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Friday, March 17, 2006

Why must people be this way?

I'm sweet. I really am. I'm friendly and pleasant, and I'd really like to be cordial with you. And you. You, too. Everyone, really.

But then folks have to go and be motherfuckers. Why do these motherfuckers have to act like motherfuckers? I'll be very polite but direct about it for a few times, but once I reach the end of my rope, which I believe to be longer than most people's...It's not good for anyone. I don't like being bitchy. You don't want me to be bitchy. We'll both feel badly about it afterwards, but if I must be bitchy to get what I need--such as basic courtesy--I will.

Take The Dudes. The Dudes live below me. Some nights, they make a hell of a lot of noise. On many occasions, they've woken me from a dead sleep at about 3 AM with blaring video games and excited, video-game-related yelling. A few times, they've woken me around 1:30 with a boisterous party. The Dudes have angered me many times, but I've usually taken the following course of action:

1. Grit teeth.
2. Bury head under pillow.
3. Will it away.
4. Focus on my breath.
5. After half an hour, tiptoe downstairs in PJs and knock on the door. "Excuse me," I say with a wan smile and the miraculous bedhead only thick, curly hair can produce, "But you've woken me. Could you please quiet down?" Usually Luna, the little cat, follows me downstairs for the adventure. At this point, she races past me into Apartment of the Dudes.
Dude: "Oh, OK. Sorry. I didn't realize we were being loud."
Me: "Thanks. I'll take my cat back now."

This approach served me well for a few months. Then, the noise became more regular on weekends. I developed a new approach:

1. Grit teeth.
2. Bury head under pillow.
3. Will it away.
4. Focus on my breath.
5. After half an hour, grow incredibly resentful that I work every weekday and most weekends, but The Dudes apparently have no concern for employment.
6. Rise from my bed.
7. Jump on the floor above them like a vengeance demon straight from the Hellmouth.
8. They get the idea and stop.

This second approach has served me well for several weeks now. However, the employment resentment has been augmented and fueled by twin resentment that enjoyment of our hard-earned condo (not to mention my precious, precious sleep) is being noisily ripped to shreds by some Dudes who live for free in their sister's condo.

Dude. Dudes. Not cool.

Add to this picture some work frustrations of late, specifically that, while we're all terribly overworked, a few people seem to think it means they can be divas...and no one stops them. I verbally check them from time to time, but it's a bigger battle than I can wage alone.

So tonight, as a fatigued little moi cleaned the kitchen very quietly at 10 PM, she/I was not pleased to hear strains of hyena-like laughter emanating from the floor below. No mistaking it: a Dude party was in effect.

I waited until 10:15. I asked G to remind me exactly what the condo rules say. I marched downstairs. I knocked. Loudly.

A cute young gal with red pigtails answered the door, wide-eyed. I looked past her at the Head Dude standing behind. I maintained a civil tone, but in that sort of haughty, clipped, prissy-pissy way I can get when I'm pissed. My eyes lasered holes through The Dude's baby face.

"The condo rules say that noise is not aloud after 10 PM."
"I've had to ask you many times now."
"Okay," he replied, pleasantly.
"You need. To. Stop. Please."
"Okay," he sang sweetly.

I returned upstairs. Sure enough, The Dudes quieted right down, as they have every time I've asked. I felt bad about being pissy for a moment, but then I remembered I shouldn't have to ask.

I was also, I admit, pissy with G. Why am I always the one who has to go downstairs and be the bitch? I might have...sorta...told him to be more of a man. I was feeling exasperrated, okay? He promised to write the official letter of complaint tomorrow: This is the First Warning; next time you get fined. But I would rather write the damn letter than do the confrontation--who wouldn't? Doesn't seem freakin' fair.



Anonymous Larry Jones said...

I sympathize with you on this. But I've been a rock musician since I was a teenager, so I have caused much upset among various neighbors, before I was able to start rehearsing in soundproof studios. It seemed to me over the years that few of them were courteous or brave enough to come and talk to me about it, although I don't know exactly what I would have been able to do to accommodate them, since I was "working," not partying. But most of them just called the cops, who were usually delighted to hassle some kids with long hair, so that pissed me off pretty good.

Now that I am (more or less) the quiet one in the neighborhood, I encourage my neighbors to have parties, put loudspeakers in the back yard, rent karaoke machines and invite all their rowdy friends, because I consider it insurance against facing them (or The Law) on the two or three nights per year that I am the troublemaker.

But it kind of does sound like you are now within your humanistic rights to go after the dudes legally, although you might want to warn them specifically that you are hiring Storm Troopers.

8:38 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Oh my God you're one of them!

I understand the urge/need to party, and the need to practice music--never once have I told a Dude to stop practicing his guitar at night--but this is just ridiculous.

Add another intriguing morsel: More than one person on more than one occasion has smelled acetone emanating from the direction of The Dude's condo. (I have a terrible sense of smell, so I've been oblivious.)

I would never, ever, ever report pot smoking. But if it is, in fact, acetone, and it is, in fact, being used for what acetone is often used for these days...that's potentially very dangerous. The condo board is deliberating as to how to handle it...It could be nothing.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

I hate loud noise. I really, really hate loud noise. I hate it during the day. I hate it on weekends. I hated it in college. I hate it even when it's only occasional. I hate it more than second-hand smoke. I especially hate noise you can feel.

Usually I hate it to myself, because it happens so rarely and it's hardly fair to demand that everyone accommodate me. But it isn't difficult to acknowledge the fact that you live a wall's width away from other people, some of whom might have small children, others of whom might have to get up for work at 5am, others of whom might be ill or get migraines, others of whom might hate noise.

Parties can happen on the weekends. Professional rock musicans can stop practicing after 10. Video games do not have to consist of shouting matches. This is called common courtesy. It is not difficult.

Man, even thinking about it pisses me off.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Lah said...

umm, I guess I'm really naive, or really out of it, but what exactly is acetone used for these days? I thought it's primary purpose was to take off nail polish...

Anyways, K, you have my 100% backing to do what needs to be done to shut the Dudes up once and for all. As a fellow home owner with some fairly obnoxious neighbors myself, I can understand the frustration that you're feeling--you and G work so hard to have a condo, and then some unappreciative punk a-holes move in and make you hate your investment. Oooh, I can so relate...

Sometimes I wish my family really did have mafia connections...

11:04 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

acetone + sudafed + other unsavory ingredients ---> meth

Not good.

I'm hoping that The Dudes are just running an illegal nail salon. That idea makes me smile.

10:40 AM  

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