She thought for a few seconds. "What?!"
"Was it crowded?" I asked, this time making an effort to speak a little more clearly.
She paused again. "Yeah!" she said. Which, while it just so happened to be the right response, I could tell clearly from the tone of her voice she had no idea what I'd just asked. I smiled at her.
"Wait, what did you ask me?!"
"Was the theater very full?"
"Oh yeah! It was packed!"
I always do my best not to pretend like I heard what someone said when I really didn't, but sometimes after you've asked someone to repeat something numerous times, you just feel to embarrassed to ask them to say it again. As seen in that situation, when you bluff you're fooling no one but yourself. But bluffing isn't something limited to people with hearing loss.
My mom (who has amazing, natural hearing) always tells me about an embarrassing incident that happened to her many years ago when she worked. One of her clients, who was a bit chatty, was going on and on in a story she was telling. My mom kind of zoned out, and didn't really pay attention. The woman stopped, awaiting a response, signaling her story had ended.
"Oh, that's so funny!" my mom said, even though she didn't listen to the story.
The woman stared at her in disbelief. It turned out her husband had died.
So that's why I always try to find out what someone said. Well, mostly. Later on that day, I heard my friend calling my name as I was leaving the cafeteria. This particular friend has a tendency to speak fast. Extremely fast. She ran up to me.
"Hey! How are you?" she asked me
"Good. What's up?"
"Nothing. So h- werogtjrgtowjirjtogj weogpeok oerkgerw?"
Oh no. I got that sinking feeling in my stomach when you just know you're not going to be able to understand something.
"Sorry, what did you say?"
"H tpokwtpeythegn elrkgnlenlerkn wegokwe cnwinfge?"
"Um, can you say that again?"
"Have you broken qporjtepojypeojt qritjeogjoj n24twe?"
Umm.... As far as I knew, I hadn't broken anything. I mean how important could the rest of the sentence really be?
"Haha. No!" I laughed.
"That's great! Wow!"
Oh no. What did I just tell her?
She continued, "So many other Jewish people I've talked to said they only lasted like five minutes! Wow! It's awesome you've lasted that long!"
It hit me what she'd asked. She wanted to know if I'd been keeping Passover. Which I hadn't. I had a piece of bread on the second day, and it all sort of went downhill from there...
"Oh!" I laughed nervously. "I don' t think I'll last much longer!" (What was I supposed to do, tell her I just lied?)
She then launched into a whole other story, her speech getting faster and faster as she went. I had not a clue what she was saying. I smiled whenever she looked at me, then rushed to class before she could ask me another question.
Has bluffing ever gotten you into a sticky situation?