I remember vividly how, as a freshman in high school, I was overcome with awe the first time I walked into a school pep rally. It was so… raucous—but, you know—in a good way. An entire high school shouting chants and fight-songs in unison. An entire high school stomping the bleachers until the stone building rocked. It stirred me.

I was similarly moved the first time I went to a dance club, one of those “teen night” deals (I can’t believe my mom let me go! My dad called it a “meat market”). I approached the line in front of the building and felt the bass pulsing from inside. I was one of those idiotic girls dancing in line outside. I couldn’t even wait to get to the dance floor.

In college, I was a regular at house-parties and night-clubs. The more people the better. …The louder the better.

In the car, I played my music loud.

The deafening roar of a roller-coaster? Give it to me. Mardi Gras? Beads to my ears. Crowds, chaos, mayhem… they fed my fledgling soul.

For me, noise was synonymous with life, movement, action. It meant something exciting was happening.

And then, in my mid-twenties, I got married and had a baby.

Suddenly, silence was so infrequent an occurrence that it became a commodity, like gold. There were days when the supply of it was so limited that the price stretched far beyond what I could possibly afford to pay. Like a hobo on the street who dreams of gold bars, I paced the halls with my screeching baby and prayed for a few moments of calm.

Back then, we lived on a busy road (first-time home-buyer’s mistake—don’t do it!) and as luck would have it, right around the time I gave birth to my son Lucas, the county decided to widen the already-busy road. For our newborn’s entire first year, we lived with ground-shaking digging and hammering right outside our front door. They even took part of our front yard, and there was not a damn thing we could do but stew in our impotent frustration.

On top of that, we had a high-anxiety dog who barked at specks of dust floating through the air or a leaf landing on someone’s deck three houses down. And our neighbors, the ones who lived on the side of the house where my infant son’s bedroom window was located, decided that us having a baby was a perfect excuse to add a garage onto their house. They began hammering and sawing every morning at 8:00 a.m. sharp. Yes, even on the weekends.

And of course, Lucas himself was loud. (Lord knows he still is.) He cried soooo freaking much. I can remember lying down on the bed next to him as he cried, my own body wracked with hiccupping sobs.

I so desperately wanted a little… silence.

Now I have two kids, plus a bevy of neighborhood children who streak back and forth through our yard wailing shrieks of glee. It’s always at least a little bit loud around here.

Strangely, my husband’s tolerance for noise doesn’t seem to have been affected by the arrival of children into our lives, though, that might be because he’s out of the house most of the day. When he’s home on the weekends, the first thing he does in the morning is turn on the news at full volume. Later in the day, he blares music to accompany whatever it is that we’re doing. In the car, he blasts the radio.

He likes UB40, okay?

I am over the noise. I hate it. I don’t like how when the TV or music is blaring, if you want to be heard, you have to shout. And if you want to hear anyone, you have to do that head-tilty thingy and point your ear-hole at the person’s mouth and shout “WHAT???” and the person has to repeat themselves five times while practically screaming at you. And then everyone’s bitchy from all the screaming and not-hearing.

It doesn’t help that my husband’s partially deaf in one ear and can’t hear anything I say anyway. If there’s background noise, I might as well not be there at all.

And really, the kids, our daily lives, the general running of a household… things are noisy enough without adding anything extra. So… yeah. I’m kinda over it.

So when my husband cranks up the noise, I try to calmly explain to him how much it bothers me. I’m sure he thinks I’m being controlling or bitchy or something, which I guess is sort of the case, but honestly, the feeling I get when the noise level is past a certain decibel is akin to rage, and I can’t just deep-cleansing-breath it away. The kids can be playing innocently, not hurting a thing, but just loud, oh so incredibly LOUD, and I want to scream at them to SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY!!! Sometimes I escape to my bathroom on pretense of pooping just to detach from the roaring din of my household.

When I was twenty, if you had told me that one day I would be annoyed by loud music, I would’ve rolled my eyes and said “whateverrrrr.” How was I supposed to know that one day I would have zero control over the noise in my life?

When something taken for granted becomes a precious commodity, it has a way of shifting one’s perceptions. It seems that, after I had a baby, my infatuation with noise died ride alongside my love of hooker-shoes, false eyelashes, and glitter.

Actually… come to think of it, maybe having kids has less to do with my new aversion to noise than I thought.

