have chosen a different time to explain constipation grunts to me.
As a teenager, when out in public with my deaf friends, I’d feel embarrassed whenever they’d slap the table to get each other’s attention. I’d cringe when they’d drag a chair across the floor without care. I suppose some of them didn’t have to grow up around hearing family members freaking out.
All that is to say, I actively avoid making too much noise for others’ comfort. The car door isn’t going to fall off if I shut it a trifle too hard, nor is the glass going to shatter because I stirred my drink with a meal spoon too aggressively, but it might annoy some people.
So, this is how I relaxed while my landlords were out of town. I relished the freedom to be my true, noisy deaf self!
The landlords asked for two favours: feed the cat, and roll the waste bin to the curb the evening before garbage collection day. Guess which thing I forgot to do?
The cat’s fine.
When I came home from work and noticed all the garbage bins lining my street, I was like, “Oh, awesome.”
With luck, our garbage bin wasn’t that full and could wait for another two weeks until the next garbage collection day.
I peeked inside: “Yay, it is full!”
What now? They asked me to do two simple things, and I could only do ONE. I didn’t even have to clean the litter box because Gumpy the cat doesn’t use one!
My solution was to ask Yann if I could stuff his car full of garbage that he would then dispose of in his apartment’s dumpster. Plan B was to sneak individual bags into the neighbors’ bins before the bins retreat onto their respective properties.
I showered Yann with promises: “I’ll do your laundry! I can give you banana bread! And pears from my landlord’s fruit tree!”
He passed up on the offer to have his clothes laundered but couldn’t say no to banana bread. Within the next hour, he whisked away two weeks’ worth of my landlords’ garbage and an armful of pears.
As far as I know, my landlords still think I’m a responsible, quiet tenant who definitely does not climb their trees while they’re away.