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you darn kids with your loud music and strange clothes

I hate our neighbors.

I had such high hopes when they moved in. Nice young couple with several cats - what could be wrong with that? One of their cars was festooned with left-wing political stickers, and their other car was a BMW. And their other other car was a truck with a camper. Hmm. But okay, we don’t drive so it’s not like we minded that they took up the whole driveway. And they have kids - three grammar-school aged kids. Yay, I thought, they won’t mind if the baby makes a lot of noise (I was eight months pregnant when they moved in).

Noise, apparently, is not an issue which concerns our neighbors. The children, who seemed so sweet, seemed to have no concept of time or space. Ten p.m. and the kids were outside in our shared driveway, shouting and kicking a ball. Kicking a ball into the side of our house, that is. Bang. Bang. Shout. Bang. And the hate began. Why were three grammar-school aged kids outside at ten p.m.? Didn’t they have a bedtime? And the kicking of the ball into the side of the house - it wasn’t once or twice, or even just one or two isolated occasions. It was every time they were outside. Finally one night when they were playing on our lawn (we do share a driveway, but dude, our lawn is so clearly our lawn) Matt opened the door and looked out. The kids stopped like deer in headlights and immediately said “I’m sorry.” Okay, so you know you’re doing something wrong…why are you waiting to get caught? Matt said something about how it’s really loud when they kick the ball into the house, and the oldest boy said “We won’t do it again” in this really rehearsed tone, like he already knew. That ended the kickball portion of the festivities, thank jeebus. (But I swear, one morning they woke me up because they were whacking the oak tree with a stick. Whacking a tree. With a stick. *shakes head*)

Adding to the cacophony were two dogs, added about a month after the neighbors moved in. Aaw, I thought. What cute Beagles! Sure, the dogs made dog-like noises when they were outside, but they were really only outside during the day when the kids were home. Happy children playing with happy doggies. What could be sweeter? Then one day the neighbors left the dogs out on the deck while they left for the day. The dogs spent the entire time they were gone - close to 6 hours, as I recall - whining and yowling. Whine, yowl, whine, yowl. Still, I was willing to give the neighbors the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they didn’t realize how loud the dogs were when no one was home with them. Certainly they would not knowingly subject their neighbors to such unending noise. Then they began leaving the dogs out at night. All night. Whine, yowl, whine, yowl…occasionally one of the neighbors would come out and shout at the dogs but that only added to the noise. So much noise. And the hate, it grew.

(To be fair…they seem to have gotten rid of the dogs, and the kids are only there part time, so it’s not as bad as it seemed like it would be during the first couple of months. But still.)

Today it’s the parents who are incurring my wrath. There is a new vehicle in the driveway. A truck, which can only be described as a “beater.” The husband’s got the hood open and is doing something engine-related, if I’m to judge from the revving noises coming from just outside my window. RNNNnnnnn. RRRRNNNNNNNnnn. Rnnnn. And a couple of backfires thrown in for good measure. This has been going on for a half hour. I’m trying to soothe the baby into a nap while the neighbor is running a repair shop. (Granted, the noise doesn’t seem to bother the baby at all - but it bothers me, and that makes it hard for me to be soothing.)

Now, it seems, the husband has given up on the truck and has moved it out of the driveway. Onto his lawn. There is a truck parked on my neighbor’s lawn. Wow. I’m having flashbacks to the trailer park, and it’s not even the holidays.

Matt thinks I’m overreacting, and maybe I am - but I’m always hyper-sensitive to other people’s space, and when I was a kid I would never kick my ball into the neighbor’s house (for example) or, as an adult, leave my loud, untrained animals outside all night when other people were trying to sleep. Some of the noise is forgivable (including, if I’m in the mood to be reasonable, the revving of the truck - it’s the middle of the day, after all, and it is their driveway too) but much of it seems like bad manners. Do you teach your kid to respect other people’s space, or do you just ignore it when they run amok? Are you considerate of the noise level at night, or do you just pretend your neighbors don’t exist?

7 Comments

  1. Rachel
    Posted March 19, 2006 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I know this may seem odd, but I decided to google “I hate loud music” and came across your page. Why I googled that? Because I wanted to reassure myself that hating my neighboring apartment resident because of his horrid music at 10PM wasn’t the result of some mental disorder. I, like you, have always assumed that respecting your neighbor was common sense, but have yet to find anyone nearby who practices this concept.

    Give it, I AM in college. I should expect people my age to be partying at odd hours, passing joints, drinking until they fall asleep in the hallway. Unfortunately, because I don’t follow this fad, I’m left stuffing my ears with cotton and using lysol spray to covor up the smell of drugs. Even then I can’t relax.

