An Exception to Every Rule

Some time ago, I realized that despite my usual cheerful demeanor, I do possess one grinchy part of my persona.

I really hate it when people whistle.

There is just something about the loud, piercing sound of it, even when someone is really, really good at it, that I cannot abide. I discovered that the cacophony sound made me want to stamp my feet and scream, “STOP IT!” at the top of my lungs; I made said discovery when I was in college and there was a guy in my class who was an excellent whistler. He could probably whistle Beethoven’s symphonies and make a decent living from the proceeds of an album.

My senior year, I lived in a series of dorms that were over a foot bridge and so were removed from the majority of the rest of campus. Apparently he lived there, also, as I could hear his whistling through my open window on many a day or night. I would seriously grind my teeth until he stopped or I could no longer hear him. Thank God I didn’t have to room with someone who did that all the time. There might have been a murder at my university.

This seething rage against the sound of anybody whistling shrilly and loudly has stuck with me. I have forbade my dearest other half from doing it. Thankfully he didn’t protest much, although he does like to tease me about it.

And yet.

As with all rules, there is at least one exception. Let me preface it by saying that there is a Christmas album that exists that is one of my all-time favorites. We had it on an actual record album when I was a kid. It’s called A Music Box Christmas. You can sample and even buy all of the songs from it on Amazon. It is seriously not Christmas until I listen to every song, start to finish, in their entirety. Generally I decorate my tree to it.

I have met all of two people in my life who don’t like the music. While I do my best to withhold judgment, it completely baffles me. If you like instrumental music and you like old-fashioned Christmas music/hymns, you will enjoy – and even rave about – A Music Box Christmas. It is an imperative staple for me during the holidays.

Back to the exception. My father has always, and still does, managed to whistle in harmony with the carols of this album. I find it endearing and actually miss it when I don’t spend the holidays with him. He is one of those people who can whistle through his teeth, which is a skill I definitely did not inherit from him. For whatever reason on this earth, that whistling is lovely, in tune, and the only time throughout the year or in my life that I welcome the sound.

Aren’t people strange creatures?

I don’t have an explanation but I know that unless you are my father,  it is Christmastime, and A Music Box Christmas is on, you are not welcome to come within any physical distance of me and be whistling. Or there will be consequences.

Do you hate whistling? What drives you absolutely crazy?


  1. know what drives me crazy? when people say, “it is what it is.” is it? is it what it is? are you pointing out to me that rather than not being what it is not, it is in fact exactly what it is? not helpful!

    • HAHA this just cracked me up! Yeah, it’s not helpful at all. It’s like saying, “It’s shitty because it’s shitty. And we have to bask in the shittiness.” Thanks.

  2. I’m afraid that I believe I’m one of the two non-likers. However, I do not hold my head in shame.

    I don’t hate whistling, but I never really thought about it until I was provoked by this post. It depends on the whistler; the time; the place; the mood; the tune.

    What do I hate? Stupid people. They’re everywhere. “I see stupid people.”

    • And of course…I comment on this before I headed out for the day and RIGHT as I’m walking into the mall after the third or fourth “drop off” at the car, there was a guy ceremoniously whistling dixie behind me. Loud, gay, harmonious, on key…but ANNOYING! He was alone! What the heck was he whistling for? To who? For what? As talented as his old lips are/were, it was not for me.

  3. I have always loved when a guy whistles in the kitchen or shower…don’t know why

  4. @Scott, I’m glad you do not hold your head in shame because that is completely unintended by me. While I don’t understand not liking the music, I do not want anybody feeling badly about it.

    @Rachel – I can see why a guy whistling in the shower could be cute, depending on the tune.


  1. […] It turned out to be a mosquito or mosquito-like flying insect, whose wings were making that infernal high-pitched squeal that makes me paranoid I’m going to get bitten, and also drives me insane. Instead of water torture, someone could play that whiny sound of a mosquito’s wings beating for less than a half hour and I’d certainly give up any information I had. That or whistling. […]

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