Noises in the Night

By Annie Lane

November 15, 2018 4 min read

Dear Annie: I recently moved to a noisy downtown apartment building. I'm a pretty deep sleeper, but the noise level at my new place is challenging even for my normally sound slumbers. I would just wear earplugs to bed, but I'm worried that would keep me from waking up to my alarm in the morning. I've tried over-the-counter sleep aids, but those make me feel groggy when I wake up. Is there some way I could sleep more soundly without risking oversleeping? — Sleepless in SoCal

Dear Sleepless: When it comes to apartment living, sound machines are a must. Invest in either an actual sound machine or a sound machine app, and choose among sound samples, such as ocean waves, that will help lull you to sleep while camouflaging apartment noise. I think you'll be amazed by just how well they work. Just make sure that whichever sound machine or app you choose has a timer. Otherwise, the ocean waves might drown out your alarm in the morning.

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Baffled and Hurt," who wrote to you about a woman standing in front of her at a concert. I cannot believe the answer you gave to her. The woman standing in front of "Baffled and Hurt" during the whole concert was extremely rude and obnoxious in response to her request that she sit down. The woman seemed to think that the concert was only for her enjoyment and did not care that everyone paid for and wanted to see the show. I can relate because when we attended a Broadway show recently, the people sitting next to us talked the whole time, even though I asked them to stop and enjoy the show. It also happens in movie theaters. Why are people so rude and entitled? — Been There

Dear Been There: I agree. I thought it was rude for that woman to stand through the whole concert when everyone around her was sitting. Judging by some reader response to that column, I didn't do a good job of making that clear. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Read on for more.

Dear Annie: I would have sought an usher to resolve the situation or demanded a new seat. It is reasonable to expect that someone might stand for a bit at a concert, but not 5 1/2 hours — particularly in an audience of older folks, many of whom have difficulty standing for long periods. — An Older Guy

Dear Older Guy: I agree with the sentiment — though "Baffled and Hurt" did mention that she could not find an usher. You'll read with interest the following letter.

Dear Annie: I'd like to respond to your column about concert etiquette. All Live Nation concerts allow patrons to stand by their seats. I know because I am an usher — and there are always complaints. — Usher

Dear Usher: Thank you for the inside information. I am sure it never hurts for patrons to ask ushers whether there's anything they can do about a stubborn stander. At the very least, perhaps the complaints could be passed from ushers to management and then to corporate.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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