Remember when I wrote not very long ago about fighting my urges to research new places to live for one reason or another?
It’s a peaceful, quiet Friday evening. While most people go out to do something social on a Friday night, I have always veered towards home after work or school. Perhaps in my younger years, I had a handful of evenings where I went out after work and added to the stimulation of a long week.
But ninety-nine times out of a hundred (nine times out of ten didn’t really seem to convey the proper percentage), I head to my home after forty-five hours of time spent in the office, longing for solitude, quiet, and relaxation.
I crave unwinding on my own couch with the knowledge that I don’t have to set the alarm for the next day. Out of everything I may do at home–hold a conversation, sit and stare out the window, get on my computer, stream something on Netflix, read a book–it’s the SILENCE I need the most. One of the big reasons we chose to live where we do is it is a lovely apartment community that supports quiet. Our apartment faces a pond (retention basin), with fish and geese and ducks and other flora and fauna. It is still.
My partying neighbors, whose energy for seamy nightlife activities knows no bounds, are the perfect Achilles heel to my introverted plans. I think they have some kind of radar that alerts them as to when I need to relax the most, unless their urges to party just neatly coincide with my desire to relax each weekend, which is likely the case.
Drinking and smoking don’t really make any noise, though. If all these people did was have a quiet cigarette or two with a brandy, we’d have no problems. Perhaps we’d even feel like giving them a friendly wave.
But no; what makes noise are drunken belligerent fools who listen to really terrible (bass-y) music every…single…weekend evening, preceding and during the imbibing of God only knows what substances, whilst also whooping. (How I Met Your Mother fans–I have a “woo” girl living right next door to me! Except she’s in her mid-thirties and it’s called “alcoholism!”)
What makes it worse is that the music is not only turned up to an unreasonable volume for living in a shared-walls community, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they have their stereo system set up near the back wall of their apartment, which contains the utility closet, which abuts our utility closet on the back wall of our apartment, and is not well insulated and thus emits noise quite well. The folding metal door on the utility closet doesn’t help.
At first I thought it was all the husband’s fault. He seemed like an easy target to blame. He chain smokes outside on the patio (our patios are adjacent to one another) and he’s a tight-lipped, unpleasant sort of fellow. Loves his cell phone and his minivan. (Red flag, anyone?)
Their habits have been pretty predictable up until lately. Usually it’s dead silent up until nine or ten o’clock at night and then…cue the stereo and some honky tonk or other terrible genre of songs. I did say it was bad, didn’t I?
The week before last, the wife was gone for an entire week. Not a single note emitted from their apartment from Monday to Friday. I wondered if God had granted me the gift of going deaf at will; perhaps someone had died; did they suddenly develop a collective conscience?
We got our answer when the wife returned home on Friday and the musical habits returned with her. I was seriously stunned. I had made a serious and sexist judgment call, believing that the surly husband and his musical whims were the bane of my existence, when the whole time it was the wife.
Perhaps you’re asking yourself if I have talked to them about the music. Yes. I confronted the banshee herself one early morning before work, when she was still bleary-eyed and hungover. She even told me they would try to “watch it” around ten o’clock with regard to the music, when the complex’s “quiet hours” start. That lasted about a week.
Perhaps you are wondering if we’ve had to call the police. Yep. Did it work? No. In fact, they rebelled by playing the music louder and screaming at us through the walls. Classy all the way.
Maybe you’re wondering if management has stepped in. Yes! They have been banned from renewing a lease and are on warning about their violations of Quiet Hours and the section of the lease regarding use of premises. We still have to live next to them until they leave, however.
As I mentioned in the other post, Mr. and Mrs. Shithead are moving between now and the end of July. Their actual move date is a mystery but we find ourselves praying we’ll come home to a moving truck every single day at this point. (We were given the false hope that they would “go out of town on weekends” until their lease was up. So far, it has yet to happen and I think that was just a whimsical lie Mrs. S. thought would sound good when talking to the manager.)
Here are the strategies we utilize while we wait for the hours and minutes on the clock to painstakingly pass until our
fun-loving partiers alcoholics vacate the premises:
- Retire upstairs in the nine o’clock hour every night (unless by some miracle the music isn’t on.)
- Turn the Blizzard fan in our room to high, drowning out most of the noise that inevitably emanates from downstairs.
- Put on noise-canceling headphones when doing anything quiet, like reading, checking email, or attempting to fall asleep.
- Sit in the upstairs computer room, which is unattached to any part of their apartment, with the door shut and quiet music on, and blog to get my mind off the anxiety that wells up inside of me every second of every minute that they play their vile cacophony downstairs, and wait for them to pass out.
- Put on headphones and listen to guided meditation; take deep breaths.
- All of the above.
I guess you figured out which one I’m doing now. The problem tonight is, they opted for Music Hour(s) far earlier than usual. We hadn’t even figured out our dinner plans yet. What all of those options above have in common is that they all involve our being trapped in our own apartment – the place that is supposed to be our (QUIET) sanctuary.
I wouldn’t allow myself to even look at my comfy couch–I just made a beeline for the upstairs. While my dude decided on an evening nap (with fan on!), I chose to hole up in the computer room, staring out at the peaceful scene beyond my windows, making me envious with the knowledge that it would be quieter if I camped out in a tent with the geese and insects around me than if I slept in my own comfortable bed with two human beings one wall away.
And with that….
It’s time for a late supper. It means I have to brave going downstairs and leave my safe little space in front of the computer.
Here goes nothing.