Romance, Noise, and Headphones {giveaway}

When Andy and I were brand new marrieds, we were in our last year of college.

I had all these plans and dreams and idealistic notions of what Married College Life would look like.  We would wake up early and sit in our teeny apartment living room and have coffee together and watch the sunrise from our hand me down couch.  We would study together in the evenings.  He with his thermodynamics book and I with my Nietzsche.  We’d sit all studious-like for hours and look over our books every once in while to smile and say ‘I love you’, our golden rings clinking against our mugs at 2 in the morning.  I’d even light a candle for ambiance.

It was gonna be so romantic.  And academic.  Which makes it double swoon worthy.

Dear 12 years ago Jeannett, All those romantic moments you dreamed up are real.  IN THE MOVIES.  

Because the sneaky part about marriage is that there’s this whole other person with whole other ideas of how life should go.  And in this case, my whole other person liked to sleep in.  His idea of a Saturday had nothing to do with sunrises and clocks that had a 5 before the :

Fancy that.

We tried studying together.  But our Ikea kitchen table was much too small for all of our textbooks.  Pages overlapping, books flopping off the table, nowhere to write much less for a candle.

But the real problem was that Andy needs NOISE to function.  Music, movies, television.  He needs sound going at all times in order to concentrate.  And for the record, I don’t mean Mozart and dreamy Discovery Channel documentaries on sea turtles.  I mean Metallica and Transformers.

You can probably guess by now that I’m THE EXACT OPPOSITE.  I need silence.  Stillness.  Quiet serenity in order for me to be able to process a cotton pickin’ thing.  And yes, a candle.  Always a candle.

He tried silence.  10 minutes later admitted defeat and plugged in his earbuds.

I tried noise.  10 minutes later I retreated to the bedroom and closed the door.

I probably cried.  Because back then crushed ideals of romanticism were the stuff of crying over.  Damn I miss those days.

Clearly this posed a problem.  This dichotomy was not boding well for the Romantic Newlywed College Life movie playing in my head.

But time marched on, as it does, and we adjusted, as we do.

I learned to savor my early mornings alone and as I type, it is still dark outside.  I can hear the city slowly coming to life.  The streetlights will soon switch off and the sky turn impossibly pink and orange.  12 years later, I appreciate that he likes to sleep and leaves me to my quiet devices.

When Andy sits down at a computer, the very first thing he does is fire up Hulu, Netflix, or his MP3 collection.  He works through crazy math, puts together budgets with lots of zeros at the end, and designs rockets and airplanes and other manner of things my right brained self cannot even begin to comprehend.  All while “watching” old episodes of Family Ties.

A few years ago, I surprised him with a pair of really nice (read: expensive) headphones.  See honey?  I’m embracing our differences!

Imagine my confusion when he didn’t pack his fancy new headphones for his next business trip.

“I love them, but they aren’t noise cancelling.  I need noise cancelling ones for air travel.  I can take my little earbuds on trips.  Less bulky.”

Noise cancelling?  I find this whole concept wildly ironic.

So let me get this straight: you need noise in order to concentrate.  But the sound of the stewardess coming down the aisle asking people if they want a Diet Coke or a water puts you over the edge?


Congratulations Husband.  You have officially baffled me.  I will never ever ever get you.

photo 2 (13)

 {T-Rex wearing Ray-Bans in neon Warhol style?  OBVIOUSLY.}

So you can imagine our collective excitement when Staples emailed asking if I would like to do a review on a pair of Dr. Dre Beats headphones.

Do they have a noise cancelling pair?  Yes, yes they do.

Merry Christmas sweetie.

The brand message behind Beats is “music the way it would sound if the artist could play it for you”.  Many recording artists felt their music wasn’t able to be played back the way they intended it to sound because of cheap, consumer grade equipment.  So, Dr. Dre and executives at Interscope set out to change that.

It’s an interesting problem if you really think about it.  I would imagine Rembrandt would be frustrated by the fact that when you view his paintings on the screen of your iPhone, it doesn’t quite capture the same grandiose.  I get that.

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Plus, the version I received (and by I, I mean Andy) included noise cancelling technology.  I can’t begin to explain to you what that means exactly, but here’s what the brand website says:  When you’re listening to music, Adaptive Noise Cancelling automatically strikes a balance between your music and the world outside. If you only want to use the headphone to cancel external noise, ANC only mode automatically increases the level of noise cancellation, for a quieter world.  

It’s kinda like a white noise buzzing.  Says the non-technical blogger.

They are completely wireless and use the magic that is blue tooth technology.  And they don’t use batteries.  You recharge them like you would your phone: using the included cable that you plug into the wall or your computer.

Which is good because we need all the batteries for toys.

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And that big “b” on the side?  That’s a handy mute button.  So that when the stewardess makes it to your row, you can easily silence The Cosby Show episodes from 1987 and politely request a ginger ale.

(Do people drink ginger ale?  I don’t know.  But I feel like that’s what fancy people who wear suits and ties and fly around the world would ask for.  Meanwhile I’m home in yoga pants and eating the crusts off my kids’ sandwiches.  So yeah, pretty sure they order ginger ale.  And then go back to their noise cancelling zen.  STOP JUMPING ON THE COUCH!!!)

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Needless to say, Andy packed his Beats on his last business trip.

Without prompting, and not because he knew I was going to write a review, one of the first things he said to me once he got settled in was “I cannot believe I have been traveling without these for so many years.  It was unbelievable how much work I could get done.”

So there you have it: a rap icon and a music studio executive have made my dorky rocket scientist husband’s day.

Also, Owen’s.  Because he regularly tries to abscond with them.

And Staples wants to make one of YOUR day’s too.  One Life Rearranged reader will win a $100 Staples gift card!  Did you even know you could buy a whole lot more than reams of copy paper there?  Tons of stuff!  (Also tons of highlighters with $100.)

Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below!  Easy peasy!  I’ll pull one winner on Monday, February 3.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but Staples did provide us with a pair of Beats for review.  All opinions are my own and 100% honest.



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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    My husband actually won a pair of Beats earbuds through his work. He oh so lovingly gave them to me. I thought they were pretty cool looking, but for the life of me I didn’t understand what was so special about them. Why would you pay $100 for a pair of earbuds? I never used them, I just passed them along to my step daughter, who loves them. Now this post makes me curious about them. Maybe I need to do some more research on this.

    • 2

      I suppose it would matter most how you use them and maybe even what you listen to. Podcasts? Probably wouldn’t make a difference. But music on loud? There’s a huge difference between the Beats and the standard ear buds you get free with your phone. Try it! And then report back what you think! I’m honestly curious!

      • 3

        Unfortunately the earbuds are in Miami now with my step daughter. I’ll have to ask her if she notices a difference.

  2. 4

    As usual, raffle copter hates me lol I have wanted to try beats as well, glad to hear they are actually as awesome as advertised!

  3. 5
    rachel slagle says:

    i’m so not fancy, but I ALWAYS order Ginger Ale when I fly :)

  4. 6

    I’m the same to a certain degree. having music playing shuts out external distractions & focuses my mind on whatever i’m doing. I can work in silence – but only when i’m completely focused. For those times when concentration & motivation are low – music is the only way!
    Also, speaking as a chap who’s other half also labels him as being a little freakish in the brain department – over ear headphones are the ultimate concentration accessory…I couldn’t live without mine.
    Tom´s last blog post ..SoundMAGIC E10 Review