I have escaped to my bedroom for some peace.
Do not tell my children where I am.
They are in the dining room playing round after round of "Connect 4," and the noise level is alarming.
I repeat: do not tell my children where I am.
I don't know how to explain this recent oversensitivity to noise; it's not like my home SUDDENLY became noisy, after all. Last night I couldn't bear the surround sound in the den and chose to express my dismay by saying, "Oh. My. GOD," every few minutes. Lately, I am constantly turning down music, constantly glaring at people who project their voices unnecessarily in hushed places like the library or even certain cafes.
This seems as good a time as any to introduce you to one of the banes of my existence: the very loud warlock who works at one of my local bookstores.
I have nothing against warlocks in general (at least I don't THINK I do), but I do have something against warlocks who are forever shouting about how they are warlocks and explaining their warlock jewelry and special warlock powers and the significance of their tiny little warlock finger tattoos so that the entire store can hear. And also, this warlock is forever directing unsuspecting customers to his personal areas of interest rather than catering to them. Here is a 99.7% true example:
UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMER: Can you tell me where to find the THE KAMA SUTRA?
VERY LOUD WARLOCK: THE KAMA SUTRA? Well, that's okay, I guess, but have you ever heard of THE SECRETS OF TOTALLY AWESOME WARLOCK SEX? I only ask because I have it on my own shelf at home, and it's a terrific reference.
UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMER: Oh? Well, no. I was really looking for...
VERY LOUD WARLOCK: Are you familiar with the double trilogy boxed set of WARLOCK WISDOM/WARLOCK WONDER? NO? You've never heard of it? I find that hard to believe. I'm a little disappointed, to tell the truth. It was a phenomenon in the book publishing industry. Absolutely a phenomenon. I see you're looking at my ring!
UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMER: No, I'm not. I...
VERY LOUD WARLOCK (conspiratorially): Everybody looks at my ring! They're attracted to its power. I'm a warlock...
I can be standing 200 feet away from the guy, and I can hear him. Sometimes I just crouch near the magazines, cover my ears, and scream silently. And then the spousal unit laughs at me. "You better watch it," he says, while spinning his arms around. "He might gather the dark forces." And then I say, "Foolish! Hasn't he said a million times that he uses his power only for good, never for evil?"
The same cannot be said of me.