One time in high school, a friend of mine was trying to tell me something from across our history class. She was able to get my attention, but I had never become fluent (or anything near unto it) in lip-reading, the lingua franca of high school distance-speaking. She quickly realized I wasn't understanding, and shortened her message down to the most important word or two--still no comprehension on my part. She exaggerated the vowels, slowed it down, etc... Finally I just did an "Ohhhh! Got it!" face to get her to stop trying because it was hopeless.
That anecdote, writ large, is my life.