Dear Annie: I live in a large city with high real estate prices. This has prevented me from buying my own home, so I reside in an apartment. I have done so for the majority of my adult life. All of my previous experiences have been pleasant. However, the most recent apartment complex I moved to has very thin walls, and as a result, I can hear just about everything that goes on in my neighbors' apartments.
A new neighbor recently moved to the apartment below me, and I can hear everything that goes on down there. Our building has a strict rule stating that there should be no loud noise between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. Unfortunately, my downstairs neighbor seems to be a night owl, and I have been woken up on numerous occasions at 2 in the morning by her partying and loud talking. I have spoken to my landlord twice about this, and he has assured me that he has spoken to her. However, this behavior continues to happen.
I understand that you have to choose your battles as an apartment dweller; however, this neighbor's complete disregard of the apartment rules has my blood boiling. I have invested in earplugs, and a kind co-worker gave me a white-noise machine that she was not using. Using these tools has helped me, but the fact remains that this woman seems to have no regard for anyone. I feel completely disrespected, and it makes me angry that she is keeping me awake.
Moving is not an option for me right now, so I believe I am doing the only thing I can do by keeping the landlord aware of this behavior.
Annie, I am not really asking for your advice. I am asking you to please print this letter as a public service and a reminder to all apartment residents to remember that there are others in close range who deserve consideration. I think this will help numerous individuals who are in my situation. Thank you for letting me vent. — Blood Has Boiled Over
Dear Boiling: Always happy to let people vent if it prevents an explosion, but I am going to make one suggestion here: Talk to your neighbor. It's possible your landlord never actually talked to her in the first place. And even if he did, he may be out of sight, out of mind as far as she's concerned.
Stop by for a neighborly chat, and ask this woman to keep it down. Once she sees the face — and major under-eye circles — of the person she's keeping up every night, it ought to be harder for her to party on as if no one outside her four paper-thin walls exists.
Dear Annie: It's been a few days, but I find I just can't let pass how strongly I disagree with your reply to "On Clearance," the girl whose boyfriend got free concert tickets for her birthday. You advised her to let her boyfriend know that she does not consider them a present because he didn't have to pay for them. I would have told her to get over herself — that if the cost of a gift is most important to her, she should rethink her values. She writes that she is not materialistic, but maybe she needs to check that definition.
Also, she can't know what this "cost" him. He listened to her interests and desires. He actually gave thought to how he could fulfill one of those desires. He put himself out there for her and asked his friend for the favor. He was her knight in shining armor. He plans to escort her and try to see to it that she enjoys herself.
If I could advise him, I'd tell him, "Run!" He would be fortunate to find out her true, only-interested-in-the-almighty-dollar nature before entering into any long-term relationship. There are plenty of young ladies out there who would thank their lucky stars for such a thoughtful beau. — Florida Reader
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