When Is It OK To Tell A Neighbor To STFU?

We all know that city life has its perks, and it has its drawbacks. For instance…

Perk: 24-hour convenience stores

Drawback: 24-hour convenience stores designated by underground drug lords as retail shops

Along with these perk and drawbacks come a constant stream of neighbors, some of whom we know, but many of whom we don’t. Often, those neighbors begin to get loud, and when they do, I am overwhelmed with the urge to open my window and yell at them to STFU.

It’s a skill I picked up while living in New York, and I’m proud to say that back in the day, I was excellent at it. I got so confident in my anonymous admonishments that I even began to look forward to my next opportunity to exert my opinion for all my neighbors to hear. “She’s really got balls!” I imagined them saying.

But now, not only do I not live in New York anymore, I don’t even live in a crowded part of L.A. I live in a relatively residential neighborhood, one inhabited by dogs and babies, and so usually, the most obnoxious sounds I hear are coming from folks who talk baby talk loudly to their yorkies.

That means that when one of them does something like blast what sounds like a parody of 1990′s rap music at, say, 4:30 in the afternoon, it becomes the noise equivalent of low-flying fighter jets. And while it’s a habit I should have left in the last high-rise I lived in, my knee-jerk response is to boldly open my window and scream at the top of my lungs for them to turn down the music, even though no one else in the world gives a shit, and we all know that would be a ridiculous overreaction.

Every now and then, to calm the beast inside, I’ll let fly with a loud sigh. But the sad fact is that I can’t bring myself to yell angrily at someone who really isn’t doing anything wrong. I can’t even find any crotchety reasons to be upset about it — it’s not a late or an early hour, there are no offensive lyrics, and no one in my house is trying to sleep. So instead I just sit here, trying to access the higher, more forgiving and calm being that I’m sure is lurking somewhere beneath my semi-inappropriate rage.

What about you? What provokes you to yell at your neighbors to shut up?

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    • Lilit Marcus

      This post is so timely! I came home tonight to the strains of my next door neighbors having loud sex. I’m happy for you guys and everything, but jeez.

    • LakeLover

      I feel like going bat sh!t crazy over dogs barking!

    • Soos

      Not the German shepherd 5 doors down – his OWNER needs training. Not the loud neighbor who was 2 doors down and now lives above me. She must either be OUTSIDE on the doorstep or back lanai, telling her honey to do this or that. I NEVER hear her husband unless he’s snoring!

      No, it’s the VOMIT COUGHER. You read correctly. I was away for 2-1/2 days in a more remote area of Oahu, and the most annoying sound was the helicopter landing every few hours. VC was the first irritating thing I heard upon return. I yelled, “SHUT UP!” and that creepette LAUGHED. ARRGGGHHHH!!!

    • nolalola27

      I have a neighbor who has a motorcycle. He likes to sit outside, revving the engine UP and doooown, UP and dooooooown over and over again. Like, for about 10 minutes. It takes most of my energy and meditative skills not to go outside and just shove the damn thing over. I’m sure motorcycle owners will be sure to tell me that he’s doing something that is beneficial to the bike, but I really don’t give a flying eff.