Monday, January 13, 2014

The Upstairs Neighbor

All my growing up years, I said I would never live in an apartment.  My parents had never lived in apartments, so why should I ever need to? When you're 10, this kind of logic makes perfect sense.

Well, I made it through college without ever living in an apartment, but obviously I had good friends that lived in apartments.  And I heard nothing but bad from them about the noise from the neighbors.  All these friends lived on the first floor, so most of the noise they complained about came from above.

When I graduated college, I went to work at Camp Tejas.  I was still sticking to the childhood resolution of no apartment living - yay on-camp housing!  But then the CEO decided to start moving people off camp, and I was one of the first.  Turns out, moving off camp was a really great decision.

However, there was the small problem of the fact that there were not a lot of houses for rent anywhere near my price range.  I decided to go with an apartment, because that seemed like the most financially wise decision.  Also, the one I settled on was only 2 and a half years old, so surely it was well constructed enough that there wouldn't be any problem with noise.  The final determining factor was that the available unit was on the second floor in a 2-story complex - yay noise-free life!

Well, I did have a noise-free life for a little while, until we got new neighbors next door.  Turns out, that, if you do life one wall apart, you're going to hear each other - TV, fights, opening and closing of pantry doors, etc.  But I really got used to most of it.

Also, a friend of mine from work happened to be my downstairs neighbor, and one day he sort of jokingly told me I had to stop wearing my boots in the house. I had just gotten a new pair of cowboy boots (my first) and been wearing them a lot.  I started just wearing them into the door and taking them off immediately as soon as I got in the door.

However, that encounter made me a little more aware of my on noise-making capabilities.  It began to dawn on me that I must be a really annoying upstairs neighbor.

Guys, I'm a dropper by nature.  I drop things a lot - mostly on accident, but sometimes, I just drop things on purpose - my empty laundry basket, or my shoes, or what-have-you - instead of bending all the way down to set them down (I know, I know.  Super lazy of me.)

So I began to be a bit more thoughtful about the kind of noise I made.  Then they moved, and I got careless again.  In the time since they moved, I've had various short-term downstairs neighbors, none of which inspired me to be very respectful.  I'll spare you the tale of the ones I regularly stomped on the floor at.  Mostly I'm sparing you because I certainly could have conducted myself much more appropriately in that situation.
Those were the last neighbors before the ones who moved in yesterday.

As I said, I felt a little sheepish about the way I behaved with the last neighbors (not that they were angels, but, you know, I wasn't either.)  Therefore, when the new neighbors came yesterday, and I got the chance to meet them, I introduced myself and welcomed them, then I told them I wanted to apologize in advance because I'm a bit of a dropper, so there may be some noise from upstairs every once in a while.  They laughed and said it was fine, and apologized in advance for the fact that they have kids, so we may hear them.  I was totally fine with that, and everyone was happy.  We chatted for a little while longer, then I walked off.

Funnily enough, as I was walking away, I dropped my keys. We all laughed, and I picked them up, and went upstairs. And promptly started dropping things as usual.  You guys, it's embarrassing, the amount of things I drop on the floor.  I've tried to cut back on the purposeful dropping, but the accidental obviously continues.

Everybody will tell you about how terrible it is to have upstairs neighbors, but seriously, why doesn't anyone tell you how terrible it is to be that upstairs neighbor making all the noise?
I'm tiptoeing around my house and fumbling desperately to catch things when I drop them (probably making more noise than would happen if I just let them fall...)

I think I'm getting an upstairs-neighbor-guilt-complex, y'all.
I'm ready to be on the bottom floor and be on the receiving end of the noise; it's less stressful to be offended than to be the offender.

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