Share This

Wonderfully Awful: Love Thy Neighbor


a blogumn by Robin Rosenzweig

After about four years together, my boyfriend and I finally decided to take the leap and move in together. We ended up moving into the first place we found, a reasonably-priced cute two bedroom, two bath in a secure building with underground parking for the both of us. Plus, the building has a gym and a rooftop hot tub. We couldn’t believe our good fortune! And then we discovered…the neighbors.

ogreWe are on the third floor of a four-story apartment building located mere feet away from another large apartment building. Many of the residents, including us, like to keep windows open on warm nights in order to enjoy some fresh air. There seems to be an unspoken code amongst the two buildings that we all accept a certain amount of noise by the very nature of living in a large building next to another large building. But the person who lives directly above us has signed no such unwritten contract. We discovered early on that although he watches his television at a loud volume, blasts Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits (or at least three of those hits over and over), and regularly engages in loud telephone conversations, he is not tolerant of any noise whatsoever outside of his apartment.

If someone is having a get-together on their patio, he yells at them to keep it down. If a baby cries, he yells out the window telling the baby to shut up. If someone practices their violin and plays lovely music with their window open, he bellows at them to “turn it down.” In the beginning, we found him somewhat amusing, nicknaming him “The Ogre.” But when he yelled at my boyfriend’s brother for coughing too loud, that was the last straw. As much as we didn’t want to do it, we had to write a letter to our landlord. We were amazed to find that nobody had complained about this guy before.

Shortly after the letter, things started to improve. Instead of yelling when things got too noisy for him, he took the apparent high road of slamming his window shut. We decided this was a reasonable compromise. Soon, winter set in and we hardly noticed The Ogre at all. Then again, our window has been closed. But the weather is starting to warm up and we are beginning to enter what I have dubbed “Ogre Season.” We’re keeping our letter-writing pen at the ready.

We like to keep our blinds open in the evening, which has not generally been an issue as every other neighbor across the way keeps their blinds closed. But some new neighbors just moved into the apartment directly across from us, one floor down. And they like to keep their blinds open, too. This would be fine if they weren’t so into having sex with said blinds open, giving us a direct view of all the…action. One night when I came home, the boyfriend informed me that the neighbors did it not once, but twice that evening. Not only did he find this to be annoying, but it was starting to make him feel insecure, too. Each time this happens, we are faced with a dilemma: bashfully close the blinds and try to ignore, or watch the new neighbors get it on. So far, we have chosen to avoid at all costs, but if they keep it up, we may just make some popcorn, sit at the window, and enjoy the show.

I can only imagine what The Ogre has to say about our new Sexytime neighbors. I guess we’ll find out this summer.

. photo credit: J. Walker