I live in a small (but tiny) studio apartment. It fits me, fits my budget and it’s fairly comfortable. I don’t have to pay for water or garbage pick-up. I have a ‘view’ of the green courtyard and the (currently green) pool. I’m not having to look out my windows and see a parking lot. It’s located where I can walk to the movies or to the grocery store. Most places are a quick drive, rather than a schlep across town. I can lock the door and go on a trip without worrying over lawns and newspapers.
But. (Yeah, you saw that coming, didn’t you?)
Apartment living also comes with its downside. You share your walls, ceiling and floor with other humans who may not have quite figured out they are not the center of the universe. This is also a family complex, so there are kids galloping about, shouting at each other and throwing balls (sometimes other items) back and forth. My complex sports one child who I would gladly wrap in a body bag and leave on his mother’s doorstep. He is loud, obnoxious and goes out of his way to be a complete bully/brat. I hope his family moves soon. Last week would have been nice. The weather was good for moving.
The other night, I was doing my laundry. The usual courtesy is to leave other people’s laundry alone. When the washer lid is up, they are finished and you may use it. Simple. Universal. This isn’t rocket science. But last night, I was ready to start my last load of laundry, and lo and behold there sat my wet sheets atop the dryer, and the washer busily filling with water for someone else’s laundry. Pissed? You bet. All sorts of evil thoughts ran through my mind. From opening the washer to prevent the load from running, to emptying its contents and washing my own load on his dime. I did neither. What I DID do was put my sheets in the dryer and leave rude boy a note explaining laundry etiquette to him. I even left out the swear words.
Music is lovely. We all like different kinds. Some of us like all kinds or most kinds. None of us like to be woken at 7:30 am to music blasting through the walls. My new neighbour seemed to have forgotten we share a wall. His alarm woke me up as though his radio was in my apartment. I was not happy. It was a day I could have slept in. But that has only happened once. He was reminded, or remembered, and has been very polite since then. Other neighbours? Not so much. While I can’t hear their music while I am inside my apartment, I certainly can hear them outside my door. I feel for their next door neighbours.
I don’t have a lot of money. But my clothes are clean and my apartment is clean. I don’t hoard pizza boxes or spill beer everywhere and let it mold. My bathroom is useable at any given time. I don’t drop my garbage in the lobby or stomp chocolate into the carpet by the mailboxes. I don’t understand why people do those things. Yet it happens here quite often. After Easter, I came home to find some kid had stomped a peanut butter filled chocolate bunny into the carpet in front of the mailboxes. I can guess who did that (Now, where did I put that body bag………………….). I have seen inside some of my neighbours apartments as they open the door to go in, or stand in their doorway visiting. Ew. I mean just EW!! I don’t understand living that way. It makes me want a shower just from having to walk past it.
If you also live in an apartment, I am sure you have had to deal with some of these issues. Some of you may even be guilty of a few. So let’s have a quick apartment etiquette review;
- Your music is your music. Keep it down enough to not wake the dead or your neighbours. Or even your dead neighbours. Be aware that some people work. This means they need to sleep. Please turn the tunes down by 10:00 pm, and please don’t start them up before dawn cracks. If your neighbour asks you to turn it down, just turn it down. If you are the one asking, say please and thank you. Don’t make a shouting match out of it. Again, not rocket science, just plain old politeness. This also applies to TV’s.
- My laundry is my laundry. Don’t take it out of a machine. Don’t fold it. Don’t touch it. If the washer lid is up, the washer is yours to use. If it’s been left closed, but is empty, it’s yours to use. Otherwise, wait your frakin’ turn. We all have laundry to do, let us have our turn.
- If you have kids, keep an eye on them. Teach them to respect other people’s property. Teach them to respect the property they live on. They’re kids. They don’t know stuff yet. They need you to teach them how to be decent humans. So teach them. If you don’t know how to be a decent human, I believe there are classes you can take.
- Pick up your trash. Don’t leave your ‘I don’t want this anymore’ junk under the stairs or out front in a box. Grow up and pick up after yourself. Take your unwanted crap to the dumpster or to Goodwill. Seriously, your mama doesn’t live here. You are an adult. Shocking, but true. Now act like one.
- You walked to the store. Good for you! You used one their carts to wheel your groceries home. Okay. Now return the frakin’ cart to the store. You managed to walk there and back once, one more trip won’t kill you. No, it won’t. Honest.
- You are NOT the center of the universe. I know this may be a shock to some of you. But it’s true. The rest of us do not revolve around you or what you want. Realize this and act accordingly. This means being polite to others. This means being respectful to others. This also means respecting other people’s property. Again, I believe there may be classes you can take if you are that clueless.
All in all, I like my apartment. Yes, I would like something a little higher end some day. Or a small house with a yard for the trusty four-legged companion. But neither of those options are not in my budget quite yet. Where I am is fine. I will hold up my end of apartment dwellerness by picking up my trash (and often other people’s trash), keeping my music/TV to a dull roar and respecting my neighbours right to privacy and their property.
Hopefully, you will do the same.