I used to think the world could be divided into two simple categories: Those who wear Birkenstocks and those who understand that doing so is visually akin to growing their nasal hairs to nipple-level.
Now, though, there appears to be a new divide. Those who have one pair of AirPods and those who have two. For particular occasions, that is.
This week's Apple earnings call happened to coincide with the launch of the AirPods Pro -- elevated, noise-canceling versions of Apple's earrings-gone-wrong buds.
CEO Tim Cook was moved to discuss these new apparitions and who would buy them.
He offered: "We're anxious to see the customers for the new AirPod Pro. But I would guess that one, particularly in the early going, will be people that have AirPods today and want to also have a pair for the times they need noise cancellation."
Please forgive me if I'm anxious to immerse myself in a vat of cooling coconut balm and hum my calming meditations.
Apple's CEO believes his customers are so wealthy and so very sensitive that they will take time to consider: "Hmm, is this a moment when I want to shut the world out? Or would my central nervous system prefer to hear a few tinges of intonation from the world outside?"
It may be that I've slipped through the world without noticing this behavioral trend. Can it really be, though, that there are people who consider the precise levels of aural intrusion in their lives and try to control it?
It's surely bad enough to be walking through the world carrying two pairs of AirPods.
There's already evidence that the mere thought of losing just one little Pod can drive people to severe conniptions.
Moreover, given that (too) many people have taken to wearing them all the time, should one feel offended when a co-worker suddenly switches AirPods in a meeting and makes it obvious they're switching to the noise-canceling kind?
That would be the very height of Californian passive aggression.
In any case, does noise cancelation really work? My experience with Apple's Beats Studio 3 noise-canceling over-ear headphones is that they dull, but certainly don't cancel ambient noise.
Still, now true Apple fanpersons must consider whether to pair their $199 AirPods (with charging case) with $249 AirPods Pro. Otherwise, will they be true Apple fanpersons?
As for the rest of us, we must all look more closely at our AirPods-wearing friends. And their ears.
It may be the only true way we can gauge their current state of mind.