Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Church Mice

Once in awhile I have a rant raging inside of me enough that it actually spills out over here, blog-style. All those other times, poor Tom is subjected to the maniacal rantings of his crazed woman (though I try to look cute doing it, and then I usually feed him a sandwich or something, sometimes).

So, a little over a week or so after we moved into our new apartment, something happened that had never happened to me alone or to us together.

Someone called security on us for noise.

We are both super conscientious about noise level because we really do attempt to be considerate people in general just on principle and also because a couple of apartments ago we had some serious trouble with noise from the neighbors to the point of asinine. I won't even go into how ludicrous to the point of jaw gaping wonderment it got, but I'll just say that at least one of them was unhinged in a possibly scary way (you know the kind of folks who could go either way on the whole harmful/harmless kind of nutty?), and it was almost a blessing when the rent was increased by well over 20% (whoowhee, that was back when nobody ever read my blog, but I was pissed the hell off), a rent increase that essentially forced a lot of us out of the place. We try really hard to never be those loud (or unhinged) kind of people. We walk softly. We make use of subtitles on the tv - seriously, my hearing is complete ass, so subtitles are always on at my house. We don't yell or shout. Even when we squabble, we don't yell or shout; we both just put on our asshole voices instead. You know, inflicting "that tone of voice" upon one another. We annoy each other, maybe, but it's quiet enough to not annoy other people since they aren't the ones who were insensitive or did or didn't do blahdiblahdiblah. We don't run the dishwasher after about 9PM. If we actually had a washer and dryer in this somewhat ghetto-ish craptrap, we wouldn't run either of those after about 9PM, either. Instead, I go to the laundromat with WiFi and pretend like I love it, and I know for sure that I'm not bothering the neighbors.

After the neighbors called security on us around midnight however many weeks ago, we got even quieter, scared to make any noise, afraid of them calling again for some reason and for us getting in trouble. I went to the apartment office and apologized profusely and asked that they be sure to pass our apology along to whomever called because we truly do not want to be "that neighbor," and we didn't realize that we'd been so loud but would certainly do everything possible to ensure that we not disturb them again because that's the kind of good neighbors we are and want to always be and because we know how tough it is to actually make that call after deliberating on whether it's really that bad (which was why we were mortified). Maybe the tv was a little bit loud that night because the heater had kicked on, and the heater is ridiculously loud, and I turned it up a bit, not realizing that it was really all that loud. I remind myself to be grateful that I live in a heated home when the sound of the loud ass heater drowns out my tv, and I keep my eyes more closely glued to the subtitles until the heat goes off and generally get on with being quiet as snow falling gently upon itself on a clear night or some other poetic bullshit.

So imagine our surprise last night when we were sitting ever so quietly on the couch, tv volume on about 3 while we watched Friday Night Lights on DVD (oh my gosh, we both just *love* that show way beyond what we even expected, and it's so nice to not be apart but to be under the same roof again and to be watching tv together like old times, yay!) with the subtitles blaring silently so that my feeble eared ass could read along, and we hear a knock at the door after 10PM.

It was security.

Apparently there was a complaint that we were up there beating the shit out of each other or just yelling or fighting or something really loud and obnoxious. I've had those neighbors, too, and I've had to make that call.

Except that we weren't. We weren't doing any of that, and we also weren't being loud. At all. Tom had a coughing thing going on, but coughing doesn't really sound like two people fighting, does it? Do you call security if you happen to hear someone coughing?

And now we have TWO complaints against us within about a month. The first two I've had in almost 20 years of apartment living since about age 18.

And it's our word against theirs. And I feel powerless. And I'm not sure that we have any recourse. And I wonder why they are calling security on us for no reason. And I wonder how uncomfortable it's going to be living in our own home always worrying even more than we have been. And I wonder how soon we could realisitcally afford to pay for another move that would cost another $1000 or so on top of the nearly $3000 already spent getting here from Oregon, not including lease breaking and deposits and whatnot. And what if we get evicted and ruin the perfect rental history we have? All of this ran through my head last night as we were awoken by their screaming baby who went on and on forever, if that was even the same neighbor, but it might have been another neighbor, but either way you can't call security on a screaming baby any more than you could call if someone was coughing, if that's even why they called, unless you are a complete asshat like the people that called on us for, um, likely no good reason whatsoever.

I'll be going to the apartment office today to express all of my above concerns, and I really hope that my mind is being insanely paranoid and completely overreacting, but I have a feeling the writing is on the wall on this one, and I'm pretty sure it says:


  1. That is the total suck.

    You really should quiet down, thought. I can hear you from here.

  2. Oh hon, that sucks! People living in apartments should expect to hear *some* noise...kinda makes me wonder if there is another new rentor living below or next to you not used to apartment sounds...

  3. oh crap. that REALLY sucks.

    good luck, maggie. go get 'em.

