Friday, January 22, 2010

Brother Trucking Neighbors

In many of my posts I've made mention of the "mean neighbors" without much detail, but today I'll give the blow by blow because we've reached an absolutely absurd level of incivility. It started right before the holidays when we were letting Sabine cry it out instead of tending to her in the middle of the night. I'm the first to admit that this is a form of hell I'd rather not go through again, but there's no way it was worse on the neighbors than it was on us. Anyway, at least on three or four separate occasions the neighbor from across the hall (his bedroom must share a wall with Sabine's) let his displeasure be known by banging on the wall. The last time this happened about 3 weeks ago, Kyle was standing in her room with Sabine in his arms and he instinctively banged right back and yelled out an expletive that rhymes with "brother trucker" and "other sucker" - you get the picture. Before then on Jan. 6th, we had the misfortune of locking ourselves out of the apartment as we were headed out to a parade. We realized it immediately and as we were standing in the lobby trying to figure out our next move, our neighbor Fatima came to our rescue once again. She insisted on walking me to a place that she thought could get it open, but no one was there. We headed back to our place and she said she knew a way to get in. She whipped out a huge X-ray film of her back and with the help of Paco our porter and a lovely neighbor I had never seen before or since we all tried to jimmmy the door with the x-ray. No luck. Lucky for us our next door neighbor (not the mean ones) arrived right as we were about to make the call to the locksmith and let Kyle use her window to get into our kitchen window. We're only one story up, but he was at least 20 feet up and it was a dangerous operation. Anyway, we got in and were so grateful to the FOUR people who came to our rescue. The next day I learned from Paco that the mean neighbors complained that we were too loud. TOO LOUD. It was 7:00 at night - most people are still at work for God's sake and they were complaining that our personal crisis was an inconvenience to their a-hole ear holes! The next day I saw the son in the hall and he said hello, but I ignored him. I've never been so deliberately rude to anyone - it was hard, but I had been stewing. Since then I've seen the father and mother a few times and we exchange mumbled "holas". Based on what happened this morning, I'm guessing it's been decided that we are to be avoided. We had just stepped off the elevator and and I stopped to put Sabine's hat on. Right away I heard footsteps on the stairwell and then I heard them stop. I looked over to see who was coming but there was no one there and then it hit me. It had to be a member of the mean neighbor family and they were waiting for us to leave so they wouldn't have to mumble hola. I didn't even try to conceal that I knew he was there, I strained my neck forward and could clearly see him (the dad) through the elevator grating looking down on us. I took my time before finally leaving. When I got about 10 paces away I turned around and there he was walking out the door. What a wuss! I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I so want to prank them. Like in a huge high school way. In my best robot voice I keep telling myself: MUST TAKE HIGH ROAD, MUST TAKE HIGH ROAD.


  1. Good luck with the high road, Maria...I have to admit, your post this morning provided a few deep belly chuckles...I'm so sorry for you guys AND so entertained all at the same time!!

  2. They sound awful but unfortunately stuck with them for now. I would bake them cookies from you and your beautiful daughters! That will get 'em good! I took that approach with our hostile neighbors and now it is less painful to run into them at mailbox!
    Good luck!
    BTW, out in Sun Valley last week for family vacay and found old pics from Spring Break '93! man, we rocked those ski leggings fine!!

  3. I'm with Dr. Ash. Give them a bottle of wine or plate of cookies with a note thanking them for being so patient while Sabine learned to sleep through the night. Guilt is a great weapon and you don't want to be avoiding and ignoring each other for the rest of your time there.

    *You know I can only say this because I'm not the one who has had to deal with them ;)*

  4. Make great friends with everyone else in the building and then have a lovely party and don't invite them. Oh wait, that's not the high road. But I think a direct confrontation and working out a deal is the best approach. Because let me say that baked goods don't work all the time. I made a lovely lime banana bread for my mean old lady neighbor when her husband died (this was after she and her caregiver had been horrible to us about normal levels of noise from day one, very similar to your deal) AND brought them cookies at Christmas and they still went and filed a noise complaint (a criminal offense level) because our dogs bark on occasion. During the day, never at night. Fortunately we have worked this out and although we have extreme dislike for them still, we now have an "agreement" outlining the rules for both sides. Like, they can't call the cops without calling us first and we don't let the dogs out before 9:00 a.m. because they sleep late.

    - L

  5. Hmmm...I like the idea of taking the high road that also happens to dish out guilt...thanks!