It’s officially summertime. While my little corner of the world there has been heat, rain, more heat. We just finished our second influx summer rain storms and the heat is back.
This means the apartment complex has opened the pool again. While the heat keeps the kids at bay during the day, they come out to play and swim in the evenings. The pool has rules, which are often broken by lazier tenants. Children must be at the pool with an adult. Not a teenage sibling or friend, but an adult human. The lazy parents tend to ignore that rule and send the kids to the pool with their teenage babysitters or siblings. I have heard the kids asking the few adults to say they are watching them (as not to get into trouble by management. One kid (body bag boy) brought a river raft to the pool. This isn’t a pool toy. When told by an adult at the pool he couldn’t have it there, body bag boy loudly insisted it was fine, inflated it, and floated around the pool in it oblivious to the fact that it was too big and took up far too much room. He’s not my favorite kid.
The courtyard is also where the kids play football, red rover (red rover was a new experience for most of them. It was a blast listening to them discover this age-old game), and generally goof around. Because the courtyard is right under my balcony, it can get a wee bit loud at times. There is a curfew on the courtyard. Some of the older kids ignore it and will be out there chattering away far past the appointed ‘go home’ time. Again, parents are lazy and make excuses as to why their kids are not at home when they ought to be.
This is all part of apartment life. Kids, dogs,music, other humans all sharing a smallish space and trying to get along. Noise is a part of apartment life. You just have to put up with a certain amount of it. Complaining about every little noise is going to get you ignored and piss off the neighbours.
My immediate neighbours are all considerate humans. There are a few inconsiderate, um, assholes in the complex. But we are lucky enough to have an on-site manager who is smart, savvy and nothing much slips by her.
After the pool rules had been broken a number of times, she closed the pool. A letter was posted on each and every door outlining the pool rules, the ones being broken and where to find a full list of the rules. When the less considerate among us played their music too loud and too late at night, we all received another letter outlining the rules for music (and other noise) and the hours for quiet time. When the smokers decided it was too far to walk to smoke off the property, you guessed it, we all got a letter about those rules.
While that all may sound like it would never encourage the correct behavior, it did.
The pool re-opened with the new heat wave. The kids are there with the proper adult supervision. There are no more river rafts in the pool, only proper pool toys and flotation devices. The kids are heading home before curfew or right around curfew. There is no more endless noise from the courtyard late into the evenings. The late night music fest has ceased. While that neighbour still plays his music on the loud side from time to time, it shuts off at 9:30pm. Almost on the nose. While a few smokers are still not quite making off the property to smoke, most are taking the walk to have their nicotine fix.
All these small things add up. Keeping everyone following the rules makes living in an apartment complex a nicer experience. It is just too bad that we seem to need a ‘mom’ to keep us all in line. I still find it amazing that people don’t/can’t/won’t simply follow the simple rules and treat each other (and the property) with respect. I know, I know. I ought to ‘get it’ by this time in my life. What can I say, I still sorta live in the world I grew up in.
So my fellow apartment dwellers, remember you are not the only one in the complex. Be respectful of the property you share. Pick up your trash, don’t smoke where you aren’t supposed to, turn the music/TV down as the evening wears on and teach your kids to do the same.
The world may have moved on, but we can still have some ‘old fashioned’ values.