Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Becoming "that" person

Thanks to everyone who has participated in NaBloSoFroDraWe (also NaBloSoThaDraWe). It's kinda cool to have several participants this year. And remember, NaBloSoFroDraWe continues all week long. So you still have time...

A couple of weeks ago, around 5:00 on a Monday morning, I was awoken from my midsummer night's slumber by a sort of rumbling noise. As I was coming to consciousness, I sifted through possible causes. Was it thunder? No, I was pretty sure it wasn't. A truck with no muffler? Quite prevalent on my road, but again, no. My stomach? Maybe.

I ventured downstairs where it became evident that the loud, booming noise was coming from next door. It sounded like a Buddy Rich rehearsal was going on over there, except without the cursing. (Not really, but I've been trying to work in a Buddy Rich reference for over a year now and figure this is as close as I'm gonna get.)

At 5:00. On a Monday morning. Seriously?

What could I do? I went back upstairs and tried to get to sleep. And tried. And tried. But all I could hear was this pounding bass that seemed to be growing louder and louder, even though I'm pretty sure it wasn't. I gave it a valiant effort, but finally after about 45 minutes, I gave up. And that is when I officially became that person.

No, not the person who bangs on the wall and hopes they get the hint. And not the person who goes next door and gets into a heated dispute. You know, the kind that ends up on COPS where one or more of the subjects don't have a shirt on. Nope, what I did was even worse.

I called the property manager and complained that the neighbors were too loud.

Yep, that person. (And I'm still cringing as I type this.)

I can't help it. I love sleep. And I need sleep. If I don't get at least six solid hours of sacktime at night--and a two-hour afternoon nap at least three or four days a week--I'm not myself. I'm not Bone.

Finally around 6:30 that morning, the noise stopped and I was able to get back to sleep for a few minutes. Needless to say, I was a walking zombie at work that day. (Is "walking zombie" redundant? And if it was needless to say, why did I say it anyway?)

Thankfully, the next few nights were pretty quiet. Then about a week later, it happened again. This time it was around 2:30 in the morning, again on a school night. So I called for the second time.

That was about a week ago and it's been quiet ever since. I figure if it happens again, I'm just going to have to move. I can't continue being that person.

The other obvious issue now is that my neighbor knows someone has turned him in. And as the townhouses are side-by-side, as townhouses are wont to be, then he doesn't have to be real smart to know that it was either me or the neighbor on the other side. So all I have to do is avoid seeing this one person--who happens to live next to me--for the rest of my life. That shouldn't be too hard.

So far, I've taken a few drastic measures toward this end. These include but are not limited to: peeking through the blinds to make sure no one is in the parking lot anytime I start to leave; making sure I'm on the phone anytime I come home so as to lessen the likelihood of any possible awkward encounters; and... have I mentioned that I tend to be non-confrontational?

The thing is, I've always considered myself a pretty amicable neighbor. In the nearly four years that I've lived here, this is the first time I've complained about anything! I mean, I didn't complain when the previous neighbor set that hideous plastic dog with the solar-powered lantern in its mouth outside the front door. And I never say anything when the lady on the other side of me screams things at her kid that even frighten me a little. (Actually, the Buddy Rich reference would fit better here.)

How did this suddenly turn into the crime of the century? Besides, he's the one who broke the rules. I'm well within my rights. It clearly states on page seven of the voluminous tenant agreement (which I'd never actually read before now): "Any noises in the building or parking lot that are disturbances to other tenants will not be tolerated."

All I want is some peace and quiet, an apology, and for him to be evicted.

"Well, I can't sleep sometimes but I've been told, it's a lonely condition called growing old. Let me stumble sometimes..."


  1. This post made me laugh a lot!

    It would take a lot for me to become that person because I'd be too scared of my neighbours knowing it was me, but I can understand your pain. I hate being woken up when I'm sleeping and it can affect me for the whole of the next day.

    Is this a NaBloSoThaDraWe post? Because it seems a bit too good...

  2. A school night! I say that too, and I think it's funny because I'm not in school, but's a school night.

    Welcome to becoming "that" person. It makes you feel old, huh? Don't worry, I found gray hairs this weekend. It was life shattering!

  3. We all become that person sometime, or uh are the person that person complained about. Or both

    Why do you think I moved to a house?

    Wonderfully written as always. Made me chuckle out loud. But who is Buddy Rich and why have you wanted to work in a reference?

  4. I was kind of looking forward to a shirtless Bone on COPS!

  5. This morning I made a confrontational phone call in which I asked for an apology at the very least. Instead of simply apologizing, the man asked *WHO* I wanted an apology from... and listed three options. Unbelievable.

