In my younger days I was way into music. The more obscure the better, causing me to have more than my fair share of useless 80s and 90s music trivia swimming around in my head.
I also went to way too many concerts -- mostly in smoky, loud dive bars, which in turn caused irreparable harm to my poor, then-innocent eardrums. But it just didn't matter. I was in my element.
That was then.
Now, I like my peace. With a large order of quiet on the side, thank you very much.
Yes, I'm officially an old fart. Too much noise makes me grumpy. I don't listen to my iPod too loudly, rarely blast my car stereo (the other moms in the carpool lane tend to frown on this -- believe me, I learned the hard way) and I have a healthy dislike of booming movie theaters. Ever since my neurotic, worry wort mom gene kicked in, I also take seriously all the warnings about the adverse affects of noise pollution.
So the other night, as I sat at the kitchen table trying to enjoy a moment of calm, I had yet another scary revelation.
My precious offspring, whose sweet little ears I've tried so hard to protect, were running around the house like a pack of wild coyotes. Hooting and howling, the noise level in my humble abode was about to reach something resembling a sonic boom.
Then the light bulb went off.
In my house lies a not-so-silent killer. One so dangerous, no one speaks its name. One the Press dares not cover. That research amazingly overlooks. Why its a conspiracy in the making. How could I have been so blind?
I realized that when my kids speak, the dial reads at least a 6. Its like they're projecting for a performance at Carnegie Hall. When they're excited, it gets even worse -- usually with the added bonus of the high-pitched, crystal-breaking whine thrown in. And when they're yelling (Yell? Us? I know its hard
to believe, but just go with me here). When they yell, to coin a phrase from our friends at Spinal Tap -- they're at eleven all the way!
And that's when it hit. No wonder why old people are deaf. Its not just because their old. Not because they went to too many concerts or listened to too much Lawrence Welk. Its because they had kids. It turns out those little bundles of joy not only make us gray, but they'll also have us all sporting hearing aids before all is said and done
So the next time you run into some week old lady shouting, "Heh?" repeated, have some compassion. After all, this could be you some day. And if you get the chance, go to a concert. If you're gonna go deaf, might as well have some fun doing it.