posted Sun, 17 Oct 2004
What can I do to annoy my next-door neighbors? They stay up late every weekend night – and sometimes during the week – and talk out on their deck, which is about ten feet from my bedroom.
Yes, I know there are far worse crimes. They could be playing loud music until all hours. They could be throwing beer cans into my yard.
Fences do not make good neighbors. They make less bad neighbors.
All they do is talk. Until 3 or 4 in the morning. (Oh. And their stupid, stupid dogs bark every time I go into my own back yard.) But I am a light sleeper and their chatter keeps me awake.
I have found ways to work around the problem. I wear earplugs, which sort of help.
And last January, I had an eight-foot fence built between our houses. There used to be just a chain-link fence. I offered them the opportunity to share in the cost of the fence; they regretfully declined.
I didn’t really expect them to help pay. Qui bono, really? But they could at least have said thank you or made a plate of cookies or something.
The thing is, the fence hasn’t really helped. Let me rephrase that. The $1,200 fence hasn’t really helped. I can still hear them.
Can’t they go to someone else’s house? Why does everyone always have to hang out there?
I must say that except for this particular issue – and the obnoxious dogs (three of them!) – they are very nice neighbors. But I feel that the annoying and the being annoyed are very much out of balance here. I am the one being annoyed and they are the ones doing the annoying. There is nothing I do that I think could annoy them. I have no pets. I make no noise.
What can I do to restore annoyance karma?