I’ve never had good luck where neighbors are concerned. I’ve had bad neighbors everywhere I’ve lived since moving out of my parents house.
I had never lived in an apartment before, so when I moved into my first place I didn’t know what I should expect. What I certainly didn’t expect was the guy upstairs…the one who would sing The Star Spangled Banner after sex. Every time. He also used to leave his alarm on every day…whether he was at the apartment or not. So sometimes I’d hear 5 minutes of classic rock at 6 AM, but sometimes I’d hear it for an hour…usually on Sunday. I left quite a few nasty notes on his door. One note even asked that if he really felt the need to sing, could he change it up and sing a different song occasionally. Luckily, he moved out after less than a year.
After I moved from there I lived on the first floor apartment of a house…that had really bad insulation and no carpets. The people who lived upstairs when I moved in had a little kid who liked to run up and down the hallway, yelling nonsense. They used to come home every night at almost midnight…long after I was asleep…and they’d let the kid run around for hours. I was really happy when I heard they’d bought a house and would be moving.
The people who moved in after them were really nice…a young couple with no children. I liked them a lot actually. Unfortunately, my landlords (who lived next door) didn’t feel the same way. There was some kind of issue between them over guests sleeping over and it got pretty heated. They started purposely having loud parties to piss off the landlords. They pissed me off too. Those people also used to have really loud sex with lots of moaning and yelling…at two in the morning.
They were so much better, though, than the woman who moved in after them. She was affectionately known by J and I as the fuck-me-harder lady. Because…as you might have guessed…that’s what she liked to say during sex. Also, her boyfriend had a filthy mouth and talked like he was in a porn film. Hey…for all I know…maybe that’s what they were doing up there. Every night. All night. He should have been a porn star because he had incredible stamina. I moved out of there not long after she moved in.
The upstairs neighbor in the city was a real winner too. He was an alcoholic who used to get drunk and pass out with his TV blaring, which we could hear all night. He also left the dog’s leash on all the time, so when the dog ran around the apartment, we could hear the chain dragging on the floor. Poor dog. One night, he passed out with his bathroom sink running. In the middle of the night, it started raining in our bathroom and kitchen and part of the bathroom ceiling fell down. It was awesome!
We were so happy to move into our current house because we thought being out of an apartment meant all our annoying neighbor problems were over. No such luck. I told you about our old neighbors…the ones with all the kids. I’ve also mentioned my new neighbors and how we thought they were nice…despite being a little odd. But now I think they might be the worst neighbors so far.
It appears that they do not sleep. Ever. Their kids are awake all night long…I take the dogs out at 11PM and the kids are on the deck. I take them out again at 5AM and the kids are yelling from the kitchen window. My poor dogs haven’t been able to pee in peace since the kids moved in. They also like to work on their house at very odd hours…like midnight. We didn’t really care because, until these last two weeks, we had the air conditioner on and the windows closed. But now…the windows are open and we can hear everything.
Including the smoke detector…which is still beeping…since June! They never replaced the batteries. All night long…every thirty seconds…beep…beep…beep. It’s seriously making us crazy.
On Saturday night J was exhausted from a hard day so he’d fallen asleep at 7PM. I was awake and watching TV in the living room. At 10:30PM my doorbell rang. It was my neighbor. Remember our shared driveway? Well, it goes down behind the two houses, but it’s tight and you can’t really get down there with other cars at the top of the driveway…especially not with our truck in there. He had just returned from Home Depot and wanted us to move our cars out so he could unload his car. Ok, fine. But who does that…rings someone’s doorbell at that hour? It turned out J had woken up just a few minutes before, but what if he was still asleep? Then I would have had to deal with his crankiness all night.
Needless to say…I was not happy. J didn’t get quite as upset as me and he went out and moved the cars…no big deal. Then we went back to sleep.
Sunday morning, we were woken up by the neighbors on the other side…who are obsessed with lawn maintenance. It was 8AM and they were trimming their hedges…with an electric trimmer. I tried to lay there and ignore it, but then they pulled out the blower to blow all the trimmings into the street and I knew I was mostly defeated. (BTW – this is typical of them…ever weekend…all day long.) When that stopped all I heard was the beeping of the smoke detector and I nearly lost my mind.
I got dressed and went marching over to the neighbor’s…very cranky at my interrupted sleep. She came to the door and I told her that the beeping was driving us crazy and she had to fix it…today. She said…and this was good…they bought new batteries but hadn’t had time to replace them yet.
Really? REALLY??? Because it takes about two minutes. You couldn’t find two minutes since June? It’s September.
She assured me it would be taken care of right away.
This morning…I woke up to beeping.
On my way to work I stopped into Duane Reade and bought 9 Volt batteries. When I get home I’m taping them to the door of my neighbor’s house. If that doesn’t deliver the message J is inviting himself over to help fix it. Because I have completely lost it.