Saturday, November 1, 2008

Plea for a good night's sleep

I realize that people live different kinds of lifestyles. Some of us -- like my friend J -- are early risers who enjoy being up with the sun and go to bed early to get a good start on the next day. Some of us -- like my friend P -- are night owls who hit the hay as the sun comes up and then wake up ready to do it all over again.

I fall somewhere between. I like to stay up into the wee hours of the morning but I don't really like to sleep too late either. I'd classify this lifestyle as New York normative. Unfortunately for me I've been suffering from a severe lack of sleep lately due to my neighbors. Not only is my upstairs neighbor still tyrannizing me; now my next door neighbor has joined in on the act. I just can't believe how little they seem to care about anyone but themselves.

There is this John Stuart Mill quote running on MTA ads in the subway right now from "On Liberty," which is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. I can't remember the quote verbatim. So to paraphrase it says that each person should do what's best for themselves because you can't please everyone; however you can't be so selfish as to harm other people. Maybe it's silly but I wish my neighbors next door and upstairs would read this and find it self-applicable.

My run-ins with my upstairs neighbor are pretty well documented. Just...not...pleasant. Finally about 3 weeks ago I snapped. It was 11:30 on like a Tuesday or something and the sound of a rolly toy and the pursuit of it was threatening to send me away in a straight jacket. So I called my management company. The rep is just as exasperated as I am at this point. She told me she'd done everything she could do and said call the cops. So I did. And while the cops said they couldn't give her a ticket they agreed to talk to her. The cops also said I was not the first one to complain about the neighbor...yet they couldn't write her a ticket. They warned me it could make the situation worse. Well that hasn't happened because it could not possibly get any worse! I got one peaceful night of sleep and since then it's been all noise all the time. Nearly 24/7.

I mean, look, I get it. Some peeps are up at 4 AM every morning. I don't care and believe that each person should be able to do as they please. But there needs to be some semblance of courtesy. Maybe not stomping around in heels at that hour? Maybe not playing music really loud at that hour? Maybe thinking beyond yourself a bit?

My next door neighbor is like a middle schooler. She comes home every night from work and proceeds to get on the phone for 5-6 hours a night. I only know this because she yells into her phone so loudly that my wall occasionally vibrates from it. No joke. My friends call her Loudy McBitchy OMG. The best part is that she has the same conversation 2 or 3 times a night with different people (or maybe the same one? I'm not really sure). And I don't want to be sure! In fact I don't want to hear about the guy she is supposedly dating that never calls her or her jerky boss and coworkers. I just. Want. Quiet. For awhile I dealt with it by just putting my headphones on every night but lately it's been so loud that I can hear it even with my music turned 3/4 of the way up. Sometimes I turn up my stereo all the way to drown it out and I can still hear her over it. It's depressing. Her other trick is having friends over at 3 AM and then playing "who can shout the loudest." Usually this is accompanied by crappy pop music.

I just don't know what to do anymore. My quality of life is so negatively impacted. Here I am being selfish now -- I would really like to be able to sleep from 11 AM to 8 AM in peace. This is the one part of NYC living that I hate. This is why I am willing to go into debt to move. The search for peace sends me looking for a new home.

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