Tag Archives: noisy neighbor

There must be a “lost cause” reference to make here…

21 Jan
As it turns out, it was the huge STAFF that cause the noise, not his feet.

Jude – walked softly but carried a big, noisy stick?

If you’ve followed my blog for more than a day, or if you’ve met me, you probably know that I’ve been plagued by a noisy upstairs neighbor. Michael is not noisy in the “likes loud music” way. More like in a”has insomnia and stomps around on squeaky floorboards above my bed between 12-5am every night” way.

During the three years I’ve lived here, his stomping has repeatedly robbed me of countless hours of sleep and caused my blood pressure to spike.

“You should talk to him,” I can imagine you saying. Trust me – I have. I’ve had him (and his partner, Jude) down for wine to discuss it. I’ve had them down for a demonstration of the noise. I’ve offered to fund new flooring for him.

And the thing is, Michael’s been pretty cool about it. He’s ripped up his floor, had carpenters out to fix the squeak, and has laid carpet in the room above my bedroom. Unfortunately, none of that has worked, so we’ve been at an impasse: He’s tried to fix what he can (short of his behavior) and I’ve tried to run interference with a white noise machine, ear plugs and music.

Despite the fact that I think he’s a nice guy, I’ve spent more than a minute lying in bed at 3am, staring at the ceiling, wishing all kinds of not-nice things upon him.

I hate to type this for fear of jinxing myself, but – knock wood! – I think we’ve finally solved the problem! Since the week before Christmas, things have been markedly more quiet upstairs. I’ve been scratching my head, trying to figure out what changed, even secretly wondering if Michael and Jude moved out of the country and found a light-footed tenant.

Alas – the mystery was solved this last week when I ran into Michael in the hall. “Happy New Year!” he proclaimed. I wished him a happy new year in return and was on the cusp of asking if he’d been traveling when he volunteered, “Jude and I broke up!”

As soon as he said it, the pieces fell into place. Before I could even offer condolences, Michael continued, “I bet you’re sleeping better now that he’s not stomping around, aren’t you?”

I nodded, speechless. On some level, I felt like I owed Michael an apology for mentally blaming him for the stomping – or now for celebrating his break-up. Instead, I asked, “How are you doing with this?” meaning, “Is there any chance you’ll get back together?”

Michael’s response was perfect, “I’m great! I’m going on a single’s cruise at the end of the month.”


Just don’t bring anyone home with you. I think you need to work through some commitment issues for a few years.

Enlisting Facebook: my passive-aggressive war on noise.

6 Nov

I don’t use the “Places” function on Facebook that often, mainly because I don’t need my stalkers to know exactly where I am at all times. But also because I don’t want burglars to know when I’m not at home. (And stop thinking, “Paranoid much?” because I’m not. Everyone should be obsessed with stalkers and burglars.)

Anyway, tonight – curled in the comfort of my recliner next to the fireplace – it occurred to me that I’m such a homebody, the place I would “check-in” the most would be my home. So out of curiosity, I did a quick search to see if it was already established as an official Place on Facebook.

Alas, it was not, but – in addition to the bars, restaurants and gyms that surround my condo – I did find a couple places I think it would be fun to select when I’m home.

  1. Freedom Market: This is the bodega on the corner where I buy my Diet Mountain Dew when the Safeway down the street runs out. It’s a tiny shop run by an Asian family (assuming the clerks own it), and the 80% of the space is dedicated to beer and wine.
  2. Strivers’ Section Historic District: Until tonight, I didn’t realize that my section of Dupont Circle had a specific name. Shamefully, I had to Wikipedia it. It’s pretty cool that Langston Hughes probably walked past my building on a daily basis… and that I now regularly walk past the homes that Frederick Douglass built.

It got me to thinking about creating a place for MY building, so people could check-in here. And then, because my neighbor Michael started stomping around above me, bringing my blood to a boiling point, I decided I could stage a social media campaign to silence him.

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I got balls: a case of too little, too late.

16 Oct

Anyone who has followed my move knows that while I love my new place, I’m less than thrilled with my upstairs neighbor’s squeaky floorboard. On Monday I got the best news possible: Michael stopped down to tell me that he was having his floors replaced this week!

Sweet, right? I practically did backflips. He went on to say that he’s going to get carpet in his bedrooms, so that should also help with the noise. Fabulous!

But after he left, I got to thinking about it. He mentioned that he was having the floors ripped out in the living room and hall, where he was replacing them with new wood, but didn’t say anything about tearing them out in the bedroom before carpeting. The next morning, lying in bed and staring at the ceiling as it squeaked – to a rhythm that makes me believe he must have been jerking off – I realized it was time to be bold.

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