Last year I was on my friend Justin's radio show and talked about how there should be quiet motorcycles, because nobody, except for I assume *some* the people riding them, likes how loud motorcycles are. I once complimented a man on the quietness of his motorcyle and he seemed to appreciate that I noticed.
I have further thoughts on loud things that out to be quiet--parties. The last two college reunions I went to featured a live band, which I guess was nice except that it was totally impossible to speak with anyone if you were standing inside the tent. Perhaps this was a clever way of discouraging superficial pointless conversations but mostly it just gave me a headache and was annoying considering I spent a few bucks getting there. Then, last year, at my high school reunion I learned the hard way that I am not young anymore when I found myself complaining to one of the organizers, a woman I hadn't seen in decades, that the DJ was just TOO LOUD. (I'm not a complete old lady--it was early on in the party and not the only one who said something. I was hypothetically fine with louder music later on at night but not early on when we were all sober and awkward.) Then just a few weeks ago I left a school fundraiser--a school fundraiser, not an after hours affair at a late night bar--because you can guess why. At least with that one it was people I can see every morning in the parking lot, and not people I only see every 20 years.
Some people have voices that can be raised naturally. Mine is not really like that--when I was younger I actually used to envy my friends who could scream the way girls are "supposed" to scream. I had more of a mannish "Aaah!" I'm not soft-spoken; it's just that above a certain decibel my voice just kind of turns into a scraping scratch. Once I performed Laura Branigan's "Gloria" at karaoke and in real time realized it was out of my key--discovering this in front of a crowd was a form of torture tailored especially for me.
Is it too much to ask that at get-togethers for people over age 35, we agree that we at least save the screaming for the last part of the evening? Or maybe all parties should have a quiet room, like the quiet room on a train (honestly this is the appeal of smoking outside parties--to grab some quiet.) Or maybe really what I'm just signaling that if you're having a party and want to have fun, don't invite me.