Today, I am digging into the depths of Storyville to bring you a tale of unfortunate events. Okay, so I'm being a little dramatic, but the story really is blog post worthy.
Neighbors. We all have them. Whether we live in a crowded apartment complex or out in the wide open country, we have to learn to deal with the near proximity of other people. Some neighbors are good. Some are bad. Some are ugly. Depending on the type of neighbor, we have to learn how to handle the outcome. Everyone is different, and this is where the problems arise.
Before I get into the actual story, let me give you a little background information. I have two rommates...Amber and Alyssa. This is us.
|Alyssa, Amber, and myself.|
I would say we are pretty swell neighbors. We're friendly. We're helpful. We're quiet. Heck, we aren't even home 85% of the time because we are either at work, school, church, or any number of other places. I would say that the only times we are "annoying" neighbors is maybe when we have holiday cookouts/cornhole tournaments. Even then, we will invite our neighbors to join us if they want to!
We were all a part of the same Christian sorority, and moved in together in July of 2012. We rent a townhouse in a community that is made up primarily of college students and young professionals. Up until recently, it has been great. The place was brand new when we moved in, it isn't much of a party scene, it's safe, it's in a good location, so on and so forth.
With the way that the community is laid out, every two homes share a front porch. This means that we run into the neighbors to our left quite a bit. The first year we lived here, it wasn't an issue. Our neighbors were so insanely quiet. They were all girls, and all students, and we never heard a peep out of them aside from when we passed them going to and from our front door and said hello.
Those days ended, however. The three quiet girls moved out, and we came home one day to see that we had new neighbors moving in. This time, it was three men. I say men, and not guys, because they are all probably closer to 30-years-old than typical college student age. Still, not a big deal, right? We thought it would just take some getting used to.
They were really nice to us for the first week or so. They always said hello, and asked how we were doing. At this point, we were even thinking that it may be a good thing to have three huge men living next door to us in case we ever needed anything. This thought didn't last very long, because just a few short days after they moved in, the problems began.
It all began with the parking. Our parking lot is small, so there are just enough spots for the 18 of us that live in our row of houses to park. Two of our new neighbors decided that it would be a great idea to park their fancy little cars horizontally in the spots, rather than vertically. I'm not sure what their goal was in this, but what the actual result came to was that they were taking up six or more of our precious parking spots with two cars. That's not okay. However, my roommates and I are not controversial people, so we decided to just deal with it rather than reporting it or confronting the neighbors.
Problem number two involved two of them getting into a yelling/fist fight on our front porch. I didn't see it, but Amber and Alyssa watched the whole thing out of our window. That's the type of situation that we really want to walk into when we are leaving our house to go to work, right?
Then came problem number three...the deafening music. From the hours of about 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM, they would have their music turned up so loud that the bass was shaking objects in our house, and we couldn't even hear the TV shows that we were trying to watch. Alyssa is still a student, and she couldn't even remotely study because of the sound coming from next door. I understand that living in a townhome community will come with minor noise problems, but this was ridiculous. Again though, we didn't report them, because we didn't want any issues.
Just a couple of nights later, the first major issue took place. Alyssa and I were downstairs watching TV around 10 PM, and someone knocked on our door. We weren't expecting anyone to come over, we don't have a peep hole on our door (so stupid), and we are too short to see out of the window at the top of the door (again...problems). I couldn't tell who was outside, but they knocked again so I took a leap of faith that it wasn't a murderer and opened the door. It was one of the neighbs. The conversation went something like this.
Him: Hey...you know you don't have to call the cops on us.
Me. Um...we didn't call the cops on you?
Him: Is our music too loud?
Me: Well, it is a little loud, yeah.
Him: Fine, what time do y'all go to bed? We'll turn it off then.
Me: Normally around 10.
Him: Fine, just don't call the cops again.
Me: I promise you, we didn't call the cops.
Him: Yeah, okay.
It was so awkward. And confusing. We honestly didn't call the cops...even though we may have wanted to!
Let's fast forward a couple of nights ahead. I came home late from John's, probably around midnight. I could hear the music and yelling from their house before I even got out of my car. About the time I was walking up the steps, one of them opened their door with a beer in their hand and just kind of watched me until I went inside. Amber came home about thirty minutes after me. At this point, two of them were standing in the parking lot and they began to threateningly yell at her. "Yeah, y'all just go ahead and call the cops again! We want you to call the cops!" Oh, when this happened, their front door was also wide open and pot smoke was billowing out of their house. Awesome, don't you think?
The following evening, one of Amber's friends came over. Unlike us, she is not afraid to confront people, so she got into an altercation over parking with one of them when they were both on our porch. After he made a threat to make this year miserable for us, we decided we had to do something about the situation. Dealing with rudeness from your neighbors is one thing, but dealing with threats is just not acceptable.
We havent' even seen them come out of their house in about three days. Actually, they never left the house before, unless it was to walk out to their cars for a minute. I don't even want to know why. As for Amber, Alyssa and I, we have been watching out for each other because we just don't feel safe right now. We also called our leasing agency, and they told us that we are actually the fourth unit to file a complaint on these particular guys. Hopefully this helps things instead of making them worse!
Have you ever had scary neighbors? How do you deal with it without putting yourself in a dangerous situation?