HEALTH & WELLNESS Middle Age Maladies MIDDLE AGE MUSINGS  >  What’s Bugging Me – Part Deux

What’s Bugging Me – Part Deux

What’s Bugging Me – Part Deux
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BY BETH PORTOLESE

I don’t usually write these rants so close together but this past week a couple of situations have brought me to the point of just having to say something and ask the question.  WHY IS EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE SO LOUD THESE DAYS??

Maybe I’m overly sensitive about this since loudness has always really bothered me.  I never really went to rock concerts when I was younger and during the few I did go to I sat with my fingers in my ears. Loud fights have always bothered me from the time I was a kid whether it was on TV or in real life.  I’ve hesitated to bring this annoyance up because I always thought, “Well maybe it’s just me.”  Now, however, I just have to say something.

Yesterday I went to the movies and saw ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me.’  Cute movie but the sound was so loud that my ears were ringing a little for a few hours after I left the theater!  Why was this necessary?  It’s not like people were sitting far away from the screen!  The first row was probably 5 ft away!  I was hoping after the previews that they would turn down the sound but no luck.  Of course because the sound was so loud, the people who decided to talk during most of the movie next to me had to speak up even louder so they could hear each other.  It was really ridiculous.

The movie is just the latest example of this not so new loudness phenomenon.  I started to notice it when I took kick boxing a couple of years ago.  They played music to get everyone in the mood to ‘kick some butt’ as the instructors said.  As time went on, this music got louder and louder until the point where I was wearing ear plugs to class.  I eventually stopped going and when asked why, I told them that they emphasized health in the class but that should also include hearing health and their music was too loud.  They thanked me for my feedback but I could tell they thought it was just some older woman who couldn’t handle the badassness (is that a word?) of class.  Actually it was just some older woman who wanted to retain her hearing as she ages.

The other day on the bus two guys got on and sat next to me.  The first one was talking to the other one in a semi normal tone of voice but when his friend answered him, he talked so loud that everyone on the bus could hear him!  Why exactly did I need to know about the personal situation they were discussing?  It happens on the street too when people are talking on their cell phones and screaming so loud into them that everyone surrounding them on the street can hear everything they say.  Usually these conversations involve the F word but that is for another rant on another day.  Suffice it to say that I don’t really want to hear the argument you are having with your partner.  It’s loud enough on NYC streets with the sirens and traffic without this. On the subway people listen to their music with earbuds on.  Shouldn’t that block the sound?  Normally it would, but some people have their music turned up so loud that it’s like I’m listening to their music along with them. Why?? If you go in many stores that are geared towards teenagers these days (and I try not to) the music playing in the background (supposedly) is cranked up to an annoying volume. Is this supposed to make teenagers buy more clothes?

I see that a lot of this involves young people.  This worries me because I think there is going to be an epidemic of people losing their hearing as they age in this generation.  People in my generation are starting down this road and we were not even subjected to the loudness that is everywhere now. You can see how these kids will end up by looking at the rock and roll musicians from the 60s. Many are partially deaf.  I did an article about hearing loss on this site not too long ago because I really think it is going to become a huge problem.   http://www.fiftyisthenewfifty.com/can-you-hear-me-now/

Being the capitalist that I am, I’m thinking of buying stock in a hearing aid company. That and a new pair of earplugs should make me feel a little better about things.

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