Brooklyn, NY — Doctors told her parents she would never be able to hear. At age 27, she proved the doctors wrong. Now, at the age of 28, Ruth Larson is ready to go back to being deaf.
“This is it? This is what I’ve been missing? S***, just take them out,” Ruth signs. Ruth is referring to the cochlear implants she received not six months ago — miracles of modern science that have allowed her to hear for the very first time in her life. But friends and family say she’s already over it.
“I just don’t understand,” says Ruth’s mother, Karen. “This is what she’s always longed for, only to find out she doesn’t like it?”
Her father, Carl Larson, is just as bewildered. “When her face lit up the first time she heard her mother’s voice, I can’t describe the joy I felt for her,” he says, choking back tears. “I’m sorry, I’m at a loss for words.”
“Ruth is totally free to do what she wants,” says Janice Buckley, Ruth’s best friend since childhood. “But yeah, she’s being a real bitch about this.”
Ruth says their feelings on the matter don’t concern her. “All anyone wants to do is play me their favorite music all the f***ing time. If I have to listen to one more Tame Impala song, I swear to God I’m doing the procedure myself,” says Ruth, who has already contacted her surgeon to inform him of her plans. “I thought sound was supposed to be this incredibly useful, wonderful thing. But honestly? I was fine for 27 years without it.” She’s currently waiting on approval from her health insurance provider to have the implants removed.
Some have called her ungrateful. Others say she’s brave.
“If you ask me, I think it’s pretty cool Ruth is doing what makes her happy,” says Scott Clancy, her uncle.
“But I really think if she just listens to the White Album she’ll change her mind.”
Is it just the music? “No, it’s everything. Dogs barking, lawnmowers, commercials, people smacking their lips when they eat, people snoring, phone conversations on the bus, traffic. This morning I listened to someone blare their car horn for a solid 3 minutes because someone else cut them off. I mean, really? This is what everyone’s been rubbing in my face this whole time?” says Ruth, who is noticeably sleep-deprived.
“And what the f*** kind of name is ‘Ruth?'”
Despite her disappointment, Karen wants her daughter to choose her own path. “I will always love and support Ruth whether she can hear or not. She’s the one this decision affects, not us.” She pulls three Whitney Houston CDs out of her purse. “We’ll have to just stick with the classics. I can’t wait to listen to these with her.”
In recent days, Ruth’s story has begun to pick up steam on social media. With this, she’s gained several critics, all of whom point out that she could easily take the external processor off if she needs a break from the noise. Ruth isn’t having it. “As long as I have this thing in my head, people will still pester me. “‘Oh, this is important, just put them back on.’ Next thing I know I’m listening to their Soundcloud and being asked for ‘feedback.’ How does anyone put up with this for an entire lifetime?”
Needless to say, Ruth is looking forward to having peace and quiet again.
“When I don’t have to hear anyone anymore, I’ll be my normal, happy self again,” she says, clearly at the end of her rope.
“But for now, everyone just shut up.”
Sounds good, Ruth.