Lyrical Laughs

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Life should have a volume control

Recently I realized just how mature (we will not say “old”) my way of thinking is.

While we were in Philadelphia a couple of weekends ago the Love Couple brought us to a brewery. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, one where I expected most people to be outside walking and enjoying the warmth. But nooo. Somehow they all had the same idea – stopping by the brewery with all their friends, taking up a lot of space and talking. Loudly.

The din of voices and glass echoed through the high warehouse type rafters. We waded through the crowd and managed to find five seats together, but attempting to hear each other over the cacophony of storytelling, clinking drinks and laughter was useless. Sound reverberated off the walls to the point that I could not hear my own shrill voice as I struggled to talk to my family.

Now, I will admit I’ve been fighting Spouse’s idea of designating a local tap room as our almost-every-weekend stop. But at that moment I longed for the dark cellar and not-quite-comfortable seats, and even the shuffleboard game where I have found myself continually trounced by You-Know-Who (and he’s an obnoxious winner, which we will cover another time).

I forget sometimes that First Born and The Groom live in a huge city where it is rare to find an actual small crowd. When Mainers (or those of us from Away who claim to be Mainers) say “a few people” we are serious – there will be a few, as in three or maybe four people. In a place like Philly where “just around the corner” means a three-mile hike, a few people typically starts at 50. So there we were that Saturday afternoon, surrounded by a few people by city standards. I started taking to reading lips and didn’t dare separate from the rest of our crew.

I have never been one for very loud places, even though I was the lead singer of a band in another life (before my main talent became cutting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into sailboats). My rowdy days took place more than three decades ago, when I knew the words to songs that hadn’t been in a Disney movie. No part of me is up to dealing with deafening entertainment at this stage in life. In other words, my midlife crisis will have nothing to do with grabbing the microphone and storming the stage again. But oh, I could tell you some stories.

Even though our kids are grown and we are allowed to have a life of our own once again, I believe Spouse would agree with me. We’re good with it being a quiet one. We can still be a fun couple (yes we can, stop laughing) but we’d prefer not to lose our hearing within a half hour of amplified imbibing and millennial musings.

That’s the other thing. I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m the oldest one in the place. You know it’s a bad sign when you look around a crowded brewery and you’re wondering why none of these kids is getting up and giving you their seat. That was what I found most confusing about our stop that day. What were all these young people doing at a brewpub in the middle of the day? Don’t they start their pubbing at 10 p.m., after I’ve fallen asleep watching Modern Family reruns?

A few nights ago I had crawled into bed and was just getting comfy, when voices and laughter from our next-door neighbors’ backyard drifted into our bedroom window. My first thought was: Are they really up this late? Don’t they know they shouldn’t be making noise past…

My eye came into focus with the numbers of the clock in disbelief.

It wasn’t even 9:30.

So maybe it’s me and not the noise. Maybe in my next life I will be a big clanging bell or a megaphone. I just can’t think about that right now.

It’s after 9:30.


  1. Hear hear!! We try to avoid those types of noisy places but don't always succeed, especially when the younger generation picks the place. As I get older I go to bed earlier, but we have a rule - cannot go to bed before dark. The only good thing about winter is that we can go to bed really early!

    1. I'm with you, Meryl! It's not totally unheard of for me to slip into PJs by 5 p.m. during those early dark winter evenings!