The noisy pool party
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Late last fall, I was on a vacation with some friends. I had left my bathing suit behind in Georgia because I had no idea—zero, in fact—that the weather would be unseasonably warm, warm enough that we’d feel like the hotel pool was the only acceptable outdoor option during the day. I walked to the hotel pool by way of this adjacent outdoor mall, scouring the cheapo stores for a bathing suit—any bathing suit, no matter how ugly. At last I found a suit on the clearance rack for a whopping $2.00. (Well, to be more exact, the bathing suit was actually my own creation—I found bikini bottoms in a color that sort of matched a bikini top and made it work.)

I was hot and sweaty by the time I changed into my suit and jumped into the water with my friends. We ordered from the overpriced poolside restaurant menu and relaxed, alternating between lying on the cushioned chairs under huge umbrellas and jumping into the cool water.

Well, we relaxed until it got loud. Really loud.

Turns out there was a convention at the hotel. I’m not sure what the group was, but I do know that nearly all attendees were deaf or hard of hearing. My two friends and I were at the pool, and the 20+ other swimmers all seemed to know each other. They were communicating mostly via sign language, but that doesn’t mean the pool area was quiet. In reality, it was one of the loudest pool parties I’d ever been to. People were shrieking and laughing as they splashed each other and did cannonballs, and the sounds echoed off the hotel buildings that surrounded the pool.

The party was getting louder and louder as people drank more, and my two friends and I—the only swimmers not a part of this group—were the quietest people there.  It was fascinating: the party was getting too loud for the venue, but the majority (if not all) of the noise-makers couldn’t really hear how intense the volume had gotten. In short, the only people who were bothered by the noise at all were my buddies and me, and we weren’t interested in saying anything about it. I was grateful to be migraine-free (that way neither the bright sun nor the loud noise bothered me to a painful degree).

At first it really seemed to be such a strange situation to be in, to be surrounded by cacophony and be one of the only people present who thought the noise level was getting to be too high. Then I stopped, thought for a minute, and started laughing: that’s like my whole life as a migraineur, constantly tuned into noises and other stimuli that no one can detect, always wanting earplugs when everyone else thinks the volume is just peachy.

Have you ever found yourself laughing at a situation like this, or having a funny epiphany wherein you realize something about your migraine-brained self?

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