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Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It's time again.. to see what I come up with for the A-Z challenge.. hosted by Arlee from Tossing it out there...

Can you guess what I chose for E... with this picture?
My son enjoys this spy game he has made up.. and he and the neighborhood kids.. think it's funny .. to listen in.. when the MOM's are talking... My son tries to do it when my husband and I are talking too...

You guessed it... E is for Eavesdropping

One day when he was home sick.. and we were watching an episode of Martha Speaks
This is a show about a dog who talks... and the dog.. uses new vocabulary... On this episode.. the word was eavesdropping... and they had a video by Daniel Ingram... it's a very catchy song.. even for adults.

we did not get the song out of our heads.. for a few days..
My son and I had a teaching moment.. and I talked about listening to someone when they don't know it
is not polite... and he shouldn't do it.

The origin of the word eavesdrop comes from the word eaves and that refers to the edge of a roof, not overhanging the side of a building. By the late 15th century, the word eavesdropper became current in English law,meaning literally "a person who stands on the eavesdrop of a house to listen to what is happening inside."

 Figuratively to listen secretly to a private conversation. Many find eavesdropping to be a bit of a Aural Analogue and others think it's Voyeurism? Have you done it? Has it ended well? with good news.. OR has it ended poorly... ? This is a story of when I was about 10... and my father was eavesdropping on a conversation I was having with my mother....

I went to my father's every weekend... and I sometimes was asked to babysit my brother and sister so my Dad and my step-mom could go out.. I never minded.. as I had fun... I made up games.. and adventures that they loved.. so it was a win win situation.
Sometimes.. we had TV dinners or something.. like that.. and I loved this. .because I lived with my grandmother and she NEVER allowed me to eat that... so it was a treat for me.
My mother was living in Florida... and would call me.. but once in awhile she would call me at my fathers.

My mother was jealous.. of my step-mother.. so she would always ask or say things negatively about her.. I usually just nodded and agreed.. My father sometimes would say bad things about my mother.. and I would also just nod and agree.. I did not want to stick up for my step-mother or my mother.. at that time.. AT 10 I just wanted no confrontations.. I still don't care for confrontations.. but I do stick up for people now...

So the phone rang one night on a weekend.. when I was visiting my father.. He was getting ready to go out with my step-mother to dinner and I was getting ready to eat with my siblings... My step-mother answered the phone in her bedroom... it was my mom... My dad yelled out to me to pick up the yellow rotary phone in the kitchen... it was my MOM. I picked it up.. My mother said hello," and then began... What are you doing? Is your dad going out? Do you have to babysit again? I bet your eating TV dinners again? I responded... with one word answers...My mom suggested that my step-mother was using me... or not treating me like a daughter when I said, "yeah, I know." I just wanted this part of the conversation to end... BUT what happened next is ETCHED in my brain.... I heard feet stamping... and then the line went dead.. My mom was not on the other end. but an annoying.. buzzing was left in her place...
 My Dad stormed in the room.. and grabbed me by the shirt and kicked me in the butt so hard.. with his workboot... He told me to get up to my room... I went up there.. a bit confused.. He arrived a second later with more to say.. He told.. ME I hurt my step-mothers feelings..and that.. I should stick up for her.. and why did I do that? and that he was so disappointed in me... and My head was spinning and my bottom was aching... My dad had never hit or spanked me up until this time. Then I heard the phone ring.. and it was my mom dad told her.. I was not coming to the phone.. and he hung up with her.
I was crying.. but I was upset.. that my dad and step-mom were Eavesdropping on my conversation.. and that they could not see.. that I really did not believe.. what my mom said.. that I just was avoiding... the conversation... I had to apologize to my step-mother.. and I don't think she trusted me after that.. for a very long time.. I wanted them to apologize for lifting up the receiver.. but I never asked..and they never did.
I did feel sorry that my step-mother was hurt... I was angry at my mother... for saying those things... to begin with.
I try never to eavesdrop in that way.. but once in a hotel room.. I did... listen through the walls... and I have a hard time in a restaurant sometimes... not hearing other peoples conversations... I try to tune it out.. but sometimes I can hear it clear as day....

So remember even the french have a word for listening in... ( it pertains to a devise.... for listening to another persons conversation on the phone) Ecoute... sounds.. great when you hear it said...It's not polite to do it.. no matter how nice it sounds...

Come back tomorrow.. for letter F......


Ella said...

Ouch, grown ups should remember being that age! Avoidance was the issue at hand, you didn't agree, just didn't want to argue with either party. Sorry Lisa, that is a painful memory~
Reminds me of an incident in 2nd grade. I was sharing crayons with the boy behind me. The girl at the top of the row, came down and asked if she could share with us. I said, "No, you have new crayons in your desk". She went and told the teacher, who came and asked if I was sharing with her. I started to tell her why and that I was sharing with Dale. She shook the daylights out of me. He was so scared; he didn't say a word. She was a rich kid that didn't want to use her new crayons...She grew up to be a pain in the butt, too.

Marjorie said...

Your story makes me want to cry for the little girl you were. I was reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens recently (If you haven't read it DO. It made me cry at least 5 different times)and I can't remember the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of nothing hurts a child more than injustice. I felt the solid truth of that statement as soon as I read it. I feel like your dad should NOT have been listening to your conversation with your mother. He was wrong.

sema said...

Really the plight of kids caught between 2 parents is very sad and difficult.
Your personal story highlights this.

visiting from A-Z challenge

Misha said...

Hmm... I think it's unfair that people should listen in to conversations.

I've only eavesdropped once in my life. My mom's cell couldn't disconnect calls. She assumed I did and I got to hear the end of my parents' marriage going down.

Not sure if I regret it though. My family has a way of sheltering me that keeps me from finding out what really goes on.

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