For the last few years, I’ve been convinced that I’m just harder on things than other people are.
Take, for example, earbuds. The longest I’ve ever had a pair survive has been a couple of months.
One failure I could directly blame on myself — turns out the technology was not engineered to survive being dunked in a tray full of latex paint — but the rest have just slowly stopped working.
Initially, I figured it was because I wasn’t willing to spend more than $10 on earbuds. So I splurged after the left mini-speaker on the most recent pair started to sound like the inside of a shell. The $40 pair made it a week further than the cheap ones before deciding to function only as jewelry.
I started to think it was my hearing that was fading, not the plastic doo-hickeys. After all, I was part of the first Walkman generation and spent far too many years walking around with headphones turned up to 11. But my kids complained about the earbuds, too, and they can hear me thinking about taking five minutes to sit and read, which is when the bickering must start.
(Admittedly, the kids might not be the best gauges. While they can hear the quietest whisper of a parent talking about going out for ice cream, they can’t hear that same parent shouting about brushing your teeth, already, so that we can get to school.)
Finally, I got all zen. This is just the way it is, I reasoned. I am simply hard on things and will need to accept that I will replace my earbuds quarterly. No sense in fighting reality.
Shortly after that, I walked into the living room, saw the Diva on the sofa, and noticed she was listening to my iPod. She was absent-mindedly chewing on something, which is something she does. Usually it’s her hair or her blanket (and, no, don t even get me started on the blanket.) This time, it was the cord to my earbuds.