“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#1 Aug 24, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My future son-in-law recently moved in with us for financial reasons. He's 27 and a nice guy, but he's a habitual knuckle-cracker. He cracks every finger of each hand twice (back and forth) every half-hour or so. He also cracks his neck and wrists, but less frequently. As an added bonus, my daughter is also beginning to crack her knuckles now.

I am sensitive to noise (loud chewing, gum cracking), but I don't want to cause him more stress (he's also a nail-biter), so I keep my mouth shut. It's driving me crazy! What do you suggest?-- PATTY IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PATTY: Knuckle-cracking, like nail-biting, is a nervous habit that has been known to defuse anxiety. While it may be crazy-making to listen to, unless it's a symptom of an underlying nervous disorder, the practice is relatively harmless.(In some people, it has caused swelling of the joints or swelling of the hands, so mention that to your daughter.)

Because you are sensitive to noises -- which your daughter should already know -- talk to her and her fiance and ask that when the impulse strikes, they walk out of earshot. Because they are living under your roof, they should respect your request.

53 comments. Join the discussion.
Read more in: Family & Parenting | Health & Safety
Dream of Motherhood Has Yet to Be Fulfilled
DEAR ABBY: I married my husband more than a year ago, and I want a child more than anything in the world. We have been trying since our wedding, but every month I get depressed when I find out I'm not pregnant.

Everyone says I shouldn't think about it, and I try not to. But I am becoming more and more depressed with each month that passes. Do you have any advice for dealing with these feelings? Or something I can occupy my time with rather than obsessing?(It sure isn't helping the situation!)-- ANXIOUS IN FLORIDA

DEAR ANXIOUS: What everyone is telling you is far less important than what your OB/GYN has to say about your situation. Because you have been married for a year without being able to conceive, both you and your husband should be talking to doctors. You may have a correctable condition that prevents you from becoming pregnant, or he may have a low sperm count. Distraction isn't what you need right now; what you need are answers.

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Read more in: Health & Safety | Mental Health
Secrets of Success Should Stay Secret
DEAR ABBY: I have a small home-based business making baking extracts that I sell at our local farmers' market. Occasionally, a patron will look over my stock and ask me how I make them. I am unsure how to answer the question in a way that won't have a negative impact on future sales.

Baking extracts are not difficult to make, but the process is time-consuming and the ingredients are expensive. I don't want to give away the details of my production process, yet I don't know how to say so without seeming rude. Any ideas?-- PERPLEXED IN THE EAST

DEAR PERPLEXED: Smile at the questioner and reply, "That would be giving away trade secrets -- but I can share one of them: I make them all with love."

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Aug 24, 2014
1. If he is so broke he has to move in with his girl friend's parents, he has a fair amount to be anxious about.Don't add to it.

If he is indeed otherwise a nice guy, make the knuckle cracking into a white noise and learn to ignore it. I bet you don't hear lots of background noises. Remember when you last heard a clock ticking or (for electric clocks)whirring or teh sound of your refrigerator ice cube maker filling or just teh fridge itself running?

Didn't think so. You tune it out.

2. Abby.

3.It's a time consuming and expensive and very intensive process

I can't hardly say.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#3 Aug 24, 2014
LW2 - You need to talk to your MD and possibly do some tests.

LW3 - What PEllen said. I wonder why they are asking, though. You can google pretty much anything these days and find a recipe and process for making any extract you wish. Of course, when you google, you find out that it takes time and some effort, and some expense.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#4 Aug 24, 2014
Both LW2 and LW3 have people in their lives who need to be told to "stop asking".

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Aug 24, 2014
LW1: "I am sensitive to noise (loud chewing, gum cracking)"
Bless you for letting him move in, but you sound like a PITA.

LW2: Get yourself and the husband checked out to make sure all the internals are in working order. If they are, just chill.

LW3: What Abby said.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#6 Aug 25, 2014
For PEllen and Miser Tonka:

Look up misophonia. Some people (and I am one of them) can't always block those sounds out. It can be very debilitating. Sufferers can experience heightened blood pressure, anxiety and sometimes rage. I even get chest pains from the stress of it sometimes. I don't know if that is the LW's issue, but it very well can be. So why should the SIL's issues supersede her own in her own hom?. For people with misophonia, it's not just an annoyance that can be tuned out. Though I recognize that not a lot of people are familiar with it. I only put a name to it in the last year or two. And I've suffered since I was a child.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Aug 25, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
For PEllen and Miser Tonka:
Look up misophonia. Some people (and I am one of them) can't always block those sounds out. It can be very debilitating. Sufferers can experience heightened blood pressure, anxiety and sometimes rage. I even get chest pains from the stress of it sometimes. I don't know if that is the LW's issue, but it very well can be. So why should the SIL's issues supersede her own in her own hom?. For people with misophonia, it's not just an annoyance that can be tuned out. Though I recognize that not a lot of people are familiar with it. I only put a name to it in the last year or two. And I've suffered since I was a child.
Keep in mind, I did say bless her for letting him in. But when you say his issues should not supersede hers on her own home, what issues are you referring to? I crack my knuckles and neck. Its not an issue. Its no more an issue than stretching when you get up.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#8 Aug 25, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Keep in mind, I did say bless her for letting him in. But when you say his issues should not supersede hers on her own home, what issues are you referring to? I crack my knuckles and neck. Its not an issue. Its no more an issue than stretching when you get up.
I meant his issues because (I think) Abby said that often people do that out of anxiety. So I guess I was speaking from there. If it's voluntary, then he can at least try to stop.*IF* LW has an issue with something like misophonia, there is no way to control that. Ear plugs or head phones might be able to help, but then you can't hear anything else.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Aug 25, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
I meant his issues because (I think) Abby said that often people do that out of anxiety. So I guess I was speaking from there. If it's voluntary, then he can at least try to stop.*IF* LW has an issue with something like misophonia, there is no way to control that. Ear plugs or head phones might be able to help, but then you can't hear anything else.
I know you meant his issues. That's why I asked the question, cause I don't buy Abby's arm chair diagnoses. Every little thing that people do does not have to have some deep seeded meaning. Sometimes (I think most of the time), people crack their knuckles cause it feels good. What's the other one I've heard...chewing ice cubes is supposed to be rooted in some other psychobabble.

