The clashing of too many sounds


You know it.

A full restaurant with ceilings designed so badly that every possible sound rebounds and you’re struggling to make sense of what your colleagues, friends or family are saying, because the noise all around is so confounding, your ears are exhausted from working overtime and then you suddenly zone out. It’s just too much hard work.

It’s not fun zoning out, pretending you’ve heard what was said and keeping a vigilant observation on how others are responding to the ‘comments.’

Are they laughing?  Good, that’s my cue to laugh too.

Are they shocked?  OK, this is my cue to look shocked too.

Shit.  Everyone’s said something except me.  What have they said?

What do I say that sounds like I’ve been part of the conversation?

Darn it.  I’ve just said something irrelevant.  Oh God.  They’re looking at me funny.  I’ve not only sounded like a dork, I’m looking like one too.  Huh.  Wait a minute.  They’re smiling at me now.  I guess this means I’m forgiven?  They understand?  I’ve said something profound? Maybe?  I take a sip of wine while someone else says something and they’re all laughing again.

For fucks sake.  Who designs these buildings, anyway?  Have they ever stopped to consider the sound and how it echos, distorting it’s original intention? Have they ever stopped to think that one day, some random woman will come here and sit down, be part of some event, and won’t be able to make sense of what she’s just heard?

Obviously not.  Assholes.

Oh, here comes the waiter.  “I trust everything is alright.  Everyone enjoying the food?”

I’m screaming inside my head.  “The food?  The food? How about working on softening the sound of this place…huh?”

Instead, I smile and say, “All good.”  And he walks away all pleased with himself.

Joy.

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