Welcome to “Things I Hate,” a semi-regular installment (assuming I continue to find ways to be annoyed) in which I discuss something that bugs the shit out of me. This week’s recipient of my loathing: shitty headphones.

As I write this, my headphones are coiled in juuuuust the right way so I can continue listening to music on the train without the sound going in and out, but I know it’s just a matter of time before one of the earbuds stops working entirely, leaving me shit out of luck (and music) until I can buy another pair. And there is no worse feeling than having to acknowledge the impending death of something upon which I rely so heavily.

Imagine having a pair of glasses (or, if you have glasses, just continue to occupy your normal frame of mind,) and they work perfectly for almost two months. Then, one day, one of the lenses goes completely blurry. You hope for the best, but in the pit of your stomach you get the sinking feeling that something is hopelessly, irretrievably wrong. But just as soon as the blurriness comes, it’s gone, and they work for a little while longer, and you begin to fall prey to the delusion that “Hey, maybe it was just a one-time thing! EVERYTHING IS OKAY, PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME, GLASSES! [hysterical laughter immediately followed by uncontrollable sobbing]” And then, just when you’re coming home from a shitty day at work and you don’t think things could get much worse, the lenses of those glasses pop out, and as you search frantically for some way, ANY way to make things go back to the way they were…a homeless man runs up and spits in your mouth. That’s roughly what I’m going through right now.

It’s totally my fault that my headphones keep falling apart, too. Not because I don’t take of care of them; my as-yet unborn first child would seethe with jealousy if they saw how lovingly I treat my headphones. It’s my fault because I continue to buy shitty headphones which, after 4 months and without fail, completely fall apart. On top of that, I never get the Best Buy insurance. You’d think I’d remember all the times I’ve had to go back to that fucking store to get a new pair of headphones when my current pair shit the bed. You would be wrong. Every time I go back, it’s the same thought process:

1) “I’m gonna get some decent headphones this time. No more fucking around. RYAN ROSS PLAYS FOR KEEPS.”
2) “Oh, that’s right- a good pair of headphones costs $150. RYAN ROSS IS NOT FINANCIALLY STABLE ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY SUCH A PURCHASE.”
3) “Well, these don’t look too bad- they’ve got the little microphone and play/pause button. Those are high-end features, right? AND they’re only $30! RYAN ROSS KNOWS A BARGAIN WHEN HE SEES ONE.”
4) “A protection package that costs $10 for $30 headphones? I’ll pass. RYAN ROSS IS A RESPONSIBLE HEADPHONE OWNER.”

[Two months pass, headphones break]


I was so mad about it this last time that I actually tweeted at Skullcandy to voice my displeasure, which is just impossibly sad. Want to know the worst part? I had a daydream where someone at Skullcandy said “Uh-oh. This guy with 19 followers on Twitter and practically zero social media presence is going to blow our scheme wide open. SHUT HIM UP WITH FREE HEADPHONES.” I’m pathetic.

Next time, I’m definitely springing for the good headphones, because this shit is for the birds. But in the meantime, I’ll cradle these headphones like a dying fawn. Maybe they’ll fix themselves!