About a year ago, I noticed myself making quiet grunting noises when I would do things that required small amounts of effort i.e. getting out of a sitting position or struggling to get my shoes off. I noticed this, but it didn’t really register. Since it was just happening independent of my conscious effort, I thought it was just one of those things. I was getting into my car one day and as I plunked myself into the drivers seat I let out yet another involuntary grunt–kind of like Maria Sharapova, but not nearly as loud or pointy. My brother, sitting in the passenger seat nodded knowingly, “Ah, the Tieman grunt, you have it too.”

All I could do was blink and ask, “Bah?”

“The Tieman grunt,” he insisted, “Dad does that all of the time, so do I.”

I was never aware that my dad was a grunter, or that this was some family trait. Also, why is my brother proud of this? Upon reflection, though, I can easily recall the sound of my dad grunting more than most. It can be handily explained away by saying “He runs ten miles a day, he’s always sore.” No, because when you run ten miles every day, you stop being sore after a while. This explanation is a complete lie, and an excuse for something that may just be “Tieman.” How else would I manage to pick up my father’s traits when I rarely see him? Is this something in my DNA? Can grunting be in a person’s DNA?

So that happened. It blew my mind. I’m more like my father than I realized. That fact was punctuated by my brother smugly asserting “You really are your father’s daughter, aren’t you?” Apparently, of all of the people in my family, I’m most like my dad, and my maternal grandfather.

So this grunting thing has gotten out of control. Now I feel like I’m grunting every time I move. Also, it’s not hard for me to move around. I don’t have arthritis, or any other kind of muscular wasting disease. There is certainly no reason to grunt when I turn on a light..but I do.

The grunting is really just then first indicator of a larger problem. When I’m home alone, I constantly make noise. I have whole conversations with Watson (cat). I sing in the shower, while I do dishes, and while I cook–basically, I constantly make sounds. Maybe I was initially only grunting in private and that made its way into the public sector of my life. What’s next? Am I going to be that asshole that sings constantly and makes everyone uncomfortable? Or the girl who uses baby talk and everyone just pretends it’s normal? Where does it stop?

This whole phenomenon is irritating, and alarming, but mostly I just want to understand it. Am I desperately seeking attention? Validation that yes, actually, my life is challenging when a door is heavy and I must open it, and it’s hard to get up when sitting is easy and comfortable. Or am I just the victim or some idiotic family curse?

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