Anybody who knows us has heard the story of the awful, AWFUL neighbors we had in our last apartment (and one of the major reasons we were all too eager to move). That whole situation was bizarre and continues to remain something of a mystery: we were sandwiched between two apartments full of guys of various ages and ethnic backgrounds, but who all seemed to know each other and routinely shout up and down the hall at one another. They would play their bass-heavy music all the time and pound on the walls for no apparent reason. We would hear incomprehensible bellowing at all hours of the day and night, and the only thing I can think to compare it to is a soccer commentator’s “GOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” Since soccer is really the only sport that I can think of that would actually broadcast in the U.S. any time day or night due to international matches, I logically deduced that soccer was at fault. Another reason you suck, soccer.
Let me tell you, we were outraged at this behavior. Outraged! The lack of courtesy and recognition that you live in a shared space! The fact that the music was so bad! We felt completely in the right to complain to our building manager and approach our neighbors directly (another warning sign: lots of neon laser lights and a 40-year-old guy, by himself, in a leather jacket).
Well, now the aggressees have become the aggressors.
Our new apartment is in one of those complexes with multiple, two-story buildings that house eight apartments each. We love the area and the only noise we tend to hear from other apartments is drowned out by a simple fan. No biggie.
Then, one morning about two months ago, Lance’s alarm on his phone goes off to wake him up. Mind you, this is at about 6:45 AM on a weekday. Within ten seconds of the alarm starting, Lance hears this deep (kinda evil?) voice yell from the apartment below: “TURN IT OFFFFF.”
I was visiting family in Florida when this happened and instantly dismissed it. I mean, for real, what kind of neighbor is going to get all disgruntled about an alarm clock that just went off at a normal time that people wake up to get ready for work? Lance must have just imagined it or misheard the guy.
When I got home, I tested it: 8:30 AM on a Sunday. And, true enough, within 10 seconds of the alarm starting: “TURN IT OFFFFF.”
This has continued to happen a few times a week, and in this case, instead of thinking, “Oh, sorry, were we too loud? We’ll turn down the music…” or any other sort of rational, polite response to somebody obviously being bothered by their “noisy” neighbors, we feel completely justified. It’s an alarm clock (and not a very loud one at that)! It’s a tool we need to utilize to get out of bed in the morning to go to work. It’s not like we’re getting up at 3:00 in the morning or anything–these are normal, Everyman wake-up times that Neighbor Below is getting so worked up about.
Not only that, but it’s an alarm app on a phone, so it has plenty of pretty ringtones that are actually kind of catchy! In fact, you should be enchanted by “Alarm Bellusion”!
The weird thing, too, is that it’s not like we aren’t as loud as our alarms at other points during the day, either listening to music or watching TV. Yet, it only seems to be the alarm that really gets on Neighbor Below’s nerves. I wonder what his story is, what makes him so averse to phone-ringtones-as-alarm-clocks. Did he used to work for Verizon but got sour when he wasn’t grandfathered in to the unlimited data plan? Or maybe his kids never call and he’s done, dammit, at getting his hopes up whenever a telephone rings?
We’ve never met the guy and now I’m kinda hoping we never do. Or, if we meet at some point, that he’s some misunderstood soul like James Earl Jones from “The Sandlot.” And then he came give me a bunch of Babe Ruth memorabilia that we can sell on eBay.