What exactly make for a boorish neighbor? Where is the solution? Alas, couldn’t a complaint just be an expression of dissatisfaction over some issue that could just as easily then be resolved as two adults? It seems we in modern society are just living a bit too closely to each other these days. Your life style, or mine, seems to be just rubbing people wrongly when the intention was never that. Or because we live too closely to each other we become aware of a neighbor who are a bit hypersensitive to often, or they’re real reason to live, is to become an Olympic champion complainer, complaining over little to nothing to you? Everyone has the right to live and let live, until that neighbor, who is happily willing to make an attempt to trample our rights, in the rigged exercise of their own.
Because our new modern homes are on postage stamp size lots that are close enough to lean out of our windows and be able to shake hands with each other. (Not a recommendation or an endorsement to make such an attempt) It can make for some neighborly challenges to say the least. Throwing into the mix of things an Olympic hypersensitive person, whose specialty is complaining, you may have just moved into uncharted territory?
When it comes to noise, what is a frivolous complaint, and what is legitimate? Isn’t loud noise loud noise—should it be blaring music, baying hounds, screaming kids, or screaming parents who scream loudly at their kids, those teen-aged drivers who rev their hot rods, or those old men with midlife crisis’s that now drive Harley Davison motorcycles, net alone rev them up late at night, or just an oversized flag snapping, crackling, those noises that one would make when the wind is whipping around? None of these are a laughing matters when one needs sleep!
At some point a reasonable grievance, expressed a bit too often, will bread resentments, creating a point where people may start building those social walls to protect themselves from the childish actions and reactions, to those noisy nuisances over just peacefully resolving them. One who causes extreme noise nuisance, the other who is perceived as a complaining noisy nuisance? All of these are nothing but intrusions on what the other person sees as being normal. When we are so close to the problem, it is hard to understand the problem, without also having an open mind to see it from the others point of view. So when is it a reasonable, making attempt to live within our own rights without seeing them trampled by those who are religiously rigged in exercising of their own at our expense?
A recent story had this person complaining, and wondering what to do?
“Our neighbor’s unusually large, illuminated American flag that makes so much noise on windy nights that we have to retreat to another bedroom to sleep? He refuses to take it down on even the most blustery nights, and it flaps loudly right outside our second-floor bedroom window. He has let us know that this is politically sensitive to him and I’m sure he would have no qualms about going to the local press if we were to formally complain. There’s apparently no town ordinance regarding this. What can we do?”
Your thinking, a loud, noisy, flapping, snapping whipping flag on breezy nights keeping tired, exhausted, physically spent people from their sleep, and a neighbor who is just got an attitude in resolving the issue? Really? It is true–but how would you all handle it? What is reasonable? What is the adult way of resolving it, or is there a resolution, or is the complaint just hypersensitive?
I heard a story once; where a kid kept kicking a football into a neighbor’s yard, then when screaming after it early mornings, most, if not every weekend mornings, just to repeat it all over again until parents got up to make breakfast. An annoying alarm clock to say the least. Over the course of a summer this was complained about, one neighbor to the other. These complaints were respectfully given, and ample time in resolving the nuisance was also given. The problem was those social walls as defensive actions were built one brick after the other, separating common sense from common decency. These neighbors hardly spoke with each other afterwards. The social walls, and how dar you talk about my kid that way, separated people for the most part in being able to get along with each other. I would hate to think if the roles would have been reversed, what the reactions would have been?
Slow to anger, these people didn’t wish to go to war with their neighbor, and true to form when the summer was over, it stopped! Until the next summer. A year older, and so much stronger, the boy kicked the ball onto the porch and added a loud thud to the screaming, that was also repeated several times each morning. Where was the neighborly respect for other people’s property? What would happen if the window would be broken by the ball? What to do, when each side sees the other as crazy?
Well, one day the boy left the ball on the front lawn. After dark the annoyed, went over and retrieved the ball. It would have been easy to keep the ball. But these parents would have just gotten another when the boy complained about not having a ball to kick around. These parents just allowed the boy to rule the roost. So (we will call the annoyed person Mr. X) Mr. X took the ball down into his basement and into his shop, and opened the ball up and filled it with rocks, closing it again careful to re-stitching the ball exactly as it was manufactured. Then he placed the ball back onto the lawn, exactly where it first was. Grandpaw…..excuse me….Mr. X never complained about losing sleep that night.
True to form the boy, ran out of the house on Sunday morning and hauled off and kicked the ball as hard as he could, as he had been doing all summer long. Instead of a thud of the ball crashing into the neighbor’s porch, it was ear-piercing screams of pain. Resulting from a broken foot.
From that time on Mr. X got a great night sleep, even on weekends. Problem solved.
Because this happened back in 1950 or so, the parents quietly just learned a lesson along with the boy, about treating your neighbors with some respect. Treating people in the same way as one would like to be treated. Is what people used to say when trying to instruct people on proper behaviours.
These days, people get litigious and sue! So what does one do now days with unreasonable neighbors, whether it is noisy balls being kicked early mornings, or those noisy patriotic flag flying neighbors that are allowing your sleep to be blown away in the wind?