We got the keys to the new apartment the other day and have been taking a box over here and there to get a head start for when the movers come tomorrow and we officially move.
Yesterday afternoon, K took the girls over to the apartment while I was at work and they played for about an hour or so. K posted a video (apparently I can’t do that on wordpress?) of the girls giggling and using the plastic bins as bongos, having a grand old time. They were there for an hour or two around noon.
We came back in the evening to take over some more stuff and to have dinner. Trying to get the girls accustomed to doing some daily activities in the new space before we move them out of the old one. We arrived to find a note at our door. In very nice handwriting, someone asks us to please keep the running and screaming down.
I already feel like I just don’t belong in this world. I always feel like I’m totally ignorant of social norms and etiquette and I’m working really hard every moment of every day to NOT be the person that other people are thinking “that jerk” about. I had spent the previous evening at the apartment putting some clothes away and got real paranoid because I could tell that the footsteps from my fat ass walking around must sound like elephants dancing to the people below. I was starting to stress out about being an inconsiderate neighbor simply by walking around my apartment. I started to do what I always do, shrink within myself and feel bound to simply not move around too much for fear of disturbing others.
So at first, that note kicked my ass. We hadn’t even spent 4 hours total in the apartment over the course of 2 days and already we’re the jerks of the building and the neighbors hate us! All of my worst fears realized!!! They don’t like me, waaaaahhhhhh!
Then, I got pissed. Really neighbor, really? We don’t even live there yet and already you want me to try to stifle my children playing in the middle of the fucking day? Yeah, no. I worked my ass off for the pleasure of listening to children laughing and running around and I’ll be damned if I’m going to try to silence it now that I finally have it.
I have double three year olds and they are naturally going to make noise. Fortunately for me, their happy playing noise to tantrum ratio is about 90:10. I suspect that will be more 50:50 the first few weeks after the move and then back to normal. There is no way in hell I am going to tell my children that being happy is wrong and impolite! And we don’t have an obnoxious household. Things are pretty much quiet from 9pm – 9am and any noise during the daytime hours is perfectly reasonable.
So I pulled out a bouncy horse and told the girls get bouncing!
Congratulations nosy neighbor, you dun broke my give a fuck. 40 years of tiptoeing around this world, honing my “don’t bother anybody” skills and preparing to tighten myself even further when I actually became your neighbor and you destroyed my people pleasing tendencies in one sentence. If working my ass off to not be a bother wasn’t good enough for you, then I’m not even going to put in the effort of trying anymore. My efforts are better spent elsewhere. I’m going to live my life and since I know I’m incapable of being a complete asshole, I’m only going to get pissed when you complain because I know for a fact that your complaints are unreasonable. But thank you. 40 years of shrinking within the tightening boundaries of my own skin has been pretty uncomfortable and you just broke me free.
Yes, I will be polite, but other than a general consideration for those around me, I simply don’t give a fuck anymore. No more letting 10 cars cut in front of me, 1 gets to merge and then it’s my fucking turn. No more stepping to the very corner of the elevator when 1 other person joins me, I’ll step slightly off center and that’s it. No more waiting for several minutes while someone at the grocery store reads all the labels blocking my path forward, your cart will be moving after a single “excuse me” whether you choose to move it or not.
I’m 40 and it’s my turn.