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Op-Ed: Do My Roommates Have Terrible Taste in Music or Do I Just Hate Them


Photo by mansingen / CC BY 2.0 

Picture this: I’m sitting in my room and I hear music through the wall, coming from the shared living space in this house. I wouldn’t describe the music as pleasant. In fact, it was absolutely heinous. Usually, I’m a pretty considerate roommate. Low maintenance. Chill. But if I have to listen to this playlist for another second of my life, I’m going to fucking lose it.

But then it occurred to me — was it the song itself? Or was there another factor clouding my judgment? 

I realized that the song was actually on my playlist of favorite songs. Definitely a top pick from last year. Actually, I think it won a Grammy for record of the year. It’s actually a pretty good song, I guess. I can’t really complain about the volume, either. It was pretty reasonable — around 50 decibels — and if I wanted absolute quiet while I scroll through TikTok, I guess I could go to Fisher Fine Arts Library or even the Moelis Family Grand Reading Room. 

And yet, right here and now, in this situation, the music is the most terrible sound my ears have ever witnessed. Why am I experiencing this extreme psychosomatic response? I hear the music and all I can think about is the moldy yogurt someone left on the kitchen counter. I get flashbacks to when someone cut their hair in the bathroom sink and let it sit there, crusted with toothpaste, for weeks. 

So, could it be that the music is fine and I just hate being reminded that I share a living space with other humans? I mean, maybe. But I’m calling the cops with a noise complaint, regardless.