I don’t know how important music is to you guys, but to me it can, in some ways, change my decisions, moods, associations I make.
Sometimes, a song is all it takes to give you a glazed expression, head tilting as you reminisce about the good old days, your popularity in high school, a perfect holiday, long days on the beach, some long-lost person who changed your life.. well, you get the point.
But how strong are your associations? For me, I associate whole genres with people I dislike rather intensely, thus giving me a somewhat unhealthy aversion to these genres. Because of a certain person, then, I can be overly judgmental of what really could be a decent song. Similarly, if I associate a song or genre with someone I like, I may be influenced to like that song/genre more than I otherwise would have.
I started thinking about this again the other day, when I was in a store. Not really looking for anything in particular, just sort of browsing…(it seemed a good idea at the time). Something caught my eye, and I wandered over to inspect it, the sales assistants giving me evil looks, no doubt in fear that I would ruin their handiwork of setting up shelves.
I smiled at them in what I though was a non-confrontational way. I hoped it would somehow let them know that I am actually a little OCD and will in fact be straightening out the products. Somehow I don’t think they understood.
Anyway, so I approached the shelf, picked up the object and… a bad song began playing. Well, I thought it was bad. I associated it (the song) with several people in my high school, who I never want to see again. The shock was so immediate, I dropped the object back on to its pile (it was neatly dropped), spun, and fled the store. I think the security guard half believed I was shoplifting (who runs when shoplifting?? Dead giveaway). He started to his feet then realised that I had clapped my hands to my ears, repeating, “The horror! The horror!” (Yes, I really do this in real life. People sometimes call me ‘the entertainment’).
Anyway, leaving confused and bemused people in my wake, I hurried away from the store, out of earshot of this awful song, and I wondered if anyone else is ever discouraged from entering a store (or any place, really) due to the music.
Clubs would be an easy example, of course, as you would not go to a club that plays music you hate.
But what about restaurants (fast food included)? Pubs? Stores of all kinds.
Sometimes, we can’t escape the ill-chosen soundtrack (think shopping-mall-music during the festive season), and so it must be endured. What scares me is that it’s not bad enough that I have to listen to this nails-down-a-blackboard song, but it often haunts me through the rest of the day, playing an annoying refrain on loop in my head. Special form of subconscious masochism, that.
Hm. Another reason I love MP3 players, I suppose; they allow you to choose your own soundtrack, without fear of hitting a song that induces frothing at the mouth, bleeding ears, and general mood instability. But maybe that’s just me.
Happy shopping, folks…