Its from that regard that I asked the question. What issues of his are superseding hers, because from that regard, he has no issues. She does. Certainly if she makes it known to him that it bothers her, he should have no problem not doing it when she is around, but at the same time, she's going to come off sounding like a PITA. If she could come at him with a medical diagnoses, as you have, he might be a little more sympathetic, yet still skeptical, but absent such a diagnoses, she is claiming to be bothered by noises no louder than the ambient sounds of life. A knuckle crack is no louder than....
-the sound of the front door closing as someone enters the house
-the sound of a smartphone alert going off because of a new message, or hell, just ringing because of a call
-the closing if a cabinet door as someone gets a glass from the cabinet
-the sound the glass makes as it lands on the counter
-the clickety clack of someone walking in high heels or other similarly noisy shoes
-the sound of a dog's nails as he walks across a hardwood floor
-the beep of the microwave
-the bell of the toaster

If I lived with her and she came to me with this problem, I would do whatever I could to not bother her as I was a guest in her home, but more than ever I'd be counting the days till I could get the hell out of there because now I'd feel like every little noise that I generate is a problem. I'd be walking on egg shells.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#10 Aug 26, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
I know you meant his issues. That's why I asked the question, cause I don't buy Abby's arm chair diagnoses. Every little thing that people do does not have to have some deep seeded meaning. Sometimes (I think most of the time), people crack their knuckles cause it feels good. What's the other one I've heard...chewing ice cubes is supposed to be rooted in some other psychobabble.
Its from that regard that I asked the question. What issues of his are superseding hers, because from that regard, he has no issues. She does. Certainly if she makes it known to him that it bothers her, he should have no problem not doing it when she is around, but at the same time, she's going to come off sounding like a PITA. If she could come at him with a medical diagnoses, as you have, he might be a little more sympathetic, yet still skeptical, but absent such a diagnoses, she is claiming to be bothered by noises no louder than the ambient sounds of life. A knuckle crack is no louder than....
-the sound of the front door closing as someone enters the house
-the sound of a smartphone alert going off because of a new message, or hell, just ringing because of a call
-the closing if a cabinet door as someone gets a glass from the cabinet
-the sound the glass makes as it lands on the counter
-the clickety clack of someone walking in high heels or other similarly noisy shoes
-the sound of a dog's nails as he walks across a hardwood floor
-the beep of the microwave
-the bell of the toaster
If I lived with her and she came to me with this problem, I would do whatever I could to not bother her as I was a guest in her home, but more than ever I'd be counting the days till I could get the hell out of there because now I'd feel like every little noise that I generate is a problem. I'd be walking on egg shells.
Those aren't the tpical sounds that woud affect someone with the condition I mentioned, though we don't know that the LW has that (and she may never have heard of it; I only found a name for it fairly recently - it is not widely known). The sounds you mentioned are very different. A phone beeping is ignorable. Someone crunching on corn nuts as far as 10-15 feet away isn't ignorable. It's hard to describe.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Aug 26, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
Those aren't the tpical sounds that woud affect someone with the condition I mentioned, though we don't know that the LW has that (and she may never have heard of it; I only found a name for it fairly recently - it is not widely known). The sounds you mentioned are very different. A phone beeping is ignorable. Someone crunching on corn nuts as far as 10-15 feet away isn't ignorable. It's hard to describe.
that's why I said coming at him with a medical diagnoses might help, but without that, taken at face value, admittedly unable to describe or define why 1 noise is unbearable when other seemingly similar in volume noises are...sorry, my initial reaction is pain in the ass. To me, such a complaint would seem as far fetched as telling me that looking at the wall makes you want to vomit but looking at the couch cushion doesn't.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#12 Aug 27, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>that's why I said coming at him with a medical diagnoses might help, but without that, taken at face value, admittedly unable to describe or define why 1 noise is unbearable when other seemingly similar in volume noises are...sorry, my initial reaction is pain in the ass. To me, such a complaint would seem as far fetched as telling me that looking at the wall makes you want to vomit but looking at the couch cushion doesn't.
I know it's not your point, but it is a very real thing. Just saying.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#13 Aug 28, 2014
The noise once a day may not be unbearable, but every 1/2hr and it can become grating. I cant listen to two people at once, the voices get jumbled in my head and I cant understand either one. I will forcefully tell them to speak one at a time, because the stress it induces forces me to shut down. So I can kinda see her point, and the anticipation of the next cracking also adds to the stress.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>that's why I said coming at him with a medical diagnoses might help, but without that, taken at face value, admittedly unable to describe or define why 1 noise is unbearable when other seemingly similar in volume noises are...sorry, my initial reaction is pain in the ass. To me, such a complaint would seem as far fetched as telling me that looking at the wall makes you want to vomit but looking at the couch cushion doesn't.

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