  4. My last apartment was awesome- neighbors never complained, I never heard loud music, etc.

    But the apartment I was in while I was interning was horrible. The woman below me complained to my roommate b/c she said she could hear me peeing in the morning (seriously) and b/c she could hear me in the shower in the mornings. Uh? What the hell am I supposed to do about that? Then, I fostered puppies and she complained b/c she could hear them walking across the floor when I got home from work (at 6:00pm).

    I think you're always gonna have people complain- you could always talk to the office and ask if there is another apartment open that you could move into. A lot of times people complain about nothing so that the office will move their neighbors somewhere else so that they won't have neighbors... then they just do it again when they get new neighbors.

    Don't take it personal.

  5. that's so awful! I hope you don't have to move out!

  6. that completely sucks. I have lived in apartments where you could hear the guy three floors up peeing, but it was a design thing, not that he was an aggressive pee-er or anything.

    Cranky people suck.

  7. wow, that sucks. We had a neighbor like that; who complained about the noises in her head I'm guessing... then she would play hyer piano at 2am.

    I really hope it works out for you.

  8. shhh... you're disturbing my contemplations.

    Seriously, people suck and you should go all psycho vigilante on them in the parking lot when you find out who it is.

  9. No WAY!!!!
    That would seriously bother the crap out of me. I wonder if they just have the wrong apartment? If they thought it was you but was coming from another apartment? Or are they just completely crazy?
    What did the security officer say when he got to your apartment and it was so quiet? Can he be a witness for you and attest that you were both being very quiet when he arrived? Did you tell him your side of the story?
    This is completely nuts!
    Keep us posted!

  10. That's nuts. You need to find out if it was the same person reporting you, and if so, you need to ask for some sort of meeting or mediation. Losing your apartment because some douche bag can't tell who is making what noise is nuts.

  11. That truly is the suckage.. I am sorry.. GOOD LUCK

  12. Could they be confusing your apartment with another maybe? Either way, this sucks big time!

    Just start being REALLY LOUD. My advise? Start with really loud hot sex.

  13. I hated living in an apartment! I never complained about my neighbors, but I sure could have.

    Maybe someone has you confused with someone else?

  14. What????? That is insane! What did the security people say when they got to your apartment? I mean, if they were really concerned about a yelling/fighting match, wouldn't they just have to stand outside your door for a few seconds to realize it wasn't you?

    I wonder also if they have you confused with someone else.

    I'd go back to the office again. And I'd tell them you feel like you are being unreasonably harassed. That's BS.

  15. That is just insane! Clearly, these people have nothing else better to do. I am so sorry this is happening. I hope these awful people don't get away with smearing your record.

  16. Oh my....I remember apartment living. And thank goodness we had decent neighbors below and beside!!!! Sorry you are having to deal with all that.

  17. Oh my gosh!! That's awful.

    I hope everything went well today. Please keep us posted.

  18. Dam, nothing worse that chronic complainer. I have known many of them over the years, and they simply are not happy unless they are complaining. The only thing that will shut it down is embarrassment by proving they fabricate complaints, preferably public embarrassment. They are usually the people seeking out sympathy for a number of various reasons, and love public attention for their "problems".

  19. omg, are you sure security has the right apartment that they're complaining at????? it seems to me they are coming to the wrong door! good luck, i hope you get this sorted out!

  20. Ugh. That totally stinks. Why do people have to be so grumpy?

    While we were on vacation over Christmas I had people complain about us being too loud. They complained to the office that our baby was crying in the middle of the night. Hello!? I tried to get her to calm down, obviously, but there is only so much you can do about a crying baby.

    Sorry you are having to deal with that!

  21. oh boy, i hate that. your word against theirs. i know this sucks, but this post made me laugh out loud in parts a couple times, like putting your asshole voices on, that cracked me up. i hope you win this silent fight.

    ps. sure it was the tv. suuuuuuure.

  22. Walk into that Apartment Building Office and complain about the complainers. Find out who it is that's complaining and confront them - find out what their problem is - but DON'T JUST TAKE THIS.

    There are a lot of people out there with a kiss-my-ass attitude that might well deserve the kind of treatment you've been getting - but you aren't one of them. Don't let them treat you like you are.

  23. oh, no, that sucks. i'm sure you are reasonable enough to figure that one out, whatever that involves. I'm actually moving because my roommate who lives right above me is excessively noisy, and when I complained for the first time in 1.5 years about it, I don't think she took it well. and it's not like some neighbor, it's your roommate and landlady, imagine how difficult that situation is? and I myself am JUST like you, very quiet and considerate... so sorry you have to deal with such impudent harassment! this does sound like it can be resolved without drastic measures like moving, as long as it's not some complete psycho you would have as a neighbor.

  24. Bizzare. Really. And I'd have to agree with everyone else, it does suck in a major way.


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