Friday, October 1, 2010

My Life's Soundtrack Angers the Masses

I wear my headphones everywhere I go. When I am forced to leave the house in the morning to do work-type-stuff, there are few things that I require, my headphones and player are musts (clothes, car keys, wallet…eh). Perhaps over the years I have been oblivious to the perturbed reactions from non-headphone wearers but lately it's been rather evident through little gestures, a dirty look or taken aback posture, that they aren't comfortable with my headphone wearing while in their presence.

I am one of those people who is unable to keep ear buds in my ears, the little bastards just fall right out (perhaps I have an overly large external auditory meatus). To compensate, I sport huge headphones whose intention are for pristine clarity. Since I work in basically a corporate city that houses some rather large company names such as Ford and Microsoft, the volumes of people that roam through here is an immeasurable equation. And, for some reason, me wearing my headphones and drowning out the cacophony of my surroundings puts people on edge.

I suppose I should give a little history to this, I have done this since junior high school. From the moment I left the house until the moment I got home I would have tunes playing. Don't get me wrong, I didn't spend my entire adolescence, tween, and teen years in my own hollow world listening to Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, Metallica, and Nirvana (I did mention it was junior high/high school, right?) If someone I knew actually wanted to have a conversation, I would remove the headphones and have the conversation but if I didn't know you, I wouldn't be prone to strike up a conversation just for conversation's sake.

And, it is that reason that, even now in pseudo-adulthood, you will find me standing in a corner of the elevator listening to a podcast or a nice 1970ish bootleg of Led Zeppelin then be force fed a conversation about the weather or to give me your opinion about the Bears game. "Upon us all a little rain must fall. It's just a little rain."

When I am by myself shopping at Target, why do I need to listen to "soft, light rock" playing through the store when I can play my own music and can play Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' when I choose not when the Target soundtrack chooses it for me?

My guess is, I am either perceived as rude for not making myself available for a conversation with the person I don't know or as wannabe cool guy sporting headphones to show that I am rebellious and not going to live up to society's norms. Anyone who has ever met me can testify that the latter can't be true, the only thing rebellious about me is violating the beer before liquor rule. Let's just say I would not make Rage Against the Machine proud. So, I guess that the people I don't know will just have to think of me as being rude since I don't want to make myself available in case they would like to have some bullshit conversation about the bathroom conditions on the 10th floor or the parking situation.

TL;DR people hate me…but I can't hear the hate because I am too busy listening to Colin Hay.

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