Friday, August 15, 2008


We have new neighbors this summer. The ones two doors down to the east of us have two corgis, and they're awful. Not all the time, but they have woken me up every morning since I can remember, barking at something. Generally, it's at 7:30 in the morning. I was musing with Ian about writing some sort of note "What happens to your dogs every morning at 7:30am? If I had to be up then, I wouldn't even need to set an alarm. Unfortunately, I don't have to be up then, and furthermore, I really don't want to be. Perhaps we could discuss some ways of avoiding the 7:30 wake-up call." Of course, this morning they were quiet until 8:10, and while that's a more reasonable time to wake up, it's not a reasonable way to wake up, I think. The corgis bark throughout the day, too, which I know, can be a dog's nature. However, it's my nature to want the dog to shut up after the provocation has passed. I have been known to furiously shout "SHUT UP!" out the door of my office. I actually did some good.

We also have new neighbors to the north. They have been slightly more of a problem, because there is a yappy little dog, but also because there are are young and inconsiderate humans. Of course, that too may simply be their nature. Anyway, the night before last they were playing a game in their backyard—which is very close to our bedroom window—and talking, laughing, and occasionally screeching while they played. I was exhausted and finally fell asleep around 11:30pm, and slept pretty well until 2:30 when I got up to use the bathroom. I came back to bed and realized they were still out there, still playing, talking, laughing, and occasionally screeching. I shook my head in disbelief, then stuffed myself into my down pillow and tried to ignore them. Around 3:30am I finally fell asleep again. At 4:20, I was woken by another screech, and I said "What the hell?" and then Ian, who had been up since 3:30am hearing them, got up, put on a robe, and went next door to ask them to be quiet. And they were, immediately, and very apologetic. At 4:30am.

Last night, I was even more tired than the night before, and I fell into bed around 9:30pm. They were inside, and quiet, and I developed a plan to leave them a note the next day saying "thank you so much for being so quiet last night. We've had a rough summer over here, and our sleep is really important." You know, positive reinforcement. But then things got louder. I finally fell asleep around 10:30pm in a lull, but at 11:30pm I was awakened by laughter and screeching.

Now, this house was on the market from October until the end of June, but I don't think the people living there actually bought it. I think the owners probably just decided to rent for awhile, to get what they could out of it since no one wanted to pay what they were asking. The people living there are young—probably 5-10 years younger than me—and they seem to be kind of clueless about things like sound carrying. Perhaps they're not used to living in such close proximity to others. Certainly, they had a month to cement their behavior when our house was vacant, because I was in the hospital the whole first month they were here.

Anyway, I was not happy about being awoken at 11:30pm by laughter and screeching, and remembering the night before, I knew I was unwilling to put up with it until 4:30am. So I got up, pulled on some lounge pants and a t-shirt, slipped into some flip-flops, grabbed my portable oxygen tank, and stalked next door. I arrived at their house to find the front door open, and as I approached one girl at the far end of the room looked alarmed and said "There's a person at your door!" and then another girl immediately came to see what was up. I explained that their backyard was right next to my husband's and my bedroom, that we were having trouble sleeping though their noise, and that we'd had a pretty rough summer already. She apologized profusely, said they would close their back door and stay inside, and she gave me her phone number so I didn't have to go over again.

They did close the back door, I closed my window (it had been closed the night before and still the noise got us), buried my ears in my down pillow again, and slept relatively well. I said to Ian before snuggling down though that you would have to be pretty cold to be unmoved by a neighbor, about your age but bald, with only one boob and using an oxygen tank, asking you to by quiet.

Nevertheless, I decided it took moxie to go over there like that—to see strangers I had a complaint with in my vulnerable state—so that's the name of my oxygen tank: Moxy.


ACB said...

Ha! That's perfect!

Anonymous said...

If you need someone to bust knee caps, throw slightly over-ripe eggs, or make good use of some good ol' fashioned TP courtesy of Costco feel free to let me know. I'm sure I can roust up some nearly-young fellow rapscallions who shall heretofore go unnamed (but their initials are I.T., D.F. and M.P.) to make pleasant with your neighbors (ala Daniel Plainview style) and give you some much deserved peace and quiet...


Anna K. said...

Yup, you're pretty much my hero.

Gregory said...

Good for you, Calin, the neighborhood peacekeeper! I have occasionally been called the Civic Avenger, due to my unusually low threshold for getting involved in other people's problems, and problems caused by other people. So I approve of your asserting your rights.

As for Moxy, I like it. Perhaps short for "My Oxygen"?