Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Apartment Living, The Social Contract

About the only time it's peaceful around here. 6:40AM this morning.
How many people have lived in an apartment complex before? How about a condo, dormitory, or any matter of shared, communal space? If you read my blog, it probably means that you try to be a courteous person, because I think only my friends read this, and they’re all courteous, kind, nifty-types of people.

You believe in the unwritten social contract stating that “You know what? We all have to share this place together. None of us wants to live in a noisy, stinky, filth-ridden cesspool, so we’re going to pick up after our dogs, we’re not going to throw lit cigarettes off our balcony, we’re not going to go stomping around at all hours of the night. If our bed creaks when we’re having “relations” then we’re going to tighten it up. We’re not going to smoke pot in our apartment, so the smoke drifts down to yours into your daughter’s room.” You believe in that fine art of treating others as you yourself want to be treated.

However, we’ve all had those neighbors, haven’t we? Normally young, just out of their parent’s house, first taste of freedom, at least that’s been my general experience. Not always, but normally. They’re the ones who have no issue playing LMFAO extremely loud at 2AM, because hell, they don’t have class until noon. They will stomp around above you, or play “Scarface” at top volume right below your bedroom at all hours of the day. They have no issues talking loudly with their friend’s right outside your door at 3AM, and when you politely ask them to hold it down, then YOU’RE the jerk and pervert.

Okay, so I should have had pants on, but it was 3AM and they woke me up.

However, it’s not just the kids. I had a thug that moved in here right after I did that would smoke pot, all hours of the day, right above the Geekling’s room. It would actually drift down her vents and you would get a contact high. He ignored us when we asked him to stop, and after some complaints to not only the apartment complex, but also the IMPD, he got enough strikes against him that he got evicted.

My current upstairs neighbors frustrate the heck outta me, but with only a few months left on the lease, it’s just not a war I’m interested in waging. However, let’s be honest, here. If someone has told you that your music is so loud that you can’t hear your own TV, and you act shocked, apologize, and turn it down, what makes you think a few nights later that it’s okay to play it at that volume again? Yes, you have a big old dumb beagle. I don’t blame it for the occasional barking, or running around the apartment. Heck, I have a 3 year old. I know she’s not quiet either, no matter how hard we try. However, getting your pooch wound up and running rampant around the apartment at midnight isn’t cool. I don’t give the Geekling a Monster and her toy drum at midnight, and isn’t that pretty much the same thing?

Seriously, people. We’re all in this together. Could we at least TRY to make it where we don’t want to strangle each other? Seriously, I know exactly where your feet are falling. Be lucky I’m not a wack job with a shotgun, or else that next solid footstep could be your last.

At least, that’s what went through my head in old apartments. I completely admit to having had some issues at my first apartment, where I didn’t realize how loud a TV was, or I didn’t know how heavy I was stepping. However, our downstairs neighbors were cool, knocked on the door to let us know, and we made sure to both stop, and also make sure we wouldn't do it again.

This is not very hard, it just takes some thinking and come courtesy.

Don’t be a dick, people. Don’t be a dick.

Catch you tomorrow,


  1. The worst apartment experience I had was when I first moved to indy. Lived in a townhouse. Kept finding roaches on one side of my townhouse. Complex sent in exterminators a few times. Complex checked our place to make sure we were clean- we were. I finally convinced them to go spray in the neighbor's apartment on the shared wall. It was FILTHY. They apparently had trash everywhere. Maggots in trash piles. DISGUSTING from what the manager told me. *shudder* And worst of all? They had kids. We shared a porch and I used to sit out front with the kids and bring out coloring books and crayons. There were at least 6 adults living in the 2 bedroom townhome and they came and went all hours- no one was really focused on those kids. Breaks my heart.

    1. What was the resolution after the mess was found? Were they evicted? Those poor kids...

  2. I had similar experiences in apartment living while in Indy (seems to be a trend...). Our across the hall neighbors had three kids and an "uncle" that came and watched them all the time. They were all loud and obnoxious, and we complained about them often, but apparently they didn't get the three strikes to be evicted. One night I heard the uncle screaming bloody murder, things banging around, and a kid crying, so I thought the worst and called the cops, asking to remain anonymous. Cops came, and turned out that the uncle was on the phone. Then the cop proceeds to tell him it was me that called, so the guy launches into a diatribe about how my husband and I are the white trash and how I'm such a racist bitch (because they were black). I was happy the day we moved.

    Oh yeah, our upstairs neighbors got high all the time, and they would do odd things at odd hours like vacuum the entire apartment at 3 am and move entire rooms of furniture. And bang. All the time. Their awful pot (occasionally good pot lol) would filter down into our bathroom through the vent. We called the cops on them and they got arrested for possession. That was a happy day, but sad that their kids went to CPS...

    Ahhhh apartment living, gotta love it.

    1. At least you got lucky when you called the cops. When we did, we had already aired the apartment out, so the smell was almost gone. The guy didn't open his door, so the cops said they couldn't do anything. However, it DID get a police run reported to the apartment complex, which made them concerned, so it got the ball rolling.

      Also, to my understanding, he NEVER had good pot. Personally, I can't tell the difference.

  3. Tony, I've lived in apartments since I was 12. I've learned to live with other people inside the same space, inside the same combined space most of my life. I've learned to make money taking out trash for elderly or adult neighbor's trash for 25 to 50¢ a trip. I did it again as an adult for nothing in the winters over ice so they wouldn't risk a fall. I made a friend who had a talking bird he taught to tell our dog to stop barking. I learned to break into apartments with a shovel because I couldn't learn to keep track of my keys. I learned all the beastly things teenagers learned in the small world of apartment living. I learned how loud I could play my guitar before complaints were made. I learned just how long my mother could talk to the neighbor lady. Twelve years. I learned that home meant within the fence line, not necessarily inside my door.

    My goal now is to buy a house and live there the rest of my days but I'll always cherish the social living and learning that apartment living brought to who I am.

    1. I am now in an apartment with some decent neighbors, so I'm hoping to give the Geekling some good community learning experiences here. I'm not looking to own property any time soon, and this looks to be a good place to be for a bit.