Matt and I are both bothered by noise. However, both of our noise bothers are different. I do not like noise once it hits a certain volume. The television is a good example of this. There is a certain volume level that I just cannot take. (On our downstairs TV, it is anything in the 20s.) It makes me feel like my senses are being attacked and I end up tense.
Matt has almost the opposite noise issue. He is bothered by irregular noise. Things like a car door slamming or the kids next door kicking soccer balls up against our fence. I cannot tell you the number of times he has said “what WAS that?” to me after our neighbors slam their car door. (It’s at least two-three times per day over the past two years we’ve lived here. They park in their driveway, not their garage, and their driveway is awfully close to our living room, so we hear their comings and goings.) One of the most annoyed times I have ever seen him is when I was pregnant with Elizabeth and we were at that (stupid, useless) childbirth class and apparently there was a water fountain at the back of the room that kept kicking on and off.
I deal with my noise issue by embracing silence. We keep the TV off during the day when Matt isn’t home and I don’t listen to music or the radio or anything. Elizabeth is surprisingly quiet for her personality type which I suspect is because I have taught her to be so by being easily bothered by noise.
Matt deals with his noise issue by constantly playing television or radio as white noise. He keeps it at a louder volume to drown out all the incidental noises that bother him.
Obviously, our noise dealing issues are completely opposite from each other. I am honestly surprised that we manage to coexist so well.