Anyway, I wanted to look my best for the photo, so I decided to get a mani/pedi. (It's amazing how rough kickboxing can be on the hands and feet.) I went downtown and lucked out that the salon I've been to once before had an opening this afternoon. Granted, it was an hour after I made the appointment, so I decided to go to one of the local coffee shops to relax and try to read a bit more into the "Sound-Rage" book. I had never been to this coffee shop before. It was a small, non-chain cafe but I arrived at a perfect time (with relation to my misophonia sensitivities.) I missed the major rush, so it was pretty quiet. The barristas were extremely nice and once I got my drink, I found a perfect booth at the very back of the seating area. It was very isolated and hidden away from view of any of the other tables in the room. None of the other coffee shops I've visited in the area had such a perfect hidden "retreat" where I might be able to work on my manuscript with no distractions (triggers or otherwise).
I was so excited about the isolated booth being a perfect work corner for me, I walked back up to the front and told the barristas how much I enjoyed their cafe environment. As I explained about my sensitivities with sounds and visuals, one of the barristas became very interested in what I'm going through. He not only said that he has similar senstitivities to sounds and even tactile sensations (his discomfort with velvet sounded identical to my discomfort with nylon stockings and some other rough silk/satin fabrics), he also mentioned that one of the other barristas (not in the store at the time) also is sensitive to some of the sounds that occur while working behind the counter. I was excited to tell him more about misophonia and even handed one of my SenseHaven.com "business" cards to the barrista, who then suggested that I put information up on their community bulletin board. (I said I needed to create a more generic/descriptive flyer first though, since not many people would know of the term "misophonia" without a greater explaination of what it is.) The barristas also suggested some times to avoid the crowds there too. I'm very excited to finally have found a place where I not only can start focusing on my manuscript again, but one where I know they'll empathize with my struggles with misophonia triggers.
After going back to my iced tea and "Sound-Rage" book, I went back to the salon for my appointment. Since, I had put earplugs in while at the coffee shop to drown out ANY sounds while trying to read the book, I left them in even when I walked back over to the salon. It was a good thing I did because right when the therapist started my pedicure, I found the bass level of their ambient "techno" music pounded my head. I asked if it might be possible to turn the bass down, but the therapist said that it was the Owner's mix. I commented that I've never been in a spa where the background music was anything but soothing, to which the therapist replied that the spa area in back had more soothing music, but where I was up front (next to the reception desk, not far from their hair styling stations) had different music. The booming became close to unbearable, and I think she could tell that I was very uncomfortable. I searched my entire purse to find my earbuds, figuring I could plug myself into the music on my cell phone, I could drown out the booming with hard rock that I frequently use as "white noise." I was extremely bummed when I realized I must have left my earbuds back at the apartment, but the therapist was so nice... She offered me a pair that they had. I was so desperate to stop the booming base, I was extremely grateful for her offer, even if I was a little embarrassed too because I felt like I was being rude. Normally I like to chat with the therapist during my mani/pedis, but there was no way that was possible as long as they played that techno music with the intense bass. (I couldn't even remember if that was they type of music they played last time I was there.)
After I was finished, she handed me a punch-card where if you get nine manis or pedis, the tenth one is free. I have to admit, I'm going to have to really think if I'll even be able to take advantage of it. She did an amazing job, as did the woman who did my last manicure there, but I don't think I'd be able to tolerate another barrage of techno music. When I go to have a mani/pedi or other spa treatment, I go to relax too. The atmosphere today definitely was not relaxing today. Something I'm definitely going to have to have in the back of my mind for the future.