How Peer Pressure Ruined My Ears

A year ago my friend invited me to the Britney Spears concert. Her name is Anne. If you’ve read my posts for a while you may remember her from the Baseball post or from the Flash Fiction post a few days ago. Anne is great, silly, innocent, and fun. She grabs new experiences in arm bars when they come her way and she’s always trying to learn something new. But she isn’t perfect. Sometimes she is a bit too silly and she doesn’t realize when she’s doing something that isn’t very funny.

At the concert I took ear plugs. I know, I know, It’s a concert, why would you take ear plugs if the whole point of it is to hear the performer? But let me tell you this, even through ear plugs you can hear a concert loud and clear. Do you really think they crank the speakers that loud so that everyone can hear? No, it’s because they want you to feel the music rattling your bones, for it to be the only thing you can hear. 

So we sat in the concert, Anne and I, she shook her head as I put the ear plugs in. “You’re no fun,” she said. And it didn’t do anything at first. But after more teasing I decided, what’s the worst that could happen? I took them out.

That night I came home thrilled. The concert was great, except that the people beside us kept spilling their beer all over us. But then when I got into the house and it was dead quiet, I started to panic. My ears were ringing. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t, I was too nervous. What if it didn’t stop? This had never happened before. I’d heard enough horror stories about Tinnitus that I thought I’d be smart enough to protect myself against it.

Two hours later I got up for the third time and paced around the living room. My mom asked why I couldn’t sleep and I caved in, telling her that I hadn’t worn earplugs. She was furious. She kept accusing me of giving into peer pressure. She said if I ever thought of doing that again, I wasn’t going to another concert. I denied that Anne pressured me into it. Anne wasn’t like that, she wouldn’t do that to me. But as I continued to think about it, she really did. She just didn’t realize that her taunts were hurting me. If she did, she would have stopped. Needless to say, I promised my mom that it would never happen again and I tried to go to sleep, this time succeeding.

My ears didn’t stop ringing that night. They kept ringing softer and softer months after the concert. There came a point where if I didn’t think about it, I couldn’t hear it, but there were still some nights that it took me hours to fall asleep. Today I don’t hear it at all, thank god, but my ears are still sensitive, and it comes back in short bursts every couple months.

Tonight I’m going to the Taylor Swift concert and I’m going to wear ear plugs. Even though the Britney concert wasn’t a very good experience, it taught me that you may have different needs than others. Anne didn’t need to wear ear plugs. I did.  I shouldn’t have given into peer pressure and taken them out. That’s that. If you don’t think that something is good for you, don’t feel pressured to do it even though your gut is telling you not to. It’s your body, take care of it.

Have a great weekend. : )