Maybe I just grew up.


  1. I have to agree to a certain extent. I can handle kid noise much more than the hubby though. We like to listen to music in the house when we’re cooking or cleaning, but I still have to be able to hear what someone is saying to me. I do still love a good concert, but I think I would break something (or someone) if I had to go to a club. Funny, considering how we spent most of our time in college. lol

    • I still get it in my head that it would be fun to go clubbing and relive my glory days… then I get there and I’m like “WHYOHGODWHYAMIHERE”

      Hey I just realized this post totally fits in with the title of YOUR blog! haha

    • Me too! When I was in college I couldn’t stand to be alone in my dorm room – I always sought out people. Even for studying, I always wanted to be in a group. Now I have to really think hard whether or not I want to go places because I’m not sure if I can deal with people. lol

  2. My husband is the same way when it comes to the volume on the t.v. or if we listen to music on the stereo. It drives me nuts when I’m trying to get my youngest child to bed, and the t.v. is so loud that I can hear what people are saying on it! I have to restrain myself from opening the door and yelling profanities…and the music-yes I like my music kind of loud when we are all listening together, but he plays it soooo loud, and then tries to have a conversation with me…we might as well learn sign language so we can talk to each other during these times, lol. Also, I’m a hardcore introvert, so I need quiet time everyday just to keep from going into rage mode. 🙂

    • I really think it has a lot to do with the baby-stage. We know how precious and fleeting those moments of baby-sleep are (our ONLY break) so we cherish the silence that allows that sleep to happen. Unless they’re stay-at-home dads, the guys just don’t get that.

  3. Tania Goddard

    I can’t do the loud noise, often I lose it when my husband decides to listen to his music. He likes old gangster rap (oh my lord I loathe it with such passion).
    He also happens to be a stereo lover, has to in his own words “have my shit dialed in.” Someone randomly gave him 2 brand new surround sound systems because they were going to throw them out anyway. As soon as I saw them my murderous instincts kicked in lol. I need quiet, I often jump in the shower just to get away with my thoughts. my daughter always needs something, for example, the blanket that’s on the floor right next to her. Sometimes its the light turned off, she has this whiny cry too. lmao, not that you want to know but I’m typing this while in the bathroom and my daughter is on the other side of the door asking me to bring her toy tricycle outside. My hubby is in the livingroom yelling “babe, what are you doing?” I kid you not. I just want quiet.

    I used to blast my stereo when I was younger listening to pantera, guns n roses, slayer, rammstein and the like. Nowadays I usually listen to Dora the explorer in as low a volume as I can get away with. Remember how I said my husband loves speakers? He gave our almost 4 yro a subwoofer for her bedroom and a PlayStation2, complete with the game scarface! Which they like to blast on high. If you’ve never played the game, its just as loud and full of profanity as the movie if not worst. I am not a over protective parent so the game content doesn’t bother me, its the noise.

  4. Tania Goddard

    So, I’m hitting “publish” and the phone rings, its my husband “what are you doing?”

    “I’m in the bathroom.”

    “Yeah, but what are you doing?”

    “I’m pooping!”

    “Ok, enjoy yourself.” (Click)

    Lmao I can’t get any quiet or alone time.

    • Tell him your poop has stage fright and won’t come out unless everyone leaves you the hell alone.


  5. OMG! I feel like you just wrote about me. My husband and I were the party throwing people back in the day and we always had loud and noisy people at our house. These days, with two kids, I feel like I am the neighborhood noise patrol. Last night our neighbor’s dog was barking at 9:30 and I was threatening my husband with death if he didn’t get the darn dog to shut the eff up!

    • Oh that’s a whole other post entirely… assholes who leave their dogs out barking for hours at a time. Honestly, DO THEY NOT HEAR IT??

  6. Okay, we’re the same. My husband describes me as “overly sensitive to noise.” He likes the music loud in the car when we’re out without the kids, and I can barely stand it on at all. And then . . . he wants to talk over the music. I’m like, “we can talk or listen to the music. Not both!” I honestly can’t take all the sound! I can’t even stand hearing someone eat popcorn at movies. It’s like a curse in my ears!

    • I don’t really notice the sound of people eating popcorn… but the sound of my husband eating a cup of yogurt (scrape scrape scrape SLURP) just about sends me over the edge.