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Last weekend, we took a day trip to the beach.  Our normal beach is too far away for a day trip, so we opted for a closer beach.

The closer beach isn’t ideal.  It has a lot of bars and a younger crowd.  The beach is smaller, so people sit closer together.  It feels a little chaotic when you’re there on-season, though that feeling dissipates during the off-season.  Still, it’s a beach.  It’s in driving distance.  All I wanted was a place to plop down with a book for a few hours and eat greasy Thrasher’s fries.

With the sound of the ocean.

That last part is important because all the other things could take place anywhere else.  I could read anywhere else and French fries are easy to come by in this country.  But I wanted to be by the water.  Other people wanted to be by the water, too.  The only difference was that they wanted to listen to their music through enormous speakers.

Imagine a person sitting down next to you with a guitar amp.  A big, black box that is about the size of a small file cabinet.  The person begins playing their music.  Loudly.  It’s not terrible music, but it completely blots out all the other sounds around you.  Like the ocean.  You move.  Another person settles down next to you with another amp.  Frat boys.  Techno music.  You move.  And you move again.  And you move again.  And finally you decide that you’re not having fun.

I’m not bothered by talking around me.  I’m in a public space, and there isn’t another option for having a conversation.  I’m not bothered by people playing a game next to me.  If they want to play a game or build a sandcastle, it means they’re going to run around next to me.  But I’m annoyed about the music thing because there IS another way to listen to music.  With headphones.  There is an option that impacts no one around the person, but they’re not taking it.

The worst, the absolutely worst, are the people who turn on their music AND LEAVE.  They go take a walk.  So we all have to endure their music and they’re not even there, enduring their music.

I am getting really cranky in my old age.


I love quiet.  I love driving in silence.  I love sitting in silence for hours.  I recently read about a sound-absorbing art exhibit.  I would love that art exhibit.  Similarly, I think I would enjoy being inside Microsoft’s silent chamber.  Did I mention that I’m a fan of quiet?  Love it.

I can’t think with music around.  I can’t read with music around.

We will go to our normal beach this summer, which can be noisy at times, but there are plenty of music-free stretches and empty beaches if a person wants to listen to the waves and not EDM.  There is quiet there, which is good for a sound-free lady like myself.

Do you like it quiet when you’re reading, or do you listen to music at the same time?

P.S. Please don’t bring speakers to the beach this summer.  Seriously.


1 torthuil { 06.11.17 at 8:08 am }

The speakers on the beach would annoy me too. Bleah!

2 a { 06.11.17 at 8:21 am }

When we were at the beach the other day, someone had a Bluetooth speaker and was playing music. I was surprised by that, because I don’t usually hear it anymore. When I was young and we’d go to the beach, people always had transistor radios, then boomboxes. But the last few years, I haven’t heard music at all. I didn’t mind because I could hear it from 20 feet away, but it wasn’t overpowering. We could still hear the water and the seagulls just fine.

3 HereWeGoAJen { 06.11.17 at 8:42 am }

I understand people liking music but I do not understand why people need music all the time. Music at the beach is too much.

4 Beth { 06.11.17 at 8:57 am }

I can read with music in the background, or a movie if my husband is watching something and I want to read in the same room. I actually like to read with some background noise, but under my conditions – nothing annoying or with a loud/steady beat, and it has to be at a fairly low sound level. Music played through speakers at the beach or pool or park baffles me and I do not enjoy it. I think it is narcissistic to assume others around me want to listen to what I like.

5 Meg { 06.11.17 at 9:59 am }

The worst is what I like to call “dueling radios” when you are smushed between 2 loud boom boxes playing 2 different things!!! Seriously my beach pet peeve, drives me insane!

6 loribeth { 06.11.17 at 10:04 am }

Ugh, that would have made me get up & move/leave too. :p I’ve actually left stores where the background music has been too loud &./or annoying — but sometimes you’re trapped. There were many times during the years we were commuting on a crowded train & someone was listening to music that everyone else around them could hear too — sometimes even when they were wearing earbuds! And I once spent an entire flight (only 2.5 hours, thankfully — but it was enough…!) with two toddlers across the aisle who were watching “Lilo & Stitch” on a portable DVD player — without headphones. So I got to listen to “Lilo & Stitch” too. Not impressed.

I almost always do have the TV on in the background while I’m reading. But that’s my choice, & I have control of the volume.

7 Cristy { 06.11.17 at 10:07 am }

I’m blown away that they brought speakers to the beach. A guitar, okay. But speakers?!?! That one I don’t get.

I’m a firm believer of not subjecting others to my personality. Music, scented anything and anything visual. Hence I think those that turn on music and leave should be prepared to return to the music being off (at best; at worse, those speakers would be missing).

8 Working mom of 2 { 06.11.17 at 10:45 am }

I can work/study with MY music. But that’s it. I hate when people subject others to their noise, ugh. I’ve also experienced the kid on plane thing. Kids watching a loud device without headphones! Wtf, parents? I would NEVER do that. I also experience this while waiting/watching my kids’ activities–parenting by screen where the tag long kid plays an extremely loud game and it never occurs to these parents that maybe not everyone wants to listen.

I recall people bringing tiny transistor radios to the beach when I was a kid, but the music was faint. I don’t see that much now, but our beaches aren’t the frat boy type.

9 Raven { 06.11.17 at 11:07 am }

Ugh I can’t stand when people play music at the beach. What goes through their minds when they pack their radio for a beach trip?? “I’ll bring my music and play It loud and everyone will think how cool I am.” Or, they just don’t care about any one else but themselves. Either way, it’s inconsiderate and irritating and I totally understand your frustration!

10 Megan { 06.11.17 at 11:23 am }

I love music, it’ a huge part of my life. BUT. Music doesn’t belong outside in a place where there’s not an outdoor concert or something. If you’re in nature, you’re supposed to enjoy nature. Especially if there are other people around. It’s so inconsiderate to force other people to listen to your music. It’s like secondhand smoke except it travels further.

11 suzannacatherine { 06.13.17 at 5:59 am }

I totally understand. When all I want is a little breeze and the sound of the waves, please keep your music in your own personal space with headphones, anything else is just rude. ?

12 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.24.17 at 7:38 pm }

I’m cranky about this like you. It seems rude to occupy other people’s sounds space with your own choices.

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