Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ridiculously Small Ears

Remember when you were really little, about 3 or 4, and you'd go to the doctor? That was the age when everyone and everything was a lot bigger than you were. Someone probably helped you up onto the examining table and you sat on the edge with your legs hanging over, squinching up the paper with your hands (because of the cool noise it made) and banging on the side of the metal table with your heels (thunk, ker-thunk) until someone told you to stop. Then the doctor would come in and talk to your mom and examine you. He (it was usually a he when I was little) would pick up that doctor thingy, the one with scored metal handle and the light at the top, the one with the disposable tips so he could look up your nose (gross!), down your throat (gag), and into your ears. First he'd grab the little pink usually forgotten shell of your ear in one hand and streeeeeetch it out, until you felt like it was going to come off your head with a pop! and then he'd poke his lighted ENT tool into your ear and make pronouncements. Then he'd do the other side. Afterwards the backs of your ears felt warm, almost as if maybe they'd come apart at the seams and were having to re-attach themselves.

I have very vivid memories of this, mainly because I didn't grow out of it. My ears apparently stopped growing when I was 6. I have ridiculously, stupidly small ears. I have quite good hearing, I just happen to have baby ears. Because of this I've had the exact same exchange with every medical practitioner who's come near my ears for the past 20 years. It goes like this:

Doctor: coming at me with his lighted doctor thingy
Me: "You'll probably need the child-sized one. My ears are really small."
Doctor: scoffing, because he's the doctor and I'm clearly a moron, "Oh, psha."
Doctor: trying real hard to see into my miniscule ears and failing, "Grunt. Huh."
Me: eyebrows raised, pained expression warring with 'I told you so' smirk on my face
Doctor: proceeds with smaller doctor thingy, "Your ears are VERY SMALL" as if this was a medical pronouncement and brand new information
Me: Um, yeah.

The reason I bring this up is not because I've had yet another circular conversation with a doctor, but because I have finally joined the world of modern technology and bought an ipod nano. I can't tell you how happy it makes me, my itty bitty little square of perfectly designed technology. I love that I can be walking down the street, to all appearances a perfectly ordinary citizen of the sidewalk, but what nobody else knows is that in my head I'm bopping along to Lily Allen or Willie Nelson or Morrissey or the Jackson 5. But here's my problem: the earbuds that come with the nano are TOO BIG for my STUPIDLY TINY EARS. They fall out. They interfere with my ability to walk through this world with a secret soundtrack at all times. And heaven forfend I can't have the lyrics to 'Popular' from Wicked piped directly into my brain any minute of the day. That would be the end of all good things of course.

So. I have to find tiny new earbuds somewhere.

(That's all. If you were expecting a bigger punch line, I'm sorry.)


HolyMama! said...

i bet someone more technologically savvy than the 2 of us knows exactly what sort of ear thingys you need.

and i bet you've never once put your hair in a ponytail only to think, "hmm. my ears are sticking out too much for this look"

Misslisslee said...

I bought some for my son (who has inherited my too-small ears) at Target. They're called skull candy and come with three different-sized marshmallow-like covers for the earbuds. Makes all the difference in the world!

LaLa said...

Thank you for the recommendation!

Whiskeymarie said...

I dated a 6'3" guy once who had ridiculously small ears too. On him it was kind of comical. Big dude, little ears.