Apartamento de Pamplona

Alright, it's on.  No really, it's on.  I live in an apartment in the God Awful Suburbs, mere steps away from the high school I attended, full of over-privileged assholes who felt that their primary mission in life was to ignore anyone and anything in their path.  They're the people who drive down roads, open their windows and spit their gum out without any acknowledgment of the person in the next car over who gets to watch the sticky gob slide down their passenger side door.  They're the people who won't move out of the way in the mall even though they're clearly walking against the flow of traffic.  They're the people who stop and stare at themselves whenever they pass a mirror or some sort of reflective material, including the one-way mirrors at Target where they buy the fluffiest toilet paper to wipe their precious, delicate asses.  They're the people who are, by and large, libertarians.  I really wish I wasn't born and bred in this Asshole Town, but I was and I struggle daily with it.  Living in an apartment here doesn't help because I am reminded of everything I detest about these people and how outrageously impossible it is to talk to them while inspiring them to give even the slightest of shits.

We lived for a little over a year in northeast DC, down the street from a hospital, and I grew accustomed to the sounds of ambulances, buses and even gun shots.  I can cope with that stuff, somehow.  Now, we live in a building composed of 12 one-bedroom apartments separated by open air breezeways.  There is no concrete between each floor, as far as I know.  The apartments are about 10 years old and they abut a very busy major highway.  In order to relieve some of the noise caused by the highway, the brilliant architects and planners constructed a pond that features two fountains.  The sound of splashing water diffuses pretty much every loud noise cars can make on the highway aside from emergency response vehicles.  Had I been responsible for the construction of these apartments, I would've paid for the concrete.
I want to go upstairs and ask the folks in the Apartamento de Pamplona to STFU, but I don't want to get trampled by the fucking bulls.
Maybe I'll just wait outside their door in the morning with a red cloth and when they leave to go to work, yell "TORO TORO MOTHERFUCKERS!"
This is all predicated upon the fact that our building doesn't crumble first, because those bullish bitches are shaking the fuck out of it. 
These are just a few of my tweets of late, ever since our super awesome new neighbors moved in.  In all honesty, I expected that the first set of neighbors with a kid to be the troublemakers.  The three year-old (ish) child seemed poised to push me over the edge...she enjoys screaming bloody murder every single time she is ushered into the apartment by her parents, she spits gum and drops lollipop sticks in the breezeway, and once she even let herself out of the apartment.  In order to force her mother to let her back in, she used her large plastic toy on a string to hit the door repeatedly.  Surprisingly, I've learned to cope not only because I was a nanny of a three year-old for a year, but because she doesn't know better.  Then, the people directly above us moved in.

Honestly, I think they have a Nocturnal Shetland Pony.  There is something bouncing around non-stop from 7pm on, every night.  They have also taken to building furniture or hanging pictures, vacuuming or - I don't know - riverdancing until they collapse long after I fall asleep.  After giving them a little over a week, I've reached my end.  I weighed the pros and cons of direct confrontation, however I soon came to realize that they would be about as receptive to my gentle (read: not gentle) requests as I was to the census workers coming to my apartment on multiple occasions to ask about the vacant apartments in the complex (read: not receptive).  I decided to give into the only coping mechanism I had when I was a young lass dealing with suburban teenagers with no concept of the world around them...I was a tattletale.  This morning I wrote a letter to the manager of our apartment complex about the Shetland Pony family and the wall-shaking (no, literally) nonsense we've been dealing with since they moved in.

It occurred to me, given the recent influx of cars with out of state license plates and in makes and models that are absolutely incomprehensibly expensive for apartment dwellers in our parking lot, that these new apartment-dwelling folks might have spent the past few years living in luxurious houses that have since been foreclosed on.  I have sympathy for this; I know people who have lost their homes to foreclosure.  It is terrifying and overwhelming and strange to be in a new space that is a fraction of the size of the home that they may have previously lived in.  As far as this complex is concerned, though, we all signed the same lease.  We all agree that we want "quiet enjoyment" of our square footage and the property surrounding it.  It's a predicament, that's for sure.  But it's not impossible to live courteously, for chrissakes.  And it's certainly not an "inconvenience".

I left my trust in the really awesome staff at the leasing office to diffuse this situation before I have to march myself upstairs.  I never wanted to be the jerk that complains about noise when I'm surrounded by people in a glorified hotel.  Chello!  Apartments are the quietest places to live.  There's been so much hubbub this week about adults who have issues with children in their spaces; how we just can't seem to cope with these mannerless, terrorizing little beasts running amuck in the world without a shred of conscience or parental supervision.  This building and this suburban hellhole are both testaments to the fact that grownup human adults don't have a clue how to behave in public or private, either.  Walk softly, people.  It's the only way you'll get bundt cakes from me.

[Image courtesy babywalrus on Flickr]


  1. I just laughed my a$$ off AND read this aloud to my boyfriend. You had me at TORO TORO...still laughing *and crying a little from the laughter*

  2. i had this problem twice living on the first floor. first time were 60 yrs old twin ladies whom i thought were playing basketball on my head in 7 a.m. in the morning. and another was a 3 yrs old girl running a marathon all day long. the first i just lived in hatred, but the second i just couldn't take it anymore and said something to the dad, it backfired and he denied and said that it wasn't her and blamed it on the people on top of him.

    i think my point is that you just need to move to Shepherdstown.


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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.