This post is about noise. Let’s be clear about what I mean when I use that word in this context. There’s Sound. And then there’s Noise. The “noises” my babies made when they were happy, well, we’ll call them Sounds. For this post, Noise is synonymous with loudness and cacophony. Now that we have the ground rules established, let’s move on.
One of the things my husband and I enjoy doing together in the evenings is watching TV. But once we became parents, I wanted the volume turned waaaaay down. This was primarily to avoid waking up the babies. I did not want to share this part of my evening with my sweet little cherubs. Not even a little. As soon as bedtime rolled around, it was my sincere desire to be off duty. Granted, there was always going to be the chance that one or both of them would wake up and I would be back on the clock. But I didn’t want to be in any way responsible for increasing those odds. All this to say, I was happy with the volume turned waaaaay down. My husband, however, was not. He likes to feel as though he’s sitting in a movie theater. Now, I have no problem with that if we’re actually in a theater — with my sleeping offspring several towns away. But, when they’re just upstairs, I get a little uncomfortable with my husband trying to recreate the movie theater experience right there, one floor away from those little threats to my night off. I don’t care how darn cute they are!
That, I always felt, was reasonable. I had a perfectly good reason on those occasions for my Aversion to Noise. But then we come to the next step in this, my descent into frustration. At this point in time, our children are seven and eight years old. They’re not so fragile. They can get themselves back to sleep now all by themselves. (Most of the time.) What I find disruptive to my peace of mind these days is that when commercials come on they’re at least three times as loud as the show we’re watching. What’s with that? If we’re trying to talk about anything more meaningful than, say, “Pass the chips,” I have to ask him to mute the blasted thing. I’m not able to concentrate on what he’s saying. Normal? He says No. Resoundingly.
Today when we were getting lunch, the girls wanted to listen to some Britt Nicole songs. We were getting our sandwiches ready; I was doing simple tasks that I do all the time, but after the third song I had to turn it off. I don’t mind her music. It’s Christian pop, it’s catchy. It’s all good. But I couldn’t think! As soon as I turned it off there was a wonderful feeling of peace. It was … QUIET. And I smiled as I soaked it in. (And I’m pretty sure there were eyes rolling a little off to my right. Seven and eight year old eyes, to be specific. But that’s not important now.) We all know the saying, If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t noooobody happy! Therein lies my point.
Now, my husband can listen to any kind of music while he’s doing just about anything, it seems. He can carry on a conversation just fine even if he’s surrounded by what seems to me to be chaos and disorder. I, on the other hand, can’t. Sadly, it’s really that simple.
So, I have to wonder — have I always been this sensitive to noise? IS it normal for at least females of our species to feel this way? Or am I getting curmudgeonly in my old age? At 45 I start to wonder if I’ll soon be shushing young-uns who are causing such a dadburn ruckus! Holy smokes, I hope not. Maybe I’ll get used to it –all this discordance, and Noise. Perhaps.
But probably not. Sadly, you’ll likely see me in coming years, with a pained, pinched look to my face. Old and, yep, curmudgeonly; grumpy and shushing.