The neighbor debacle

I got three hours of sleep last night. My neighbors stayed up until 8 a.m. playing video games. As a result, I didn’t go to work today, and around 8, passed out on my couch.

I kiiiiind of had a meltdown. A messy, physical, emotional, slam-every-door-in-the-apartment meltdown. And even that didn’t wear me out enough to just fall asleep from exhaustion, despite the noise.

A few nights ago, around 12:30 a.m., I went upstairs and asked the neighbs to shut the hell up. No, not really; I’ve been sickeningly sweet with them, borderline flirtatious, in my earnest efforts to get my six to eight hours. Anyway, that night, they obliged. They always do. But last night. Oh, last night.

I went to bed before midnight without issue. Around 3:30 a.m., I was abruptly woken up by a strong bass line. I went straight up there and kindly asked that they turn it down. As usual, a disembodied male voice behind the door promised to do so. He, or whoever, did so, but not enough. Thirty minutes later, after trying in vain to fall back asleep, I went back up there and knocked several times, but this time, no one answered. I went outside to escape the thumping for a few moments, and then went back in and decided to watch an episode of “Weeds” and wait for them to fall asleep. After the episode was over, they were still going strong. After failing to fall asleep once more, I stormed up there and pounded on the door six or seven times, shouting “Hello?” and still got no reply. It’s really, really hard for me to convince myself they just didn’t hear me, but I’m trying. However, that also makes me greatly concerned for their hearing.

I stormed right back down those stairs, slammed the door behind me and slammed my living room, pantry and bedroom doors, screaming as loud as I could. Then I fell to my knees in pitiful tears, pulling at the carpet as if it, too, was to blame for my misery. After that, I simply gave in. I curled up on the couch and watched three more episodes of “Weeds,” listening at the end of each one to see if they had called it a night/morning yet. At nearly 7 a.m., I called off from work. I knew by then that there was no way I was going to function for eight hours at work on that amount of sleep, and finally around 8, I was permitted at last by the will of the neighbors’ sub woofer, to sleep.

And I slept. For a long time. When I woke up, I called my dad to whine for a good while, and then formed a plan. I went to the store and got some ingredients to make salsa for tomorrow’s Cinco de Mayo party at work, and in the parking lot, I asked Facebook this question:

As you can see, suggestions ranged from unladylike behavior to raging violence. The Subway gift card won in the end, and this afternoon I went upstairs once more with this offering in hand. I hoped it would soften the blow of what I was expecting to be a very unpleasant conversation.

One of the guys let me in this time, and I got to see the inside of their place. I told them I’d had to call off work today because I couldn’t sleep last night. I said I was sorry for bothering them so often, but the noise was louder than I felt they realized. The guy admitted their sub woofer (right above my couch, as it turns out) could be lifted higher off the ground. He said he himself hadn’t been around last night, so he wasn’t sure who the culprit was. However, I’m pretty sure it was the guy playing a video game and paying zero attention to my presence up there. Just saying.

I offered the card as a token of my appreciation and asked them to think of me after midnight or so each night. I went back downstairs and a few minutes later, there was a knock on my door. The guy I’d talked to asked me to point out, in my apartment, where most of the noise was coming from so he’d know who to talk to (there’s three of them altogether, I think). That was pretty nice of him, and he again promised to try to keep his roommates in check at night. He seemed pretty genuine, and he has the tiniest dog I’ve ever seen a grown man own (I knew they had a damn dog up there…).

So, I could be speaking too soon, but I am feeling optimistic about the situation. So far so good for tonight, so maybe I’ll go get my sleep schedule back on track.

6 thoughts on “The neighbor debacle

  1. OK, so the thing that I want to comment on has nothing to do with the situation…but the “I knew they had a damn dog up there!” I don’t think I need to say any more? lol

    But that aside, I hope it does work. If not, file a noise complaint or something. Who cares if it pisses them off, maybe if you file a complaint and get someone else involved they’ll get a case of Shut The Hell Up.

  2. I don’t hold out much hope for any solution, other than moving and trying to find someplace else. I’ve lived in apartments for a long time, and someone always f&*#$ it up. I have a neighbor with 3 dogs; landlord doesn’t care, city of Columbus doesn’t care. I have a neighbor who blasts his TV all night. Again, landlord doesn’t care. I have a neighbor with 3 teenagers and other kids in and out. They were playing ball, laughing and talking at 12:30 a.m. Landlord doesn’t care (see a recurring theme here?).
    Today when I left for work, the siding on the building in the entry way was splattered with mud and mulch. Why? CSI Columbus discovered balloon bits–apparently, a water balloon fight. And, after the landlord had had all of the siding in the apartment complex hosed down, and the flower beds (which are now in disarray) mulched and weeded.
    Think the landlord will care now? I sure don’t.

  3. I think I told you about this, but it was the noise from above that caused Rachel and I to start looking for a house. Every morning, we would hear their alarm clock buzzing for 45 minutes to an hour. Every night, it sounded like their kids were running down the hall and taking flying leaps. We bought a noisy box fan to cover it up, but it wasn’t enough. We left nice notes on their door but they didn’t work, so we started pounding on the ceiling, and they would pound back. After months of pounding, finally Mom came down and screamed at us for being jerks. We started looking for a house the next week.

  4. Wow, I am super-impressed that you thought to “soften the blow” by giving them a gift card! I think that’s a pretty good idea. To let them know you’re not the mean neighbor chick, but just someone trying to get some sleep. Is there anyone else in your building that might have a complaint with them? Maybe a group effort to talk to your landlord might work….

    • I was *this close* to calling the cops and I am so glad I didn’t; I think that just would have worsened the situation and as my daddy always says, kill ’em with kindness. The building is just a house converted into a duplex– I’ve got the downstairs, they’re upstairs. So at least I’m the only one being impacted, right? 😉

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