I've lived and worked in enough college dorms to learn two things: 1) when lots of people are living together in close quarters with poorly insulated walls, there is going to be noise, and 2) some people just can't be reasoned with. Both of which bring me to the neighbor upstairs.
I live on the ground floor of a three story building, thus the woman who lives above me is sandwiched between my apartment and her own neighbor upstairs (who happens to play the drums). We all share our bedroom wall with the kitchen wall of the connecting apartment, which as you can imagine can create some situations in which sleep will be disrupted by say running dishwashers, families that cater events on weekends and are up cooking at 2am, etc. All things that in the five years I've lived here, I've dealt with patiently and with understanding that life consists of a certain amount of noise we have no control over. My neighbor upstairs however has not.
Over the past five years, I have made a myriad of compromises to the way I live my life to accommodate what appears to be her super-human sensitivity to noise. Side note: She once complained to the landlord about a high-pitched noise coming from the refrigeration unit at the 7Eleven across the street. She said she could hear it in her apartment. I could barely hear it when I was actually at the 7Eleven. In the first year she complained about things that I could fairly easily change: vacuuming in the a.m. on weekends, rolling my laundry cart out at 6am on Sundays, etc. So when I found that I could turn the volume off of my TV and still hear/understand what was being said clearly when we were watching the same channel, I knocked on her door and shared my concern with her. She did not welcome this and I quickly learned that she was the type to retaliate. She never knocked on my door to complain about noise, opting instead to ambush me out on the side walk when I was coming home from work or out walking the dog. Often, she'd raise her voice while I attempted to reason with her--drawing attention from neighbors. And then she would follow that up with a complaint to the landlord about my unreasonable noise making. Then she began to retaliate with noise. I once mentioned to her that it would be nice if she wouldn't vacuum on Friday night at 9pm when I was typically settling in to watch a movie. Not only did she not stop, but for two weeks straight, she vacuumed EVERY night at 9pm. And has since continued to vacuum on Friday/Saturday evenings. She also took to gossiping about me (and others) with another neighbor right outside of my windows/patio. Under the guise of walking their dogs, they happily greet each other and spend 20+ minutes every evening talking and cackling in raised voices. They cleverly mask their gossip by speaking in French; a language which I understand perfectly well. Lets just say that she is a mean spirited, prejudiced, vindictive individual. Even the nicest neighbor I've ever met, an older gentlemen, shakes his head when he sees the two of them and has referred to them as "the gossip hags."
Two weeks ago, the neighbor upstairs interrupted my perfectly calm zen-patio afternoon when she stopped by to announce that I would have a new neighbor upstairs in a few weeks. Apparently she bought a new condo and will be moving. I could barely hold back my expression of complete joy at this announcement. That move can't happen soon enough for me as her insanity about noise has increased tri-fold over the past five years, culminating last night in her stomping on the bedroom floor (my ceiling) at 2am for nearly 45 minutes straight, a practice she has taken-up to alert me to the fact that some noise has woken HER up. It doesn't matter what that noise was or where it actually came from, if something has woken her up it obviously had to be me.
And so Karma, I'm putting you on notice. I fully expect that in her newly-purchased condo, the neighbor upstairs will experience the same kind of neighbor that she has recently been to others. And I have complete faith that the universe will deliver me a new neighbor upstairs;a ruggedly handsome, single heterosexual male in his mid to late 30s who understands that living life comes with a certain amount of reasonable noise. Maybe he'll even have a Harley. *wink*