I’m a segmented sleeper, and am usually up between 2 and 5 a.m. on any given morning. I sometimes pass the time by giving sympathy and advice to sufferers on the /r/misophonia subreddit. Recently, I’ve noticed a trend of teenagers complaining about their parents hassling them about wearing headphones at the dinner table. As a father of teenagers, a headphone enthusiast, a music lover, and a Misophonia sufferer, I feel I am uniquely qualified to advise in these situations when asked.
My go-to is to suggest playing dinner music over a Bluetooth speaker instead of headphones. Dinner is a social event for many families, and parents want their kids in the conversation. The suggestion is usually met with confounded gratitude, in that they are often grateful for such a simple suggestion that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them.
This makes me a little sad. I’ve certainly been to dinner parties where there was no music. It’s awkward and painful as hell, but pretty rare in my circles. I have most certainly never been to a restaurant that didn’t have music playing. I’m pretty certain you haven’t either.
Never eat without music
Growing up, my family never put on music during dinner. Even by the time my Misophonia triggers were well established, it actually never occurred to me that anything was missing either. Maybe it shouldn’t surprise me that so many families around the world are eating in “silence,” but it does.
In a time where music is more abundant, accessible, and affordable than ever; and with so many inexpensive wireless speakers on the market—many with a tiny person inside waiting for you to ask for something to play—it’s unthinkable to me that so many people would overlook such a timeless, and common enhancement to mealtime.