We toured many apartment buildings before finding this perfect location—between the granite countertops, new carpet, and HUGE Master Bathroom, it was love at first site (despite the ungodly price tag)! Me, being my normal lazy self would not even consider a walk-up…I wanted to be on the ground floor where I didn’t have to worry about running down the stairs each morning in my heels or climbing the stairs after a long day at work with 5 grocery sacks in each hand because heaven forbid I make more than one trip up the stairs. My soon-to-be husband mentioned that we might have noisy neighbors upstairs, but the ladies at the front desk reassured me that they have NEVER had problems with any of their upstairs neighbors, nor had any tenants complained, so I thought surely this apartment (that had granite countertops and crown molding) had used soundproofing barriers between the floors!
We moved into our new apartment and, in our newly wedded bliss, had no complaints of our new apartment (besides a minor ant infestation that maintenance quickly fixed). Then, one afternoon we heard it—a sound that has come to haunt us. What sound did we hear? At first, we thought we heard a bowling ball roll across our ceiling, and then we decided perhaps there were small children playing upstairs or maybe even a dog and that we should just let it go. Later that night as we were lying in bed, we heard another noise…this time, it was the sound of a sumo wrestler walking across our ceiling…and jumping. Then we heard cabinet doors slamming, then more sumo walking. What in the world was wrong with our neighbors? We were actually relieved to hear our annoyingly loud air conditioning unit kick on—that sound was a welcome white noise to the sound of our sumo wrestling neighbor.
Over the next few months, I made it my mission to figure out who lived above us and what excuse they might have for being so extremely noisy at the oddest times of day (and night). Upon the realization that there were, in fact, no sumo wrestlers in our apartment complex, we were at a loss for what their excuse could possibly be. After a few noise complaints went unaddressed, and many nights of the temptation to pull a Mr. Heckles on them (the only things stopping me from going to that extreme were 1) How Mr. Heckles died and 2) The fear that I would damage the ceiling and lose our damage deposit), we realized that we would just have to deal with the situation.
Finally, hope was found in the form of our new house being built! We could see the light at the end of the tunnel! Since our neighbor, clearly wasn’t going to be moving anytime soon, at least we would be! We began counting down the days—not to the completion of our house, but to the date we would move out of our apartment!
As I laid in bed last night, listening to the sound of my neighbor pacing the floor from 9:30-12:00 and again from 4:00-5:00, I began drafting a letter that I would like to leave on his door the day we move out. It will go a little something like this…
Dear Neighbor in Apartment 1123:
It is with great joy that we leave you this letter, as it means that we are moving today! When we first moved into the apartment beneath you 18 months ago, we were so excited to begin our new life as newlyweds in such a wonderful apartment (after all, we were paying a small fortune for this slice of heaven). Soon after, we were blessed to hear the presence of our upstairs neighbor (you). We thought you might be bowling with your children or playing fetch with your Great Dane by the sounds of things and we were momentarily excited that there might be another young couple nearby. As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, we were continuously blessed with noise from above—a constant reminder that the world did not revolve around us newlyweds! We began to wonder if you were practicing to be a sumo wrestler; everyone knows their schedules consist of eat, sleep, eat, sleep, practice, eat, sleep, and repeat, so the schedule fit perfectly with your untimely noises.
I have always loved my sleep—8 hours each night plus 1-2 naps on the weekend was my idea of a good time, so when I became pregnant, I finally had an excuse for my laziness! Based on my exhaustion, not even you could hinder my sleep—I was like a bear in hibernation, or so I thought… One Sunday evening, the night before the always dreaded Monday, and a very important ultrasound to check on the little blessing growing inside of me, you decided to pace the floor for 2½ hours (perhaps you had a big match coming up that you were worried about, or like to study while walking, or just found out your girlfriend was pregnant and were walking off the overwhelming feeling of fear…we will never know the reason). I laid in bed, on the verge of tears, overcome with exhaustion and wished nothing but the best things upon you. Then, when you finally stopped moving long enough for me to fall asleep (or the sound of our amazingly loud air conditioner drowned the sounds of you), I was awoken to the sound of stomping a mere 4 hours later. As I hit snooze the following morning and slowly dragged myself out of bed, I was just so overwhelmingly thankful for your thoughtfulness—how did you ever know that because I was leaving early from work that day for an ultrasound, I would not be able to take a nap in my car during my lunch break and would be so exhausted after only 4 hours of sleep the previous night, that Monday would FLY by? My cup runneth over.
I do hope that you show the new tenants of Apartment 1113 as much grace and thoughtfulness as you did us. I pray that they be as numerous as the Brady Bunch (I would say the Duggars, but Lord knows they wouldn’t fit into a two-bedroom apartment), as loud as the Kardashians, and as musically talented as the Partridge Family so that they can share that blessing with you! Only then, will this world be just.
Your Former Neighbors in Apartment 1113