No one likes the person who, in the early hours of Sunday morning when you’ve been out somewhere with a load of friends and they’ve all piled back to your flat for continuation of the fun, demands that you STOP MAKING SO MUCH NOISE. That person is no fun whatsoever and should frankly get over themselves, because a bit of noise never hurt anyone. Which is what I told myself after turning into a harpy of Odyssean proportions at the girl in the flat upstairs this weekend.
The Writer and I had been out at two separate birthday parties, and had made it home to bed at rather respectable / loserish times respectively (delete as appropriate, depending on outlook). But, around half an hour later, as I started to drift off, the neighbour who lives in the flat above us arrived back home with what sounded like several hundred guests.
The general chit chat, I wouldn’t have minded. The laughing, whilst slightly irritating, I could probably have let slide. She’s not bad as neighbours go, and these things happen. But the combination of the apparent removal of her sitting room carpet to expose bare floorboards; the small hoard of elephantine-footed people still wearing their highly-heeled shoes; and massive obliviousness to the fact that our bedroom is directly under her sitting room really got my goat.
I lay in bed tossing, turning and swearing for a while, and then a while longer, and then longer still, getting crosser and crosser. TW lay fast asleep next to me, breathing gently, entirely unaware of the racket coming through the floorboards above. Playing the very British card of not wanting either to make a fuss or get on the wrong side of the neighbours, I stayed under the duvet, fuming, under the assumption that they’d have to give up soon.
Until one of them dropped something and there was a scurry of footsteps in the rushing-to and clearing-up process. I threw the duvet back and stormed out of the bedroom.
“Hmm? What? Blonde, where are you going?” TW’s faint disorientation was audible.
“I have HAD ENOUGH,” I raged, stamping up the stairs. “I am going to get them to SHUT UP.”
I flung open the front door, and thumped loudly on the door to the flat above. Suddenly there was silence from upstairs. When the voices started again, I thudded my fist against the door. Slowly, I heard someone heading towards me.
The door inched open to reveal my neighbour in a ravishing eau de nil dress and a whole world of eyeliner.
I didn’t manage to utter a word before she muttered a few hasty apologies and hurriedly scurried away. Clearly a wild nest of unkempt blonde hair, an entirely un-made up face and a set of tartan pyjamas was enough to make her hurtle back to the safety of her suddenly near-silent flat.
Her apologies when she knocked on the door later on Sunday evening were profuse and made me feel rather guilty for storming round in such a fug of ire (although frankly, she got off lightly on the tartan pyjamas because, by that point, I was so cross that I doubt nakedness would have stopped me), and I sat on the sofa thinking that, actually, we’re quite lucky to have her as a neighbour, really.
And then, at 10.45pm, the spin cycle on her washing machine started. The less said about that, the better.