The adult baby talk is driving me insane
November 28, 2004 7:46 PM   Subscribe

I live with two friends who are a couple -- wonderful people I've known for many years. They're great in every aspect, except for their incessant baby-talking and PDA. Now, I'm not so much of a prude that I object to cuddling and a light kiss in common areas, but these two are beginning to drive me nuts. They baby-talk, loudly, for hours in every room of the house and make out on the couch while the rest of us (I have several roommates) are watching TV, and generally just make a normally benign situation very uncomfortable. They're in their late 20s and have been together for five years, so this isn't some teenage gushfest thing. I don't want to put a damper on their happiness, but I'm finding myself gritting my teeth or having to leave the room every time I hear, "Iz my baby waby doing fwine! How is my baby-waby!" How should I keep my sanity? I'll be moving in June, so moving out isn't an option now, nor is the situation horrible enough to warrant something like that. I've also tried leaving the room very pointedly every time they begin, but that apparently hasn't gotten the idea across, either.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried this baby accessory?
posted by zelphi at 8:00 PM on November 28, 2004

Have you tried asking them to go into another room? You may be suprised by what you can get done through verbal interpersonal communication.
posted by LimePi at 8:02 PM on November 28, 2004

Watch the 'Baby Talk' episode of Seinfeld with them?
posted by HyperBlue at 8:27 PM on November 28, 2004

Tell 'em, but be nice maybe even funny a bit, about how it bothers you.
posted by damnitkage at 8:32 PM on November 28, 2004

Every time they get into, lick one of them on the forehead. They'll get the message.
posted by Caviar at 8:59 PM on November 28, 2004

What about the other roommates? Surely it bothers them to (I know it would me). Maybe bring it up with them first, see if anyone else has the urge to let this couple know.
posted by BradNelson at 9:12 PM on November 28, 2004

Hit the larger one in the face with a shovel.
It's the only way to be sure.
posted by dong_resin at 9:24 PM on November 28, 2004

I've been in the same situation. My solution: you and another roommate should fall into pseudolove and spew your own venomous form of babytalk whenever the couple's in earshot.

Give it two weeks. Works like a charm.
posted by drpynchon at 9:27 PM on November 28, 2004

Your only option is to tell them about it, or throw water on them, although either will be uncomfortable and might not change the situation much. People like that need to get their own place. Being the only other person makes things difficult, though, as they carry 2/3 of the weight in the house. Still, it's not fair to count you out of the picture as long as you're paying rent and all that. It's really really hard to change this kind of behavior. Remember that you're negotiating with people who are absolutely high on themselves, who probably believe that "all the world loves a lover" and other such fatuous crap.

The really irritating thing of it is that if they actually got their own place, even money says that all the smoochy-goochy would stop.

On preview: try what drpynchon says
posted by scarabic at 10:07 PM on November 28, 2004

I have a suggestion, albeit a fairly cowardly one. If you don't feel comfortable directly bringing this up with them, make a huge sign detailing your feelings in Word, print a bunch of them out, and put them up around your place. Make sure you and all your other roommates will roundly deny any involvement (conversely, to be more direct, have all your roommates sign them). Something really basic and direct will have a really good impact. I'm thinking "CUT IT WITH THE BABY TALK AND THE MAKE-OUT SHIT. YOU HAVE A ROOM, [NAME] AND [NAME]". Use really big letters, color and graphics are optional. Sure it will be embarassing as hell for them, but if you're at your wits end over this, and they're so completely oblivious, maybe embarrassing them is just what needs to happen to give you relief.
posted by baphomet at 10:46 PM on November 28, 2004

This seems like one example of a broad variety of embarrassing public behaviors, so direct but gentle mocking seems appropriate to me. If they're on one couch being all snoodgy, repeat their goo-goos to someone sitting on the couch with you. Call them by the pet names you hear them using for each other. If they're making out, cheer them on or offer advice.

Don't be Captain Passive-Aggressive and leave the room, hoping they get the hint. Give them more than a hint: hit them with the clue stick.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:20 PM on November 28, 2004

Being sincere and forthright is usually the best option in all kinds of situations. Be genuine, frame it from the perspective of how it makes you feel, etc. Play fair. At least at first.

It's just not that easy to be sincere and forthright in the face of suchlike.

Don't do the sign thing until you're out of options and considering death and/or dismemberment as valid options.

And I agree with ROU_Xenophobe that just getting up and leaving the room is pretty passive-agressive. In fact, you might even be rewarding them. It's entirely possible they might be doing it just to get the room/space for themselves.

I had a roommate and his girl who did this constantly, to the point of mortal danger. They'd stop in the middle of insanely busy and dangerous intersections in Los Angeles to make oogly noises at each other. We actually had to pull them from in front of a MTA bus once. Well, my roommate pulled them. I was already on the other side of the street.

Though, I really like the idea of the community lickings for various reasons, not excluding hilarity.
posted by loquacious at 11:37 PM on November 28, 2004

Huzzah! Public lickings for all!!!

I'm with the above two posters. Passive aggression always backfires; openness and "I feel that..." statements are key. Instigating these confrontations is really awkward in the short term, but it's worth it (and friendly humor can help).

Full disclosure: my boyfriend and I are sometimes pretty cutesy, and used to be worse. When a friend talked to me about it using those tactics, it made me immediately empathize, feel bad, and develop an intrinsic drive to be less annoying around her. Getting snarked at would've likely irked me, even though I probably deserved it, and might've even (I'm sorry to say) made me get misguidedly righteous and bust out a boatload 'o cognitive-dissonance-reducing justifications for why obnoxious PDAs should be acceptable.
posted by introcosm at 12:21 AM on November 29, 2004

Yelling "get a room!" every time they do it is extremely childish, but does have a tendancy to work after a while.
posted by ralawrence at 2:18 AM on November 29, 2004

Erm.. what's 'PDA'??

*scuttles away to the stupid corner*
posted by lemonpillows at 4:10 AM on November 29, 2004

Public Displays of Affection
posted by konolia at 4:39 AM on November 29, 2004

I have never been in this situation, but I think one way you might get them to cut out the PDA is this: every time they start smooching on the couch, stare at them intently, lightly rubbing your crotch and/or nipples over your clothes. The longer it goes on, the more forceful your rubbing and the louder your grunting.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:52 AM on November 29, 2004

RUO_Xenophobe has the key to this one. Cheering them on? That's brilliant.
posted by baphomet at 4:57 AM on November 29, 2004

My vote is to hit them with bricks until they stop moving. Failing that, yeah, avoid the passive-aggressive thing and just sit them down and use the classic "I feel" sorts of statements, etc.
posted by kavasa at 5:07 AM on November 29, 2004

Rou_Xenophobe wins.

If that fails, get the rest of your roommates to chant "Get a room" with you. If any are ex-cheerleaders, get him/her to make up an obnoxious cheer for you all to chant as well.
posted by kamylyon at 7:29 AM on November 29, 2004

Turn the hose on 'em.
posted by majcher at 7:56 AM on November 29, 2004

I love the "participate" suggestions here. If mimicing the behaviour with another roommate doesn't work, try going over to join the snuggle with the happy couple. When they protest that you're intruding on a private activity, they've made your point for you.
posted by Tubes at 3:08 PM on November 29, 2004

When they do it, sit right next to them, place your face about ten inches away from their faces and just stare.
posted by seanyboy at 4:00 PM on November 29, 2004

dong_resin gets the golden palm. Silver goes to Meatbomb!
posted by jenovus at 5:27 PM on November 29, 2004

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