I was attempting to watch the new Project Runway last night when I was interrupted at 10:30 in the evening to the sound of my next-door-neighbor-gal banging a hammer onto the wall. It went on for about five minutes, stopped, then started again a minute later. Then she moved to another area and start slamming the hammer around over there. This went on for another five minutes. So approximately half of my coveted, delicious, dramatic programming was disturbed.
For one thing, it's a concrete f-ing wall, ladies. You can't use a hammer to get a nail in there – not effectively or easily, anyway. At least one of them knows this as we discussed it once on the porch and Charlie even advised her to use an electric screwdriver and concrete screws. But your guess is as good as mine whether or not she passed along this information.
Secondly, common courtesy should tell you that if you wouldn't call your mom and dad it's probably too late to be putting up pictures. There's a reason telemarketers aren't supposed to call after 9pm; a lot of people think this is bedtime. The girls next door are well aware that I work early mornings. All three of them have come in at one point or another to get coffee and all three have spoken with me about the fact that I am sometimes getting out of bed at 5 in the morning, which might give them an indication that I try to get to bed early. And, no, I'm not in bed at 9 at night, but if I was I'd be getting the recommended eight hours of sleep.
I didn't start banging on the wall back at them (though I did crank up the volume on the television to an obscene level after the second set of poundings), or go over and ask them to quit. I tried to think what it was like when I was young and inexperienced and hadn't really rented many places before. Then I realized these girls aren't all that young; they're at least 25. When I was 25 I'd had the same job for seven years, had dated one guy long and seriously enough to discuss marriage, had lived with over six different people in various housemate situations, had owned two different cars, had considered buying a house, had a checking and a savings account . . .
I'm not saying I was Little Miss Responsibility, because I was more or less forced into living on my own. I didn't live with my parents until I was 18; I didn't go to college for four or five more years after high school. Rather than being “out on my own” at 22 or 23 and taking another two years to chill out at the folks' place, I guess I had a good seven or eight years of experience on these girls.
But this isn't a contest. Just remember, girls, if you find your efforts resulting in nothing more than pulverized nail, please stop to consider that the nail is not going in the wall. And next time, consider what that might sound like in the other tenants' living room.