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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


I think I'm the only one who knows we are feuding

My upstairs neighbor has caused me a lot of angst since he moved in. In the beginning, it was a lovelorn angst from the sudden and surprising proximity of a long-time crush. It then became angst from anxiety and worry over what might have been interest from a long-time crush. It then became angst from the sudden and sad disappearance of the interest of a long-time crush. And finally, it is hurt and annoyed angst over the presence of a long-time crush who lives above me with his girlfriend.

To recap from those who may be unaware of my saga: one day I came home to find the man on whom I'd had a crush for years standing on my doorstep. I'd had no idea who he was before that day 1.5 years ago, but I would run into him with strange frequency around the city, and I had a huge crush on him because he was adorable in his vintage clothes and vintage glasses, and arty look. He was pretty yet geeky all at the same time.

So I was pleased, and sadly thought it rather serendipitous, when he showed up on my doorstep and learned that he lived above me. A few months later, we ran into each other on the train, and had a great talk. I felt some trepidation over interacting with him given how very reclusive and private I am. But, I liked him. Although that liking changed somewhat when I ran into him again on the train a couple days later and we were stuck together talking because the train was very delayed. I felt anxious as it didn't seem just by chance that we had run into each other again (after all, he'd lived above me for a few months, and I'd not run into him - and then all of a sudden twice within one week?). I liked him , but was filled with anxiety then at this. Then, I didn't see him again for months, and I felt like I had done something to repel him.

Cut to this past fall when a female started appearing upstairs (I know because I can hear stuff - like sex, talking, heels, etc. even though I'd really prefer not to hear any of it). I began feeling some jealousy (not a ton, but some) and some annoyance at having to hear all of this. I also felt like my sense of serendipity about his moving into my building was ridiculous, and felt embarrassed for ever having thought he could be interested in me.

As time has gone on, she has had more and more of a presence - although no second name has appeared on his mailbox. But, I hear her up there all the time, and on occasion have caught glimpses of her through my front window, or hear them as they go up the hallway stairs together when they arrive home.

But this past week, it has come to a climax - and we are feuding. Though I am the only one aware of this, I think.

He is completely unaware that much of what he does affect me. At night, they come home at 1am and fail to take their shoes off - and I am awoken to the sounds of her heels in their bedroom above my head. With any other upstairs neighbors, it would be an annoyance. With these - it is an affront - it is them flaunting their relationship in my face. It is yet another sign that I am a loser, and that the man who I thought was destined to be my partner has absolutely no interest in me.

And more annoyingly, they leave their laundry in the laundry room. Since he moved in, we have had many laundry problems because he will start a load of laundry and leave it there for days. We have one washer and one dryer for 6 apartments - you have to be respectful and take your stuff out. But he leaves it there for days causing people to have to create lines of their laundry hampers or to have to move his stuff to the dryer or to set it out. When he was single, it was an annoyance.

But now that he has a girlfriend - it is an affront. Last week I set out to do a bunch of laundry (I have a hard time motivating myself to do laundry anyway out of fears of running into neighbors - but with all the pile ups and line ups of clothes down there, I am avoiding it even more - so it gets to crisis proportions before I am likely to do it). I wanted to do all my bedding, including my comforters and pillows, plus clothes. I went down, and not only were there clothes in the washer (washed, but almost completely dry - so they'd been there a while), there were also clothes in the dryer.

And to make it worse, there were sheets in addition to his clothes (they are pretty recognizable) and women's underwear. I had to touch his fricking sheets and her underwear - and I was not happy about it at ALL. Every time I went down to move a load to the dryer or put a new load in the washer, I had to see his loden green silk sheets (!) and her red satin underwear smirking at me.

Even if there were not all this emotional laden-ness to having to touch this stuff - I think it is frankly damned rude to expect people to move your clothes - much less touch your underwear. (which is why I am so obsessive about timing my laundry and rushing down to check on it and move it myself).

Then, the absolute betrayal.

If you've been reading this for a few weeks, you know I am feeding two kitties on my back porch, and you also know I am very worried about these kitties. I left food and water and some catnip toys out there for them, and feed them daily. I also made sure there is a comfy place for them to sleep, and am hoping desperately to get them to trust me.

One day, I went out to the porch to take out garbage and saw that someone (it's either him or his girlfriend - no one else has reason to go on my porch) had moved the cat bowl and put it up on top of a couple boxes - completely out of reach of my kitty friends.

How dare he! First, it's my porch, so he has no right to move anything on it. The bowls are not blocking his ability to get to the stairs, and it is my damned porch. Second, why did he think he had the right to move it? It's there to feed kitties. Bastard broke my heart and now he is trying to kill the kittens.

This is war. Can you have a one-sided war?


At 2:20 PM, Blogger Ianqui said...

That does sound really annoying, and it would probably irritate me too, but let me just say one thing: if you decide to leave a note about any of this, just keep this website in mind. You don't want your notes ending up on the internet.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

You can definitely have a one sided war. I'm sorry this person has become such an annoyance.

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

It is a good thing you didn't end up in a relationship with him -- he's clearly a cad and not good enough for you! Now you don't have to go to the trouble of breaking up with him and having him TP your apartment...

At 8:25 PM, Blogger psychgrad said...

Not cleaning your clothes out of public laundry facilities is a big pet peeve of mine. He's probably a slob and would get dirt all over his feet if they took off their shoes in the bedroom.

Think of it at as an averted trauma...

If they move the kitties' bowls again, I would say something. But it shouldn't sound like: "tell that bitch to not touch the bowls I leave for the kittens".


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