Monday, January 4, 2010

60s music—it’s not always the Beatles

As much as I hate to admit it, I have become a noisemaker as I’ve aged. Maybe other sixty-somethings do this too, but either I’m too absorbed in my own music to notice, I’m too polite to pay attention, or I’m simultaneously getting hard of hearing.

Here are some of the not-too-easy-on-the-ear sounds I produce:
  • Melodious, drawn-out yawning. I’m afraid I can’t find the right syllables to describe this in writing, but those who make yawning into a symphony of sounds know what I mean. My parents did this as they got older. Now it’s my turn.
  • Loud, resonant burps. (I am again being polite. Let’s call them what they really are: big belches.) I try to be discreet about this in public, but it’s obvious that I don’t consider my husband public. He can return the favor, and together we could put on a musical. It could be traced to the fact that we’re eating healthier—broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, hummus… This could lead me to another noise caused by aforementioned foods, but I refuse to go there.
  • Creaking and popping joints. It’s hard to move these days without some clicking or popping noise coming from one of my limbs. I guess I have to be grateful at this point that I still have my own joints and haven’t had to have any replaced (knock on wood). I also recently discovered that when I turn my head from side to side, it sounds like my neck is filled with gravel. Heaven only knows what’s going on in there, and I’d rather not know.
  • Muttering to myself while trying to solve a crossword puzzle. With my husband nearby muttering, “That’s not right!” while he’s working on a Sudoku, I don’t feel so odd saying, “That doesn’t fit!” at the same time. This wouldn’t be as bad if I didn’t also make these sounds when I’m alone.
  • Uttering “uhmmmmm” (which comes out as a whiny humming sound) while typing this post. I just noticed myself doing this, and I know I do it often. Noises just escape from my throat involuntarily. This can be the vocal version of the sigh, but I might also label it a closed-mouth kvetch.
I could go on, but I’ve already provided enough fuel for others to avoid inviting me to parties. Please know that I am able to hold back the music while interacting with friends and colleagues. That is, for now. What will the next decade bring?