    So what am I getting at… I sympathize with you entirely. Regardless of age, those kids should know what is respectful, as should their parents. Respect is hard to come by… and if my generation is any clue as to where most people are going, I’d hate to see what the next has to “offer”. Some call me an old hag for that, but I stand my ground.

  2. Lance Landall
    Posted March 10, 2007 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    I came accross your blog by accident and read your comments on noise. I’ve written a poem on such noise called “Boom,Boom, Boom”. You may like to check it out. I know exactly how you feel. My web address is www.poetrywithamission.co.nz
    Regards,
    Lance

  3. mr mcdonald
    Posted June 23, 2007 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I AGREE I HATE PEOPLE WHO PLAY THEIR STUPID RAP AT NIGHT I WANT TO THROW POO AT THEM AND BEAT THEM WITH A BASEBALL BAT BUT THAT WOULD END IN ME GOING TO JAIL INSTEAD OF THEM EVEN THOUGH THEY DESERVE IT FOR BEING SLACK JAWED RETARDS

  4. jm
    Posted July 11, 2007 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I found your website when i googled “I hate lound music”
    Yup. It’s my neighbors.
    Without fail, someone in their house always blasts reggaeton EVERY afternoon for hours. Just when you want to come home and relax, you hear this loud annoying ugly music, and you can’t even hear your own TV. So much hate has been brewing in me.
    This is aside from them having moved in, get this, at 12 at night. They have this whailing baby who crys four in the morning. The neighbor leaves 6 in the morning, which of course involves starting the car, and leaving it on and on, in the drive downstairs. Of course, let’s not mention the loud sing a long party that lasted into the deep of night.
    Of course, I understand the baby, the car, and the occasional party, and the occasional music and the occasional kids screaming outisde the house,. WHAT I WILL NOT TOLERATE IS A CONSISTENT INCONSIDERATION OF YOUR NEIGHBORS AND SURROUNDINGS.
    Go away neighbor, I hope your get similar ill treatment from your future neighbors.

  5. DJD
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    We, too, have noisy neighbors in our development. They live across the street from us, and have since Christmas 2006. Ever since they moved in, the parties they have over at their house have been getting progressively bigger (with more party-goers in attendance)

  6. DJD
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    We, too, have noisy neighbors in our development. They live across the street from us, and have since Christmas 2006. Ever since they moved in, the parties they have over at their house have been getting progressively bigger (with more party-goers in attendance) and louder. He likes to play this head-banging/rap music and turn the bass up very loud. A couple Fridays ago, I got up at midnight to look out the window over there, and our windows were actually rattling from the bass. He did it again Saturday evening and my husband grabbed a neighbor and went over there and asked that he turn his music down. Last night was a work night (we get up at 3:30 a.m.) and this guy has his music turned up again, and has a couple friends over. To say I feel your pain is an understatement. I, too, was raised to be considerate of others, so I am always mindful of how my actions affect others. Some people just don’t give a crap about others - they are the only ones in the world.

  7. corine
    Posted August 13, 2007 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Oh I sympathise - I too HATE my neighbours. I am Miss Mild-Mannered as a rule of thumb but oh do they drive me to insanity. They moved in last year - mum, dad and 2 boys. They have one small ‘girlie’ car for wife that sits on their drive (mostly), but more on that in a minute, and a huge truck for ‘him’ (you know the type big car, small ****!) Truck cannot get on drive as too big so sits outside their house and often outside ours. Also when his mum-in-law turns up she parks her car outside our house, regardless of whether their drive or outside their house is empty - well why should they be put out!. Had to put up with a summer of the kids hitting their ball against our fence from 10-7.00 every day - but you tell yourself - hey kids have to be kids! Now however the wife has taken to moving her car off the drive so that the kids can play basketball against their garage door - 1m away from our living room window - so cannot open windows in summer!

    Worse still they have had a huge extension to the side of their house facing ours - never bothered to tell us about it until the builders started excavating. Then they erected scaffolding (at 6.30 in the morning) against our house for the building work, again never bothered to tell us about it,and their last trick is that they have put up a TV ariel that lies above our roof - of course never bothered to mention it! What p****s me off, is that we have repeatedly told them we don’t mind if they have to encroach on our property for repairs etc but just ask first - but they are either too thick or too ignorant to comprehend.

    I agree with DJD and Jim - it is the inconsideration that grates - lets hope someone does the same back to them in the future!

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