Look Who’s Talking

Use or lose it. Who hasn’t heard that at least with respect to vacation days or abdominal muscles?  I guess the same goes for voices. Since I retired there are precious few opportunities to replace the sheer amount of talking I once did. I guess it has taken its toll. Or more accurately, the non-it has.

When you stop exercising those abs you don’t notice an immediate loss of shape and tone. By eighths, maybe even sixteenths of inches you start a slow expansion from six pack to quarter keg. Someone who sees you daily or weekly may not even notice the transformation but run into somebody you haven’t seen in 3 years and you’ll probably hear, “Hey, you look great. Aw, no you don’t. You’re fat now. Just like the rest of us.” Or at least I imagine that’s what you might hear. Not ever having abs to die for I never had to worry about an unplanned belt explosion.

But not talking has resulted in somewhat similar observations. Apparently those I share my few words with hadn’t suspected an impending failure to communicate on my part. That makes some sense. Even the most common of my common conversationalists don’t hear much from me. Most of my chit chat revolves around a phone call or two to my daughter or sisters and much of my end consists of “mmm,” “uhhhh,” and “ok, talk to you soon.”

What got me thinking about any of this was the phone call equivalent of the friend who hadn’t seen you in 3 years, only this time played by the friend who you usually converse with via email or text messages but might actually speak with only once or twice a year. That call came last week and before I barely had “hello” out of my mouth I heard, “Oh my God, are you ok? If you’re sick, go back to bed or wherever you were resting and I’ll call back some other time.”

It was then that I realized I need a vocal version of the Ab Roller.



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