Dear Annie: On a recent out-of-town excursion to do some shopping and planning for a new bathroom installation, we found ourselves in a very annoying predicament.
We stopped for lunch at a very nice restaurant, only to be assaulted by loud music the second we walked in. Thankfully, the waitress honored our request and did turn it down so we could enjoy a nice leisurely lunch.
Then it was on to the big-box store for a major purchase — only to be assaulted once again by extremely loud music the minute we stepped inside. Needless to say, the measurements and planning were extremely difficult, as it was hard to think because of the noise. An employee there said it was beyond his control and that there was nothing that could be done. We walked out. That store lost a nice sale because of this.
This never used to be a problem. Can't retailers think and play quiet background music or none at all? Most people have things on their minds when shopping. Maybe someone reading this letter will "get" it. Noise pollution is not healthy indoors, for sure. — Nancy
Dear Nancy: I hear you loud and clear. When I walk into a store or restaurant and the music is blasting, I tend to turn right back around. And we're not alone. In a study by consumer marketing blog Triggerpulling, loud music shortened the average consumer's shopping time. Though I have no practical advice to give (short of perhaps keeping some earplugs handy in your purse), I'm printing this as a plea to retailers and restaurateurs alike: Please, keep it down.
Dear Annie: I am a faithful reader of the column and felt compelled to write in because I can really relate to "Deep in Dishes," whose roommate isn't cleaning up after herself in the kitchen.
I shared an apartment with two dear friends during college. Two of us were "clean freaks" and did our dishes daily. Our third, just like the roommate "Deep in Dishes" wrote about, left hers for days, forgot they were hers and then refused to do them. Plates, frying pans with stuck-on food, etc. — they'd sit in the sink for days.
Please tell "Deep in Dishes" to put anything left unwashed overnight by "Wendy" in a small plastic tub and leave it on her bed. The kitchen will be clean, and Wendy won't be able to deny they are hers. And if she leaves them in the sink again without washing them, they should reappear on her bed the next day. Worked like a charm for us.
By the way, 30 years later, we are still close friends and laugh about this! — Debbie H.
Dear Debbie: I hear so many stories about how living together has caused falling-outs and ruined friendships. It's refreshing to hear from someone who didn't let roommate problems sink a great friendship.
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