Sunday service by the front porch

Happy Sunday.

And a happy one it is. And not only because we here in central Arizona are in the midst of tree buds thickening into foliage, daffodils and irises proudly announcing their presence after months of hiding underground and people generally out and about, mingling and partaking of our fine spring weather.

This morning I was finally able to hook up with my upstairs neighbor. And her boyfriend, whom she insisted join us in conversation about noise issues. Specifically the stomping incident of 10 days ago. More specifically, I actually had a gift for her, a token of sincere appreciation for her responsiveness, thoughtfulness and consideration since our first real talk … in March!

Today was the first time for the three of us to talk on noise issues. I was surprised when he said they’d actually thought of moving! I have too. We’ve all been lived there only 5 months.

She invited me in to see their place. Not from a decorator’s standpoint but rather for an understanding of their floor plan as it relates to the noise I’m experiencing below. Initially I resisted. It’s their home and sacred space and I respect that.

But as we kept talking, I eventually saw that it might help being able to pinpoint and/or identify what type of sounds are coming from what area of their apartment. My place is tiny compared to theirs and with their highly-trafficed kitchen/dining area in particular directly above the center of my apartment, well, it’s a “hot spot” in terms of noise and vibrations.

A fact that can’t be overlooked (and isn’t) is that this is an old building, built in the 1950s. Originally it was one huge house and so no consideration was given to insulation or soundproofing. There’s zero insulation between their floors and my ceiling. Moreover, I reckon that only a foot of space separates the two!

So the fault, dear Brutus, definitely lies in the construction!

We all recognize that. It’d be nice, we agreed, if the property management company would install insulation where it’s lacking. But no way would they take on that cost. And it’s low priority, tenant comfort.

Sooo … learning to living cooperatively is essential to compensate for the structure’s grand flaws.

It was a good talk. Constructive. Everyone handled it like adults. NO one stormed off or called another a bad name! Now that I’ve seen for myself their side of the fence, so to speak, I can connect the dots between sounds and where they’re coming from or what activity is creating them.

Also, we agreed that a tap or two on their floors on their end can be made to indicate they’ve heard my “mop signal” (aka the broomstick method of signaling noise). It was their heavy half a dozen stomps in response to my thumps by mophead and then fist, when the first appeared unheard, that was the real issue needing addressing.

Anyhow, I pen this not because it’s an interesting read (it really isn’t!) but rather to note that this dialogue (and in what context) finally took place! I truly seek to have this be over — the issues, I mean — and for balance and harmony to develop.

I know now that he’s not the “demon” I pictured him to be and that both of them really are making an effort to control the noise. I also know that at the core, many of these current issues are rooted in deep deep home issues still to be explored, resolved and healed.

A part of me feels sheepish for making these issues such a big deal (overdramatizing) and I can be more communicative. I was gonna write “tolerant” but in fact internalizing and keeping silent while suffering on the inside, my usual responses, do more harm than good. It’s not tolerance and patience I need to develop, rather speaking up.

On the other hand, these issues contain kernels of truth and signal room for improvements on their end (i.e., not hammering at 10 p.m. in consideration of others).

I truly wish to strike a balance and harmonious cohabitation in admittedly very tight quarters — and FLAWED quarters, per zero insulation.

We got a good start via our conversation last month. This month, I feel like we made some headway and that involving all three of us this time was the way to go … as well as my seeing their space that’s directly above mine. That knowledge and ability to visualize what sounds are coming from where are positive gains.

I’m grateful we had this talk. I’m grateful that we dialogued like adults. (And a far better communication it was too compared to my family of origin!). These issues, including the recent stomping incident, needed to be addressed. I’m new to healthy dialogue in the home. Truly new. There was no blaming. Attacking. Destruction. Warfare. Bombs going off, violence or deathly silences for weeks to punish.

I like it!

And I want to continue a new way of relating in the home that’s wholly foreign — and polar opposite — from my family of origin. (Much to learn, definitely.)

A happy and productive Sunday is a good Sunday. God may’ve rested on this day but the three of us “worked” and accomplished good stuff. Today’s talk by the front porch was more productive than any church service I’ve attended! {admittedly very few} May we all move forward in greater peace, understanding and harmony.


2 thoughts on “Sunday service by the front porch

  1. That is good news, it’s so rare to find people who on both sides of an issue being able to have a conversation without things going ballistic.

    Let’s hope you can build on this!

Talk to Me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s