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Living Under Elephants: A Renter’s Story

Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. “What’s that?” “I don’t know.” Clomp. Clomp. Clomp.What the hell are they doing up there?” “I don’t know, leave it alone.” Clomp. Clomp. Clomp.*hits ceiling multiple times with golf club that we have for no reason* Clomp. Clomp. Clomp.

We seem to have the unfortunate luck of living under elephants. During our nine months in our current apartment, we have had two families of elephants live above us. Um, Erin, is that a mean fat joke? No, it isn’t. Both families have been very much on the slim side of normal. What isn’t normal is the amount of noise that two people can make in a 600 square foot apartment.

Steve (husband) and I have two very different ways of dealing with noisy neighbors. Steve turns into Mr. Heckles from Friends. He literally beats the ceiling with a stick-like object (in our case, the golf club – seriously don’t know why we have a golf club, but it is still in plastic wrap). And then there’s me, who chooses to just leave it alone and say nothing. Why? Two reasons.

Reason #1: I’m irrationally afraid of people shooting me if I piss them off.

Reason #2: It’s the price we pay for living in an apartment.

I love living in an apartment. At this point in my life, I am completely happy being a renter because:

– I don’t have to fix anything. (Quick tangent: “I went to the Home Depot the other day, which was unnecessary. I need to go to the Apartment Depot, which is just a big warehouse with people standing around saying, ‘Hey, we ain’t gotta fix shit!’” – Mitch Hedberg)

– I have an excuse not to beautify my home, saving me time, money, and sanity.

– No real estate taxes and my renter’s insurance is only $13 a month.

– I only have to commit for a year at a time (less if I went month to month).

– The front desk takes packages so I don’t have to get those annoying “We Missed You” slips from FedEx.

– No one expects me to have a Desperate Housewives relationship with them.

With all the positives of renting, I feel that you have to take the bad with the good. Yes, neighbors can be annoying, but I think we should just put up with it because renting is a luxury. It means we aren’t tied down to anything and we need to accept the parts that suck too.

Past neighbors I’ve dealt with:

The couple that hates each other. Always screaming at each other and making their baby cry.

The recreational drug users. It’s 4:20 somewhere.

The dude that alluded that he might have killed someone. Did I mention he had a crush on me? Yeah. That was fun.

The guy that locked himself out and asked to borrow a butter knife to pick the lock. It took him 3 seconds to get back in. That totally didn’t freak me out.

The elephants. And many more…

We live in a society filled with other people that we have to tolerate. If complete silence and privacy is important to you, DO NOT RENT. If you don’t like to be touched, DO NOT RIDE THE BUS. Fork up the cash to live completely comfortably, or don’t bitch when other people irritate you. That’s life.

Now if only I could get Mr. Heckles…ahem, I mean Steve, on board.

So renters: are you the crotchety old man banging a broom on the ceiling or do you just let it go when your neighbors are noisy?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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