Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Little Noise Never Hurt Anybody, Right?

I love spring time. The time when the lilacs bloom. The time when the trees put out leaves and the grass gets green and the pollen is in the air...

I love to have the windows open to get the spring breezes and hear the birds chirping.

What I don't love is living in a neighborhood where the lawnmowers run all weekend and the kids knock on your door multiple times a day and immediately after they knock they ring the doorbell and then the dog goes batshit crazy. What I don't love is the intrusion of sound into my world, unless it is sound of my own creation. What I don't love is the sound of construction equipment from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every summer.

I've gotten so sensitive to noise that I almost can never have my windows open, which kind of pisses me off. Yesterday, I asked Justin if he could move anywhere in the world when we retire, where would he live. He had basically the exact same idea as I do. A log cabin in the mountains of North Carolina on a big lake. Blissfully quiet. No dogs yapping or kids shouting or doorbells ringing. No construction equipment noise.  No lawnmowers going all weekend long, as people try to catch up on the chores they missed during the week.

I've gotten so sensitive to noise that I have to mute all the commercials when I watch television. If something is repetitive, I get annoyed to the point of discomfort. If they crank up the volume when it goes to the commercial, I am grabbing for the remote.

We live in a very nice neighborhood with very nice neighbors. The problem is that when we moved here, our goal was to own a single family home. We had hoped for a little more privacy with the house, but unfortunately, the only house available was smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood with lots only 1/3 of an acre. Our neighbors on the left can see into our hot tub from their upstairs windows. The neighbor on the right likes to use his deck (and why shouldn't he?) and if the windows are open at night, the voices carry.

I get inordinately irritated by all this noise. It's the normal noise of living in a society and it's not city noise, by any means. But I, for some reason, am annoyed to the point of wanting to move. I can't watch anything on television anymore unless it's a movie on cable with no commercials. I don't even listen to the radio anymore, but use my iPod in the car, often using my serenity sounds tracks.

I find myself similarly irritated to the point of discomfort by the sun beating through my windows. Both the car and the house. As the sun goes down in the evenings, it beats through the front windows of our house unrelentingly. The place where my recliner is situated is directly in the path of the sun as it goes down and I find myself having to move to the couch. It's almost like a personal attack - at least that's how my body reacts. I need sunglasses when I leave the house because my eyes are so light sensitive. No one ever understood why I couldn't wear contacts. When I tried, my eyes hurt so bad that I couldn't leave them in.

The sensitivity is getting worse as I get older. I am constantly telling Joey to lower his voice because he has one volume - loud, louder, loudest. I get angry that the kids are constantly knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell. I hate it when the phone rings. (Which is why I love my iPhone because I can make the sounds more agreeable. But I still hate talking on the phone.)

I don't know if the light and noise sensitivity is a part of the fibromyalgia, but I suspect that it is. Because it is so uncomfortable for me, I actually get extremely cranky and snappy and I don't like my voice like that.

I suspect I will be retreating back upstairs when summer gets here to get away from the doorbell. I have walky talkies purchased for Joey, but he has more than one friend across the street and they all come at separate times and multiple times and we can't figure out how they will work when the kids are constantly wanting to know if he can come out. Because he is so much older than they are, we hope that once he gets to high school, he is going to lose interest in "playing" with kids that are so much younger than he is. Then again, I am happy that he has friends, even if they are so much younger, so I don't want to stifle his wanting to go out to play.

Today, I told Justin (and Joey) that I understood why my mother finally grounded me when I asked for the 14th time if I could run through the sprinkler one more time when I was 13. She got tired of me coming in and out and asking her and she must have finally just had enough. I was a first rate nag and I don't know how she put up with me. I am probably still a first rate nag, but I can control it to a point now. Now I have a 13 year old nag and I guess payback is hell...

I don't know what my point is. It's not that I don't like my neighbors or don't want to be neighborly. It's just that I don't want the noise of everyday life intruding into my space. Maybe that makes me a bad mom, for not wanting to be the house where all the kids hang out. Or a crabby, cranky neighbor. Of course, when the older kids have friends over, they don't come wandering downstairs looking for a snack and force me to shut off the R rated movie I am watching. They also don't want to hang out and talk to me, which is just fine by me. They're here to see the kids, not the kids' mom. And that's just fine.

I sometimes wonder if when the nest gets empty, I will miss the noise. But I really doubt it.


  1. I have the same sensitivity to noise and light. We are finally moving to the country and as scared as I am for this new venture, I can't wait to live in peace and quiet!

  2. My Boyfriend and I went on a hike Saturday morning. Up a mountain. Away from people. We got to the top and what do we hear? Leafblowers. Endlessly blowing.


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