Scott Hardie | May 10, 2004
I haven't lived in a real apartment complex since I was a little kid. If I hadn't been in such a hurry to move here before work started, I probably would have found a house and moved into that instead, but the deadline pressured me to take the best apartment I could find right away. And the apartment itself is great, for a low price, so I'm happy with it. I just don't like being in an apartment, no matter how nice it is.

There's the noise, first of all. It bothers me a little that I can hear my downstairs neighbor's television when I lie awake at four in the morning, but it bothers me a lot that I can't turn up my music very loud without annoying someone else with it. (Thankfully, I only have neighbors below me and on one side.) I don't like having to put my garbage bags in my trunk, stop my car on the way out of the complex in the morning, and toss them into the dumpster. I sure don't like hauling my fat ass up the stairs in the sun every day to get up to the third floor, but hopefully an upcoming diet will diminish that problem.

What irks me most at the moment is the yuppie attitude about living here; something that I should have recognized in advance and prepared myself to encounter. Between all the babysitter ads and the like, the official bulletin board announcements (channel 22 I think?) are almost uniformly negative: Stop letting your dog poop in the wrong place, stop bumping into the gate, stop going into the pool after hours. Why am I being talked down to for things I haven't done? I feel like I'm in high school again, with the disciplinary deans watching me with an eagle eye, even though I almost never break the rules. I'm treated like I'm guilty until deemed innocent.

On the way out today, I found a note stuck in my car window. Paraphrasing: "I just wanted you to know, you bumped my car with your door. Maybe you don't care about the appearance/condition of your car, but I CARE about mine. Please be more considerate in the future." No name, no number, no way for me to get in touch with the person and apologize and offer to pay for the repair, all of which I would like to do. The space was empty. I don't have a corresponding scratch on my door, so I can't even guess their car from the color. I know my car is dirty right now (full of unloaded junk from the move and covered with squished lovebugs from driving across Florida all damn week long), but that's no reason to adopt a snooty attitude and assume that I'm some kind of inconsiderate lowlife. I didn't leave a note on the other door because I did not realize I had bumped it; there were cars wooshing by when I parked it and I simply didn't hear the bump. (As a big guy, I try to be very careful about bumping things accidentally, but it still happens frequently.)

So there's one neighbor who already assumes I'm some kind of dirtbag, and I'm sure more will follow because of things I'm not even aware I'm doing wrong. I need a house so that I can stay on my own little plot of land and not give a damn whether I have good neighborly interactions. Sorry if my car is too dirty to be seen next to yours or if my dog poops on the wrong piece of grass. Sorry I'm not a yuppie and I don't have a stick up my ass about property values. Sorry I offend you without even knowing who you are or anything about you.

Anna Gregoline | May 10, 2004
Just ignore them. Your neighbors sound like a bunch of uptight assholes.

Lori Lancaster | May 10, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | May 10, 2004
Yeah, I mean, first of all, if someone is chicken enough to leave a note like that with no name, they are not worthy of your attention. Second, they left you with no name, so there's nothing you can do about it, as you said. So what do they want, exactly, out of that? Stupid. Made me mad!

Melissa Erin | May 10, 2004
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Jackie Mason | May 10, 2004
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Melissa Erin | May 11, 2004
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Jackie Mason | May 11, 2004
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Scott Hardie | May 12, 2004
After some time to think about it, I realized how lucky I am. There is no crime at this apartment, no domestic abuse, no cops showing up in the lot every night, no garbage, no noise, no poverty, no drugs. The worst problem I have here is a snooty attitude among some of the neighbors? I should thank my lucky stars.

And I was too hard on the televised bulletin board. It includes positive messages too. (I was bored until I got my DVD player hooked up, believe me.)

Scott Hardie | May 12, 2004
Melissa: For the time being, could you rent a house instead of buying one? It's a whole lot easier.

Melissa Erin | May 12, 2004
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