Friday, September 08, 2006

how do I hate my neighbors? Let me count the ways

I hate my neighbors so much, I would move out of my really pretty fantastic apartment, in which everything is perfect (ok, except the bedroom door which we somehow never managed to finish painting 3 and a half years after moving in), just to escape them. I hardly know them personally, besides having been in the elevator once or twice with the daughter, but I hate them with a passion that sometimes threatens to set my hair on fire. In fact maybe it singes sometimes, because its fuzzy and I keep blaming that on my lousy conditioner, but just be the fury that is sizzling my follicles.
There! They did it again just NOW- they slammed another bloody door. Granted, it is the middle of the day and I would never go down and complain to them about it, but for the love of God- why the constant door slamming?!!?!! Its like there is a pack of angry monkeys locked in that house. They slam the doors, scream at each other, ransack the cupboards at all hours of the night. Its astounding how many ways they can find to bring themselves to the forefront of my thoughts.
Granted, when we moved in there was a 93-year-old bedridden man living there. He did not make a lot of noise. Sometimes we heard his nurse chatting on the phone but not much else. Unfortunately, the one time we did here him calling out was when he fell out of bed in the middle of the night, and we were convinced it was coming from the apartment upstairs where a couple lived. So, since it was 3 am, we didn't really make much effort to go around knocking on their door to check if it really was them. Two days later, I bumped into the concierge and mentioned this and she told me that in fact it was the old man downstairs who was taken to hospital when he was finally found, and then he died. How horrible is that? But it took a life and death situation for him to make enough noise to wake us up in the night.
Our new neighbors are from a different school of thought. The deluded sort, who imagine that they live in a house set in the middle of a field, apparently, from which no sound escapes. How else can you explain their penchant for house cleaning between midnight and 3 am. I kid you not. I must have been woken up atleast a dozen times in the past year by the sound of dishes being loaded/unloaded from the dishwasher. Last night it was the annual cupboard clearout, by the sound of things. Cupboard doors banging for atleast 45 minutes followed by some sort of furniture moving and them possibly sweeping or mopping. And this all started at about 12:30 because I went to bed at 11 and didn't hear a thing. It was only when a door slammed shut right under neath me that I was jolted awake. We banged on the floor, and the cupboard door slamming pretty much stopped. But the insomniac downstairs still had energy to burn and it was only at around 1:30 that it quieted down. Of course, when you are laying in bed exhausted and yet annoyed beyond belief, it is impossible to fall back asleep so once again we ended up with a extra short night due to our lovely neighbors.
I just don't get it. First of all, why would you decided to start cleaning your house at midnight? And secondly, when the entire building is completely silent, it would surely cross your mind that you should try to be quiet. Normally, there are 4 people living in the apartment downstairs, but even if the kids were gone, doesn't the spouse get a little irritated with this? I mean, it must be atleast as noisy as it is in our apartment. I keep thinking that no one would make that much noise on purpose, unless they absolutely had to, so I don't bother going down to chat with the cleaning lunatic. OK, I've shouted insults out the window once or twice (classy, I know) but only under extreme duress.
Its too the point where I seriously would move just to get away from them. I've grown up living in houses so I don't have a lot of experience with apartment etiquette. Should I send them a note? Go down when they are actually making the noise so they know exactly what they need to avoid doing? Contact a lawyer and the building managers? Until I sort this out, I am channeling all my energy into surfing the real estate websites, looking for that perfect replacement apartment. I am oddly attracted to independent houses at the present time.

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