  6. I'm hating my noisy neighbors too!
    Unlucky me! they live Above me and they are up until 4-5 am. who runs around in their apartment until 4-5 AM???? I am wondering if they are on CRACK!

    I get up and make lots of noise at 5:30 -6.
    revenge - maybe...

  7. Huh! A that person. Sometimes a guys gotta do what a guys gotta do.

    Buy a house in a quiet area on a cul-da-sac and it will all be good.

    You'll have to do the lawn though.

  8. J Adamthwaite - Yeah, I figure if I had waited until morning when I was less agitated, I probably never would have called.

    Nope. This is all too current :) Maybe I should have clarified that.

    OK Chick - Yeah, I'm not in school either, just to clarify.

    Yep, it totally makes me feel old. Welcome to the gray hair club.

    Pia - Why do you think I moved to a house?

    The line "Now I see why people buy houses and move to gated communities" kept running through my head as I wrote this.

    Buddy Rich was an incredible drummer, somewhat infamous for expletive-filled tirades at his band following a poor performance. You can google "Buddy Rich tapes" for more. But it's not-work-friendly.

    I was hoping at least one person would get the reference. After all, I worked so hard to fit it in :)

    Mama Zen - OK, but I'm warning you, I don't shave my chest.

    R8chel - Wow. Um... at least he gave you an option?

    Daily Panic - I get up and make lots of noise at 5:30 -6.
    revenge - maybe...

    Oh DP, that cracked me up. I might admit to stomping up and down the stairs, maybe once or twice. You know, just in case O:)

    PennyCandy - Then I fear I'd turn into "that" person that complained about the neighborhood kids stomping through my azaleas :)

    Nah. Surely not.

  9. I, too, have been that person...the person who complains to the landlord.

  10. "that person" doesn't sound nearly as sexy as "that girl" which is a reference to a TV show that was before your time!

  11. We've alldone that right there. You should consider getting a house. No better time than right now!

  12. I don't think you should feel bad at all. He's in the wrong, not you.

    Besides, sleep is important. Ask any parent/aunt/grandparent/daycare provider for young children. They'll agree :)

  13. being the old lady commenting... I DID get and love the buddy rich reference!! I also loved 'school night' 'that person' 'cops with no shirts' plastic dog neighbor'
    I don't know.. I just loved this post! haha still smiling! and you know what is funny or actually..not so funny.. I ALSO was THAT person this week! and yes It does make me cringgggee!! I called the cops on kids riding on (Oh no! senior moment! I can't remember what those LOUD illegal things are that they were riding down my street all day making me crazzzy!!)
    ummm well..hopefully u know what they are! I feel like the next thing u know I will be collecting all the baseballs in the neighborhood and never returning them.(what movie was THAT in bone??) Yikes. i feel so old. but I think u did the right thing.. after all... A SCHOOL NIGHT??!!! the nerve!

  14. I've been "that person" for several years now. I DO NOT tolerate loud music or noise during the week after 10pm. I'm maybe a little more lenient now that I don't have to work the 6am shift.

  15. I'm that person too...we write letters to the HOA about our neighbors. we're terrible.

  16. Jen - Well, at least I'm not alone.

    Sage - I think I always got that confused with "Rhoda." Probably because I never saw either of them.

    Kyle - I would kinda like to have a yard to mow. I'm weird like that.

    TC - Sometimes it's not about being right or wrong, though. It's about feeling... old :)

    Lucy - Yes! Someone got my Buddy Rich reference! You just made my day :) Thank you.

    But, um, you got me on the movie reference. I'm bad at movies.

    Xinh - I'm feeling much better now that I know most everyone else has been "that" person, too.

    Renee - Yeah, and besides it's not like he forgot his key and I wouldn't let him in because I didn't recognize him then my friend killed his bird :)

  17. lol, Bone...I love this one. Well, I love all your posts, but still. I guess we all become 'that' person at some point, especially when precious sleep is involved! And we must have you with your full faculties so we can continue getting the wonderful posts. Without them, we'd be Boneless, and that's unacceptable. :~)

  18. I'm still fairly tolerant of noise, but I am starting to need more sleep in recent weeks. Maybe one of these days we can both grace the small screen together. I'll be with shirt, of course.

  19. In my opinion, THEY should be worried about running into YOU! Not the other way around. If it was me, I'd go knock on their door next time it happens. Maybe you'll smell some ganja or something. Then it's the police! The property manager failed the second time it happened. I think you need to adjust your attitude to aggressive!
    Go to their door and tell them to turn it OFF!

  20. Okay, everyone, make sure you get into practice. All together now:


    Your AARP cards will be mailed shortly.


  21. Sorry about your neighbor troubles. I think everyone goes through this at one time or other. I hate being awakened by neighbor noises too. I think I'd done the same as you. Have a great night.

