Audio misunderstandings

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By Vicki Scott

Last week a dear friend invited me to attend a paint party, where we had a choice to paint a flower or a cross. The owner of the paint studio supplied everything we needed. All we had to do was choose between the two drawings and show up. I was excited!

My friend likes crosses, so it did not surprise me when that was her choice. I chose a flower and wanted to paint it purple since purple is the color for Alzheimer’s awareness. We both posted a message to the paint shop owner with our choices and made plans for a fun time. I had not seen this friend in three years and just seeing her brought joy to my thoughts. I had bought a cross bracelet for her that reminded me of her. I had kept it three years. I did not know when I would see her again, so I made sure to put it with my things where I would not forget it.

Shortly after our plans were in place, my daughter wanted to go with me to the paint studio. I was reminded of when she was three years old and I was leaving for a girl’s day out.  She explained to me why she should go with me, saying, “We are the girls!” How could I say “no” to that explanation?

Twenty-five years later, my daughter’s explanation was, “I can paint!” Both explanations elicited the same response – how could I say “no” to spending time with my baby girl?  Even with her own girls around the age she was when she told me, “We are the girls,” she will always be my baby girl.

After getting my daughter’s order in at the art studio, my friend informed me that her daughter was going as well. I was so glad, because I used to babysit my friend’s daughter and son. It is like they are my children, too.

Fast forward to the day of the paint party. I sat diagonally across from my friend and tossed her gift to her. She smiled but I’m not sure what she said. Her daughter sat next to her and mine sat next to me. Another friend and her daughter sat to our right side. This friend lost her son in a car accident and wanted to paint a blue butterfly on her cross in his memory. He was young but left a legacy in so many people.

While talking to my friend on the right side, I heard my other friend’s daughter telling her mother what I was saying. I caught myself asking my daughter what my friend said. We both seemed to have had a hard time hearing.

The friend sitting next to me told me my picture looked good. I thanked her and said that I thrived on compliments. I heard my friend’s daughter relay the message of what I said, but what I heard was, “I thrive on compliments.” I chimed in excitingly with “I thrive on compliments, too! Everyone at the table laughed.

A mistake like this reminded of the time when I was on a church mission trip in the Bahamas with my husband. With so many heavy accents, I might have heard a few things wrong. One of those things was when one of the local children told me that I sounded like a cowgirl. I thought he said, that I smelled like a call girl. The misunderstanding was cleared up when I asked him to repeat himself. I was glad that I did not hear him correctly.

I finally finished my red flower at the paint party after changing my mind about the color several times. My friend complimented me on “sounding quiet.” I thought she said I was “sounding white.”

I think I need to get my hearing checked.

Three years is too long, and I am ready to paint again. This time, I plan to sit right next to my friend so we can hear each other. I praise God our daughters were there to translate for us this time!

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