The Story of Hannah, Introduction
Hannah hears the television blaring in her living room. It seems to reverberate in her head and the words don’t even register. She craves silence. Not all the time. But can’t she convince her husband that silence first thing in the morning is necessary for her mental health? Who wants to hear the talking heads on cable television at 6 a.m.? Fortunately for Hannah, her husband usually sleeps late and she gets up fairly early. It’s been this way since they retired. She can usually, but not always, grab a couple of hours of precious silence before he gets out of bed and she treasures that time. This morning is not one of those mornings and she feels like she is going to scream. To make it worse, her husband is becoming hard of hearing and the television volume seems to be increasing as the days pass.
When Hannah built her home, they were not married. She built it thinking she would be living in it alone. It isn’t built to give her a room where she can be shut off from the noise of the television in the living room. There is no escaping it. The only possible escape is the sunroom and it is not in shape to be used right now. It’s currently used for storage though Hannah wants to change that and use it for a retreat. It needs a better heating and cooling system. Other than that, it is a room that could be closed off from the rest of the house and she could have her quiet space. Working on the sunroom is Hannah’s goal. Actually, Hannah’s goal is to live with at least a modicum of silence.
Actually, Hannah objects to only the television. She loves her music. All kinds of music. IF she lived alone, her music would like play in her home most of the time. Classic rock and roll. Classical music. Jazz. She would love to install an intercom system to pipe it through the house. There is no use to do that now. Even though her husband does like some music, their musical tastes are different and when he is at home and indoors, he only wants to hear and see the television. Not music. Hannah wonders why his wishes seem to be the only thing that matters. She has been wondering this for awhile now.
The worst offenders on television are the cable news shows. Hannah’s opinion of their news coverage is low. Her husband watches one and then another all day on the days he stays inside the house. Hannah feels the news coverage is biased. She prefers to get her news coverage from other sources and read it when she is ready to do so. She doesn’t like to be bombarded with what the talking heads have to say the first thing in the morning all the way to the last thing in the evening. Hannah subscribes to and reads several newspapers a day. A state-wide paper. The Wall Street Journal to keep up on the financial world. The New York Times as she enjoys the columnists. She gets the paper copies of those newspapers. Hannah also likes to get different news perspectives and reads the BBC news and other international news sources like the Financial Times. She can form her own opinions without the assistance of newscasters who know no more than she does. It’s very difficult for Hannah to read her news and digest it with the television in the background.
The constant presence of television in Hannah’s household is a bone of contention between she and her husband. Although Hannah does not like to push her opinion on her husband, she feels strongly that having the presence of these talking heads on news programs in our lives is one thing that is wrong with our country and our society. If a person is susceptible, it is almost brainwashing. Then there is her need for silence.
In the short run, Hannah supposes she can have her sunroom renovated to her liking and retreat to it to escape the assault on her ears. The long run is another question entirely. The television is not the only source of incompatibility between she and her husband. Hannah has a lot of thinking to do and decisions to make.