Recently a man published his masterpiece detailing how he forces a woman in headphones to listen to his words. Yesterday Apple solved everyone’s problems by doing for women what Bluetooth headsets did for people who talk to themselves. They created AirPods, the perfect excuse for any woman (provided she has long enough hair) to ignore those she does not want to talk to.
In case you, like Dan Bacon, are concerned that by using AirPods women everywhere are ignoring male mating calls and potential meet cutes, let me put your mind at ease. As a woman who has been approached while wearing headphones, I can tell you that women are not wearing those headphones because they are afraid to talk to you. They are wearing them because they do not want to talk to you. They do not want to hear your thoughts on superhero films and whether or not Jessica Jones counts as a superhero.
Wearing headphones and being surrounded by my own personal soundtrack is a perk of my life which I have fought hard and won. I do not take public transport in order to have multiple encounters which may end in meet cutes. I know that meet cutes are a myth which only happen in a world inhabited by characters dreamt of by Nora Ephron and Nancy Myers. Twenty first century women make their own meet cutes on their own terms, because as Nora Ephron herself once said, we are all the heroines of our own stories. I have the power to decide what will be my meet cute, and a man making signs at me that I should pull my headphones out does not fit my ideal meet cute. What I want most in the world is to be let alone.
The time during my commute is my sacred time to myself. Virginia Woolf once said that a woman’s true freedom is a room of her own. In today’s society of roommates and multiple person dwellings, a personal bubble created by your headphones counts as that room of your own. Unlike Thoreau who had the ability to forsake all of his personal responsibilities, I cannot do that, and so this is as close to Walden Pond as I am going to get. This is my time to read my book, the news, or simply stare into space. It is sacred time, and male interruptions pantomiming that I should pay attention to them is not welcome. If I wanted male attention, I would go to a speed dating event. That door is closed, and there is a gone fishing sign on my door.
Earbuds afford women a privilege long enjoyed by man spreaders everywhere, but with one important perk. Earbuds mean we do not have to be overly nice to anyone. The burden of being nice is one which women have struggled with for centuries, and this is the first century in which we as a collective whole are realizing, we do not have to be nice. And now Apple has created a female friendly utopia here on earth, by allowing us all to point at our ears and pretend that we have made our choice to listen to music, and not you.
A few centuries ago we used fairy tales to explain the unexplainable. Things were simpler in those days. He did not look like his father because he was a changeling. She died a spinster because a black cat once walked across her path. He died because he once walked below a ladder. She threw a hysterical fit because the woman next door stared at her. Life was good, life was easy, and it was a remarkably simple and logical matter to find explanations for life’s little mysteries.
In 2016 we have a better handle on how life works. DNA testing can assuage your fears about your child’s parentage. We know cats of any color are actually perfection, and that spinsterhood is not bad luck. Walking beneath a ladder is still a bad idea but if anything bad does happen it will at least happen quickly. And to this day, I have been largely unsuccessful in my attempts to cast spells by simply glaring at people.
With the advances of science, we now know the reasons behind most of life’s mysteries, yet our own bad behavior still confuses us. We can no longer blame our bad behavior on the witch next door, but we do have those bewitching candy-colored apps which live on our smartphones.
These apps take the blame for our bad behavior every day. Tinder waves its magical wand and makes us superficial creatures. Twitter nurtures our ability to not pay attention to anything longer than 140 characters. Instagram turns us all into the worst kind of braggers. Snapchat creates sexting monsters of us all. Pokemon Go has brought on the zombie apocalypse and is selling your data to people you wouldn’t want to meet. No matter what your fault is, there’s an app for that.
But that’s not the way life works. You may be unable to see past the surface of a pretty face. You may lack the patience to read entire articles. You may hashtag your photo #soblessed because you are oblivious to the world’s problems. You may overshare. You may actually be a zombie. But whatever your flaw is, it’s probably safe to say that you weren’t cursed by an app.
Today I turned in my senior thesis. 96 pages on the subject of music and politics. I felt so very proud and happy watching the printer as the pages materialized with my words on them. Words that I had thought and agonized and dreamt about for so very long. Close to three years. And now I feel like I am ready to leave this place. After I write the last eight pages that are left of the 160 I had to write this semester I will be done with my college career.
There can’t be any cute things this Monday because I am thesis-ing. About music. And I am so so so tired of writing. But the show must go on, and in six short pages I will be at forty-five, which is exactly half of ninety, and ninety is the goal.
On the bright side I get to listen to music very, very loud. Although perhaps that is in violation of the point of my argument. Hee hee.
So I recommend going to Spinner
and listening to the new albums of the week.
Yes, that is what I have been doing for the past nine days now. Writing, writing, writing. I honestly wasn’t even procrastinating on this writing. But the due dates were pushed forward, instead of backwards, and I was caught quite off guard. So now I spend my days writing countless words. Words that have long ago stopped making any sense to me. And I have developed a twitch. In my left eye.
But hopefully this writing and the twitch will all go away quite soon, and I can get back to blogging about happyness and lovely particulars. Someday. And get back to the business of trying to decide what to do with myself after college ends in six months. But, in the meantime, enjoy this beautiful video that tells the story of a very tall giraffe.