Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sometimes Being Loud Is Bad

Wanna hear a story about something that happened to me earlier this year?
Too bad.

        "I thought it was sad - well, bitter-sweet, really. I liked it though. What about you?" I said to my cousin as we walked out of the theater after seeing The Glass Menagerie. 
      We entered the foyer area, where a small gift shop was located. Right in front of the table with some Shakespeare books was standing one of the actors from the play we saw the night before, Romeo and Juliet. 
       About 5 seconds after I noticed him, my cousin started shout-whispering to me, "Aubrey! It's the PRINCE! Oh my gosh, Aubrey, look, it's the prince! Aubrey it's the prince!"
       Here's thing the thing about "shout-whispering": 
a) since you're "whispering" you think no one can hear you, and b) this makes it embarrassing when people can, in fact, hear you perfectly. 
       As I tried in vain to whisper (without the shouting part) that "yes, I know, I saw him already, sh, he's going to hear you", it was no surprise that his gaze shifted to the crazy girl that was frantically pointing at him and grabbing my arm.  (And just so you know, she's in college. We're not talking about a 5-year-old here).
       As swiftly as possible, I ushered her away to the restroom, where my aunt had gone just before us and was already in line (you know how ladies bathrooms get, it's pretty ridiculous). It wasn't long before we were laughing hysterically, as I informed my cousin that "the prince" was fully aware of her devoted recognition and admiration for him. This warranted a remark from my aunt, that she "didn't want to be seen with us" because we were "so loud". 
       Of course, I had to launch into an overly excited - and, I admit, somewhat loud - explanation of the events that had just transpired. 
       It wasn't long before an elderly woman with hair like a rusty sponge turned around and boldly pronounced:
"Ma'am, my ears are normal!"
       My vocal chords sunk into oblivion as I gawked at her, open-mouthed, and she expounded, "And you're giving me a . . . "
       At this point, her frustration was such that she could only motion grumpily near the area of her ear and turn back around. 
       The silence that followed was thicker than a baby elephant and not quite as cute. 
       Even though there was an enormous line of probably otherwise chatty women, every one of them was as shocked into silence as I was. Needless to say, we gave her ears a little break from . . . whatever they were suffering from. 
       I attempted to mumble a slight "Oh . . . sorry . . . I . . ." but it was not to be mended. The harsh chill in the air was interrupted by a particularly cheery woman, when she came out to wash her hands. She remarked, "Wow! This is the quietest group I've ever seen!"
       I never truly understood the meaning of "awkward silence" until that moment. 
       Then I did the worst thing I possibly could have; I met eyes with my cousin. It was all either of us could do to refrain from boisterous laughter. Down, down! Stay down in the thick of my belly! No, no! Don't come up to my mouth! I stifled it the best I could, but it's easy to say that when I got out of that restroom, it wasn't soon enough. 
       To this day, all my aunt has to say is, "Ma'am . . ." and I'm done for.

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