I'm going into the weekend with a scratchy throat, a byproduct of a trendy restaurant. I spent all my time at lunch yelling at my lunch companion.
Mind you, I didn't do this because I was angry or he had done something wrong. On the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with my old friend Peter Baron, a PR guru here in Atlanta. But we had to yell at one another to be heard over the music. I wish I could say this is unusual; unfortunately, it's anything but. In fact, recently my husband and I walked out of a Chili's vowing never to go back because it was so loud we couldn't enjoy our meal or have a decent conversation.
Peter, Ralph (my husband) and I are all Boomers, but I'm the only one with a hearing problem. (By the way, that turns out to be statistically relevant, as studies show 1 in 3 people over 50 suffer a hearing loss). Even though they hear much better than I do, they share my annoyance at finding it difficult to enjoy visiting over a meal. (Did you know, by the way, that according to the Hearing Aid Music Foundation, Boomers are the largest demographic in history to suffer from preventable hearing loss brought on by environmental conditions, such as listening to loud music? )
I asked a waitress at one restaurant why it was necessary to play music so loud and she answered - with a straight face - "Because it creates atmosphere." Who knew contributing to noise pollution was a marketing ploy?
I hereby ask forgiveness of all those I've ridiculed for their ever-present white earbuds. I now suspect they may be trying to block out music, not pipe it in!
We Boomers need to be bolder about asking restaurant managers to turn down the music when it keeps us from enjoying our meal. There's no reason to pay to be assaulted. And if they don't ? Plead temporary blindness when the check comes.