That's it, neighbors, we've had enough. Oh, that's right, you can act innocent all you want, but let's face it, we've been on rough terms for awhile now.
When we first moved into this complex, everything was hunky-dory. The Upstairs family (fondly referred to as "Brian Upstairs, Rebekah Upstairs, and Mirachehll Upstairs") spoiled us with their invitations to barbecues, softball games, and friendly conversation. Even though Brian Upstairs was a military man and apologized for dropping weights on the floor, Rebekah Upstairs admitted weighing over 200 lbs, had narcolepsy, and apologized for sometimes passing out walking down the hallway, and Mirachehll apologized for practicing her cheerleading moves day and night, we rarely heard anything. Andrew Nextdoor and Tristian Nextdoor would throw lavish parties (many we did not go to as we did not fit the "same sex couple" requirement). Even though there were many apologies for the crazy antics of their friends, the heated debates over how to cook, and their Rock Band obsession, not a peep escaped through that wall unless they were hanging a picture.
To the New Neighbors Nextdoor, you are exempt from this declaration. Even though your children scream loudly and often enough for us to believe you are beating them within an inch of their lives, we respect that you are having a rough time as a married couple and that you are trying to shield your children from that (sorry, the walls are thin and we can hear the arguments you hold in the bathroom next to ours).
Now, new Upstairs family, this declaration is directed toward you. There are 2 of you and a dog that clearly exceeds the 60 pound limit allowed by our complex. The first few times we heard you through the floor, I believed that you could not possibly know how the sound was carrying through. The day that you played the music for 4 hours loud enough to elicit complaints from all apartments in this building was the first time I tried to talk to you about our conflicting viewpoints. I calmly explained that I was sure you were not doing it on purpose, but that the sound carried through the floor more than you knew, and could you please keep it down (I am, after all, a graduate student in her last semester). I should have seen it coming when it took the apartment complex calling you to pay any attention to that request.
Since then, I believe it has become a game for you. Late at night, early in the morning, the noise is always there. I have attempted to go through proper channels: talking to you, calling to "verify" the quiet hour policy when you played fetch with your dog until 1145 every night (quiet hours are from 10-7, but the complex does not follow through with anything until after 12), and calling to complain when you began to drop heavy objects on the floor every morning at 530. Let's take, for instance, the day that I was at home sick, trying to sleep in our bed with earplugs in (earplugs that are suggested for use on the shooting range, btw). When I could hear you through those, I sluggishly made my way up the stairs to request more consideration on your behalf, again starting with "I know you are probably not even aware this is happening, but..." The answer to my request was made clear the instant I laid back down and heard you stomping on the floor, as if to get snow off your shoes.
The final straw, however, came this weekend, after we had a wonderful evening with friends (thanks Carrie and Joe!), and at 7:05 am I awoke to you vacuuming, rearranging your furniture, and playing a game with your dog that made him bark and growl.
This declaration is a Declaration of War. I had a list made up of all the strategies to be implemented as well as a list of where/when our strikes would happen, but then remembered something about a pledge to follow the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics upon admission to graduate school. I am pretty certain harm or death to 1 or more of the members of that apartment is against the NASW Code of Ethics, so I promptly crossed out the first 6 of my ideas... but that doesn't mean that we're done. I will find other ideas. I will. Now that you have decided to fight dirty (seriously, DROPPING things on the floor at 530 AM?!) and the complex will not do anything about it but send letters requesting we be curteous to our neighbors, we are going to have to take this into our own hands. Beware, Upstairs neighbors, beware . . .