We find ourselves competing with the music and pretend to understand each other's conversation when really we don't.
It's one thing to become exposed to loud music at a concert, if that's what you really want, but not in a more sedate environment when music isn't the focal point.
I entertained a group of close friends and popped the question, "So what will it be, folks?"
They thought I meant cocktails.
"Music, boys. What's your pleasure? You name it, I've got it."
I own a vast music library, whether it's at home or in the car. I try to be selective in what I play when guests are involved. More often than not, I get complimented upon my choice. Just to cover myself, I have it all categorized.
"Play something relaxing," they suggested.
Well, it was so stimulating. Hardly anyone noticed I was playing anything at all. I sat there waiting for somebody to laud my musical aperitif, and one finally did.
"I love your choice of music," he said.
It made me feel like a million bucks because I take great pride in my culture and music is a very integral part of it. During ethnic occasions, I choose Armenian symphony music and people enjoy it. Maybe they don't get enough of it at home.
During an interview once with an upper-crust woman, she indicated that her favorite entertainer was Yanni. She didn't know if that was his first name or his last. Just Yanni.
"Never heard of him," I admitted.
"Oh, he's just the greatest thing to hit the musical world," the woman said. "Kind of a mix between New Age and jazz."
An hour later, I was at a middle school photographing a principal when I noticed this picture of Yanni on the secretary's desk. I was taken aback by the coincidence.