First of all, thanks to everyone -- including the cranks -- who weighed in so passionately about the Great NeighboRuckusTM of '07. Thanks also to Holly for that hilarious "Bachelor" idea. The best show I could think of was "Wife Swap," whereby Archie might get a nice trade-in for ol' Loopy-Loo.
OK, that was a cheap shot. But I'm feeling a little frustrated. I want to treat this thing as even-handedly as possible, because I know it's hard to live below noisy people. My upstairs neighbors are avid enthusiasts of 1) musical theater and 2) hardwood floors, and every so often they invite several hundred thousand of their closest friends over for a Show Tune Shing-Along that could wake the dead. One of them also happens to be a grandfather, and whenever the grandkids are over I feel like Alvy Singer living beneath the Cyclone. But I haven't complained, because I know they're courteous people. We get a fair warning before every party, and I know the kid situation can't be helped. Young children are thumpers -- especially when you're trapped inside because it's 10 degrees out and the wind chill is powerful enough to freeze-dry your pancreas.
In the interest of full disclosure, we have a long hallway that connects our living room to our kitchen, and since it's a major artery it could probably do with a bit of carpeting. Aside from that, though, I'm not sure what else I can do. And it's not like it's a constant problem, or that anyone is losing any sleep. Both Archie and FG work, so they're not home until 6. TwoBert's in bed at 7:30, and Robert and I spend the next sedentary hour building Super-Awesome Space Cruisers with Legos. Once the kids are out for the night, we are incredibly boring people. We don't have parties, we don't crank music, and we don't do Riverdance. Anymore.
Weekend mornings are different, obviously, and our rule is Walk Only before 9am. Until 9, the boys and I usually hang out in the living room, building couch forts and/or cleaning "Ask This Old House" reruns off the DVR. And there isn't much thumping, unless Robert has to sprint off for a pee. (And TwoBert must follow, because for him watching men pee in the toilet is an enthralling magical adventure. Like "Siegfried and Roy go to Narnia!")
I want to be tactful about this. But when I think of all the music-cranking, and the "Supernanny" bullshit, and that strange "alternate days" (?), I can't help but get angry. Plus, Archie has said numerous times that he doesn't hear a thing. It's her, this volatile mix of bionic hearing and raging solipsism, causing this unrest.
In one last grab at diplomacy, I'm going to ask FG out for coffee over the weekend. I have no idea how it will go, or even if she'll agree to it. If it goes OK, this might be the end of it. If not, we're all getting tap shoes for Valentine's Day.
And Riverdance shall live again!