I am learning how to live out loud. When I say, “live out loud”, I don’t mean I’m finally embracing life’s fullness as a post-menopausal woman. I see lots of memes on the internet directed toward women of a certain age encouraging them to “live out loud”. I’m not sure what this means; other than frequent trips to the beach, drinking wine, and wearing certain stules of clothing choices. For me, it means living with loud.
Teenage daughters bring their own, unique kind of loud to living. Wherever two or three or gathered, a “loud off” is soon to follow. This is a contest (with unspoken rules, no fixed starting time, nor approximate ending) to see who can become the loudest while all three talk at once. Hearing a “loud-off” is about as much fun as watching hockey on the radio. However, loud-offs are a blast to watch.
Justin Bieber’s new single will create one level of noise and response between the contestants. The Canadian pop singer is a sure bet to get a comment from everyone in the room. Someone will love him. Others will tell you he “sucks”. You can’t say Justin Bieber “sucks” in an inside voice. I think this is one of the unwritten rules. This is simply how the game is played. (I’m old enough to remember when all three of my daughters were unified in their love of the British Man Band One Direction. Each ferociously argued over who loved the band the most and which boys were the cutest. Halcyon days, those were.) I’ve grown adept at identifying Bieber level noise. It’s close enough to what I’m willing to term as a “generic joyful response to what I think is the best music ever (but only for a week of two)” loud. Yes, I’m confident of my ability to identify the music portion of the loud off. When it’s just about the music, a new band, or a new song; things stay simple.
Clothing choices generate a whole new level of joyful loud. Did you know leggings make girls happy? Socks make me joyful. Colorful leggings recreate Christmas morning each time a new pair arrives from Wal-Mart or a family member. Let’s listen to this new single while we talk about the beautiful new leggings. Yes, that’s how it goes. By this time, the exultant joy (at the leggings) and the ever increasing decibels are starting to frighten the younger of our two dogs. The smallest lab has begun a sneezing fit, which auditory veterinarians tell me is a reaction to Justin Bieber. Again, a sneezing dog, colorful leggings, and Justin Bieber with commentary, ever escalating in three stereophonic directions; you have to see this. Don’t settle for the radio app. I’m selling tickets. If you can’t get in, window seats are available.
The last level of loud is indefinable. Sometimes the loud gets so exciting, I don’t know if it’s Justin, clothes, a teenage boy, or even a new pair of shoes. If I’ve stepped out of the room and can’t determine what the origin of the loud is, my default reaction is to become Liam Neeson. Albanian perverts have burst in on the parsonage and taken my daughters hostage. I, a pastor with a special set of skills, must call the chief Albanian pervert to get the kids and mom back. Much to my dismay, I come back to find everyone home, no Albanian perverts, and Jordan practicing for her exam; a test on the prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Have you ever seen someone with green hair read Middle English? Loud, I tell you. This is living out loud.