Ignorance is Bliss

By Lisa Sugarman

You know what I love? I love that exactly when I think I’ve seen it all, the world presents me with something brand spanking new to marvel at that I never expected. Something that defies conventional logic and reason. Something that takes my breath away, either in a positive or a negative way.

In this case, what caught me so off guard was the extreme thoughtlessness of two random strangers sitting near me in a hotel lobby in Boston. Let me set it up for you so you’ll have a nice, crisp picture in your mind of why we were camped out in a hotel lobby in the first place.

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Dave and I ended up with a few hours to kill last weekend while we were waiting around to drive our oldest daughter home for the weekend. She was at the tail end of sorority rush week and we offered to drive into the city to pick her up so she could spend some time with her cousin who was in from out of town.

Now we were advised ahead of time that we might have to wait around awhile, so we were prepared. That’s why we were armed with laptops, phone chargers, and double shot lattes to help kill the time. And as predicted, it took a while. In fact, it took so long that we had time to eat a leisurely lunch, shop around, and still had three hours to sit around and wait.

So there we were, the two of us, hunkered down in a corner of the Marriott Copley lounge, quietly working and watching all the sorority pledges darting around from interview to interview. Really good stuff if you’re an avid people watcher like me.

The only problem was the constant droning of an endless loop of the same Beatles and John Denver songs playing in the background and overpowering the entire vibe in the lobby. The same handful of songs over and over and over again. And in addition to being generally annoying to everyone, it was disrupting my people-watching. Not ok.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Beatles fan and I’ve got a real soft spot for Johnny D, but I’m sorry, even the most diehard John Denver fan would wanna blow her brains out after the fourteenth time they heard Rocky Mountain High.repeat-button

Something was weird, though. Like the music wasn’t coming from the hotel speakers at all. And according to Dave, it just didn’t add up that a swanky hotel in downtown Boston would have a playlist that only consisted of the same five songs from Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown from 1975.

Come to find out, Dave was right. Of course. It wasn’t the hotel playing the music after all. He figured out, on a random trip to the men’s room, that the music was actually being broadcast by a peculiar, middle-aged couple sitting dead center in the middle of the lobby with a very inconspicuous Bluetooth speaker clipped to their luggage. Bi-zarre.

I mean honestly, would you ever, in your right mind, intentionally hold hostage the airspace of hundreds of strangers with a rogue Bluetooth speaker? Of course you wouldn’t. And neither would I. But these two could’ve cared less that there were other people around. They had their own little personal soundtrack rolling and they were perfectly content. In fact, at no point did either of them stop for even a single second to consider that they should put in earbuds or turn down the volume. They were oblivious.JBL-clip-Bluetooth-Speaker

And now we’ve finally arrived at my point. Ignorance can sometimes be bliss. It’s just that simple.

Now we could easily call what they were doing inconsiderate or insensitive or discourteous, and we’d be absolutely right. Because there were throngs of people all around enjoying the ambiance of this relaxing public place and their music was harshing everyone’s mellow. But they were also just marching to their own beat, too. And that idea became surprisingly cool to me after I sat and thought about it for a while.

Granted, I was looking over my shoulder for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind some fake backdrop and tell us all we we’d been punk’d, but he never showed. This was a legitimate happening.

The cherry on top, though, was when they finally did get up to leave. Everyone assumed they’d just shut off their speaker and walk away. But no. They actually made their exit blasting the music. And while I’m a little shocked to hear myself say this, I have to admit that, on some level, a little part of me was slightly jealous that they had music framing their every move. It was like they were living in their own soundtrack. And even though ninety percent of it was annoying, that other ten percent was cool as the other side of the pillow. I actually envied them that they just didn’t care.

And that just proves, at least to me, that sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at facebook.com/ItIsWhatItIsColumn. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.

 

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