Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be careful what you wish for

I thought about this story after one of my favorite bloggers I Want A Dumpster Baby posted about her upstairs neighbors, who she swears have developed a deep and passionate love of clogging.  I was a bit surprised that I've never written about it to be honest, since it is a very amusing, yet disturbing precautionary tale of what happens when people live in close proximity to one another.

When we first got married, we lived in a tiny little apartment.  Tiny is a flattering term, actually.  It was mold infested too, which was super fun.  No dishwasher, no nothing.  I spent most weekends hauling laundry elsewhere to wash it.

It was quite glamorous.

Then we bought our first place, a condo.  It was a second floor condo sandwiched between a sunken first floor level and the third floor.  While the first floor people got a decent sized patio and the upper neighbors got vaulted ceilings, we got nothing.  Nothing, that is, except neighbors above and below us.

The couple above us was great.  A gay couple, they'd been together for almost 20 years and kept an immaculate house.  They had tiny little teacup dogs, but you'd never in a million years think they had pets at all. Never a peep came from them.   No messes, no noise, nothing.

They were great for swooning over the baby we'd eventually have and bringing by an occasional bottle of wine.  I loved the upstairs neighbors.

Then there were the people downstairs.

When we moved in, there was a family.  I'm not even sure how many kids they actually had, but I want to say 3.  They were never all out of the building in a place where I could count.  Dad was quiet.  They had no pets.  What they did have, though, more than made up for that.

The kids were loud.  Screeching loud.  Nails on a chalkboard loud.  High pitched maniacs loud.  All the time.  I swear those children never slept.

Mom was a yeller.  In Mandarin Chinese.  Also in the same screeching loud voice.  The kids yelled at her, she yelled at them.  All the damn time.

That wasn't actually the worst part, though.

The patio was.  For what happened on that patio is so terrible that I still cringe when I think about it.

She cooked the most disgusting smelling things on the grill, often very late at night (I'm talking like after midnight).  The condo didn't have air conditioning, and we lived in inland San Diego County, so it was always hot.  Our windows had to be open.

Wafting in through the windows at all hours of the day, the odors and aromas of whatever wretched creation she was working on.  Blech.

When they put their condo up for sale, we jumped for joy.  We were so excited.  The market was booming and we knew it wouldn't take long for someone else to snatch it up.

We were right.  It didn't take long.

The new people seemed nice at first, I guess.  They had one teenage son.  Then they moved in and we immediately realized how wrong we had been to wish the stinky screechers away.

These people smoked on the patio constantly.  They had a dog that pooped on the patio, and they never cleaned it up.  They screamed too, but it was more than that.  They yelled at each other all the time, in different combinations.  Sometimes it was the teenage son slamming doors at 2am, other times it was the mother throwing things against the wall, sometimes dad got in on the action too.

They were nosy.  She'd come over all the time and try to get all up in my business, elbowing her way in.  I felt like I had no privacy left.  Stopped leaving the front door open.  So much for installing that screen door.

Halloween came and they let the son set up some haunted house thing made of giant black trash bags.  Then Halloween went, and he decided that this creation would be a great little hideout for him.  Who doesn't want  black trash bags hanging by ropes from their balcony?

Finally, we couldn't take it anymore.  Our son was getting older and we wanted a house.  I called the realtor and told her she'd have her hands full with this one.  I was afraid it would be a hard sell....after all, we were moving away from those people.  Who would want to move above them?

The first weekend it went on the market, we had an open house.  I was nervous, felt weird about having strangers in my space.  Came home to the neighbor lady waiting for me.  She wanted to tell me how much she loved the paint colors.  WTF????  Why were you in my house????

We got lucky, and it sold quickly.  The first two buyers backed out, though, and I can't help but wonder if it was because of the neighbors.  I wouldn't blame them if it was.

I promised myself I'd never live that close to other people again.

....says the woman who lives across the street from the douchebag HOA neighbor.

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome.

    When I was in grad school, I had to share a jack and jill bathroom with a Taiwanese exchange student who cooked god knows what in her dorm room and then used our toilet/sink to clean up. I'm kind of freaky about smells anyway, and this just about killed me.


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