  22. I wouldn't feel remotely guilty about this one. If it were midnight on a Friday night, it'd be a bit different. Of course, I've repeatedly reported a neighbor with a yapping dog...I don't pay this much in rent to not be able to sleep. Anyway, hope it doesn't happen again.

  23. When we were living in our apartment we had a couple of run-ins with the neighbors. We were unlucky enough to have neighbors on all four sides: left & right, above & below us. Once the above neighbors sounded like they got a new home theatre w/ surround sound, which they cranked right up. I tracked them down (by listening at doors until I knew I had the right apartment) and when I asked if they could turn it down a little I was blown away when my neighbor replied "We'll try."

    Excuse me? You' turn your stereo down? So you're not sure if you can? Or with it being a new stereo maybe you don't know how to turn it down? There is no try, just turn the effing thing down! And people wonder why we call the cops instead of confronting our neighbors ourselves.

    Another neighbor, this one who shared the wall with our bedroom, would watch TV or play music late at night or early in the morning, depending on how you define 2am. I actually went around and thumped on his door one morning (so I guess I do call it early in the morning ;) I slammed his door several times then thought to myself, "WTF am I doing?" and I ran back to our apartment. Luckily I had to go round two corners in the hallway to get back to our front door. I still heard my neighbor calling out behind me but I don't believe he saw me because there was no retaliatory knocking on our own door, but the music/TV did get turned off. The next morning I was wondering why my hand hurt so much, then I remembered what I'd done the night before. It was still hurting several days later so I must have hit his door pretty hard. He got the message though ;)

    We also had a neighbor who was trying to learn to play the saxophone or trumpet, or some noisy horn of one type or another. We lived in the apartment for a couple of years and despite how much he practiced, he never got much better. He'd play late into the night, and even past midnight sometimes. Our apartment was one of those that had an intercom at the front door where you could call each apartment to get buzzed in. I knew this guy's apartment number so I went out to the front door and called him from the intercom, and he answered.

    Me: Do you know what time it is?
    Him: Excuse me?
    Me: Do you know what time it is?
    Him: Yeah, I know what time it is.
    Me: Then what are you doing playing your damn trumpet?
    Him: Who is this?
    Me: One of your neighbors, now stop playing your damn trumpet!

    I like to avoid confrontation, too ;)

  24. I've been that person before and even confronted them. Neither worked for me so I took matters into my own hand. In my case it was the downstairs neighbor so I planted my speakers face down on the floor, insulated them well with blankets, foam, etc. so I wouldn't piss off my neighbors, waited until mid morning when "they" were asleep and then let them have it. I laughed when he came to my door complaining about the noise and said something like, "now you see how I feel" and that "I have a lot more where that came from." I never heard a peep from him from then on. Sometimes getting revenge is the only way to solve things.

  25. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  26. Geez, 6 days later I finally read this. My first thought: You work?!?

    My second thought: I was reminded of the time I spent the night at Big A's during our dating period and the guy above him seemed to be working on his bathroom at 3 a.m. Hammering, pounding, etc. Finally Big A grabbed his medieval weapon (the mace) just in case and headed upstairs. The guy never answered the door. Of course Big A was standing there with the mace over his shoulder so that could have had something to do with it (I was peeking around the stairwell).

  27. I feel for you, Bone. Neighbors making noise was one of the primary reasons why I decided to leave my apartment of five years and buy a house. I couldn't take the speculation any more of whether or not the people above me had a roller rink permanently installed in their living room.

    I can safely say that my curiosity has been dulled now for three years, and I haven't thought of those noisy, rambunctious neighbors of mine...until I read this post. I almost wished I had been ballsy enough to do what you did, but then, I'd probably be just like you after having done it - wondering if they knew it was me.

    That alone would have driven me crazy.

  28. Laughing along with Ed because I've done that myself :D

    In my case I cranked the volume and bass on my guitar amp all the way up, lay it face down on the floor, draped a blanket over it, then practiced my bass riffs with Peter Gunn, Stand By Me, and Wish You Were Here :D

    When we moved into our current house a neighbor in the apartment across the road was playing hispanic music so loud that even if I could speak espanol it was so distorted I'd have not been able to understand it anyway. We always leave our garage door cracked a few inches (to let the hot air out) so I got out my old boombox, set it up inside our garage, dropped in one of the kid's CDs (some Barney thing or Silly Kids Songs, or something) hit play, cranked up the volume, then went upstairs and played on my computer. I came down about half an hour later and when I turned it off there was blessed silence. The neighbor got the message. They usually do :)

    I don't mind if you play music, and I don't care what kind of music you play, just don't play it LOUD!!! and we'll get along just fine.