I am a quiet person by nature, so living with people who are loud in everything they do, drives me absolutely batty. I can be so content in my quiet and peaceful state of Becky-land when suddenly my Zen is shattered by a jarring sound and every cell in my body is up and ready to fight. You know the type of loud I’m talking about. These people slam doors shut, bang pots and pans around, never find what they need in plastic bags, have enormous keys chains full of all things metal; they yell into their cell phone, “What? What? What did you say”; they crank the T.V., their ringtones, the IM on their computers; sometimes I just stare in wonderment. How, on God’s green earth, do these people not realize the distraction they cause to others? I live with two other girls who have this handicap, and the only time it doesn’t bother me is when I’m not there to notice.
I just don’t understand why some people can be like that. I am quiet in what I do because I don’t want to be disturbing. I value my sleep so I assume others value theirs. I set things down, creep along, and slowly close doors. Then there’s her. She drops, chucks and slams, reopens and kicks closed. I can open the curtain to my bed and look at her and tell her to be quiet, but because she already has no idea that she is producing any level of noise, it makes no difference. She’ll apologize but I don’t think she knows how to be subtle.
I regard being quiet around others who are sleeping, reading, or whatever something not loud, to be a gesture of consideration. So, when the gesture is not returned, it’s an act of disrespect. But I don’t think this girl, and others like her, are loud out of spite. That’s why this is such a mystery and remains a fact of life for me while I’m stuck on this barge with her.
It’s human nature to want to take revenge on a disrespectful act, so if I were to take action on my thoughts after she has woken me from a dead sleep, I would break out of my quiet bubble and give it right back. Only she wouldn’t pick up on the reason why I was doing it, nor would she bother asking about it. I know this because I have done it. This is why I have come to the conclusion that I need to give her a blatant demonstration of what it’s like to live with her. I mean, set time aside and tell her, “I am going to show you exactly what you do that is so loud and wakes us all up. Then I’m going to teach you how do all of that stuff quietly so you stop waking us up.” This may turn into a twelve step program during which I’ll have to call in the Dog Whisperer, but ignoring the problem isn’t the answer to peace for all.
It’s a warm and fuzzy thought that I could retrain her, but the mystery remains. Why do I have self awareness but others like her do not? Sure, it could be upbringing, but adults, the ones who moved away from home and have had contact with other adults, have figured out the certain considerations that make life more enjoyable for all. The rest of them are the ones who don’t turn their cell phones off in the theater, are the loud table in the restaurant, lay across the only available seats at the airport terminal, stand in front of a long line and can’t decide what they want, and I really don’t think half of them get it. I want to retrain them all. I want to take them through my twelve step program and teach them how to live in society without people hating them. I want us all to sleep peacefully through the night without getting shocked awake by people like my berthing mate.
Since I can’t exactly change this right now I have to pick my battles wisely and do my best to learn tolerance. Still, though, I do expect everyone to be considerate of others and not slam around in the middle of the night. I guess it’s too much to ask from some.