Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Neighbors

The thing about apartment living is that you have a lot of neighbors. Some are nice, some are not, and some... Well, some are weird. On an almost daily basis Michelle or I say to the other, "You will not believe what our neighbor _____________ did today!" Only, we mostly don't know their names, so we have to make them up.

Neighbor 1: Robert*

Ok, his name we know, but I have changed it so as to not implicate anyone. Robert used to work for our apartment complex and he is, in fact, the very man who helped Michelle and I sign our lease. For this reason he remains special to us. He is also special to us because Michelle has his phone number. For emergencies only, of course. Now that Robert has retired from the apartment leasing business, we still are fortunate enough to see him around all the time since he lives near the side entrance AND his girlfriend lives in the building right next door! (PS: Homegirl- her name we don't know, but I have nicknamed her Babette (trust me, she looks like a Babette)- she has some loud company over on the patio a few nights a month. Not cool, Babette.) Anywho, Robert really likes polo shirts. He wears them all the time. (His favorite is green.) Robert loves to wash his BMW a few times a week and always does so with a glass of scotch in hand. Cheers, Robert! May your car always be shiny and your glass never be empty.

Neighbor 2: Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation is our direct neighbor and he likes fast food. A lot. It might be all he eats. When he is climbing up the stairs to his second floor apartment he sometimes drops a straw wrapper, or a ketchup packet, or a napkin, and then those of us who are trying our hardest not to eat fast food know that there is Chick-Fil-A in the apartment right next door and frankly, we do not appreciate it. Until recently, we weren't sure what Fast Food Nation's living situation was, but we seemed to have figured that out... Kind of. They were the victim of a breaking and entering situation a while ago (Isolated incident, I swear. Our neighborhood is very safe... We have gates. That work at least 30% of the time.) We knew he wasn't in there alone after that, but we didn't know who he lived with. We thought perhaps he lived with an elderly grandma or his mother. Maybe a wife, who knows. We've never actually seen this 2nd person, but there is always enough fast food for two, and again, after the "break-in" we knew that he wasn't in there alone. (It was in the police report, I'm pretty sure.) Plus, we once got some of their mail by accident and her name was on half of it. Here's the other thing about these people: they really don't leave their apartment much. If we get a flier from a restaurant or the apartment complex, it will sometimes be days before it disappears from their door. And then when I have to go to work every single day I begin to think, "Screw you, Fast Food Nation! Enjoy your milkshake and heart disease while I go earn an honest living!" There was a particularly disturbing case of these lingering fliers not long ago, but of course, we didn't notice it at first because, as I mentioned, the fliers always stay on their doors for a really long time. After a week and a half, however, we started to become suspicious. Why were they not leaving? How can they possibly be in there for so long without fast food? Why does the woman never leave? Fortunately for us they left their kitchen light on for the entirety of the 3 weeks in which their apartment was never entered nor exited, so we were able to peek in the windows at night. Not that we could see anything, but it was vindicating anyway to think maybe this time, we would. We were getting desperate for information. What if they were dead in there? And who was feeding their dogs?! Michelle knocked on the window on more than one occasion but, no puppy barking, so we took that to mean they were out of town. (Though I don't know how Mrs. Nation can go out of town when she never actually leaves her apartment.) They made a quiet and stealthy return after a 3 week absence and have since continued the habit of leaving Checkers napkins on my stairs.

Neighbor 3: The Elephant

The Elephant lives upstairs and she is loud. Not loud like Babette and her monthly soirees, but loud in like she clomps around, stamping and stomping, and making us concerned the ceiling might be caving in. Initially, we thought she was a large man, because her footsteps were so heavy. Imagine our surprise upon learning that she was a little, teeny tiny, blonde woman. (We ran into her on the steps one day and were flabbergasted at how loudly she climbed up them, so we obviously had to see where she went...) Her stomping takes place at all times of the day, but is especially irritating when it is over your bed at 3am on a week night. And it is not even like she is just walking... sometimes it might be jumping. Or pogosticking? I'm not really sure. The cadence and canter of her noise is perplexing at the least. Additionally, she vacuums multiple times a week, making us feel insecure about our own vacuuming habits. And there is a part of her floor just above our kitchen table that sounds a bit like it might be gravel? Regardless, she's clunky all of the time, and yet her clangs and bangs still manage to catch us off guard.

Neighbor 4: The Bike Gang

These little gems are a force to be reckoned with. They started off small, but have grown in size and are more intimidating to two twenty-something-year-olds than really should be acceptable. They just roam around the neighborhood on their bikes, swerving in front of your car, shouting, cursing (!), and just causing what I am sure is general mischief and shenanigans. They are like 12, which is why I shouldn't be afraid of them, and yet.... I am. I've seen one of them skipping school and when we locked eyes... I just looked away. I wasn't about to mess with him and his posse.

Neighbor 5: The Pastor

The Pastor and his (large) family live below Fast Food Nation. I don't know if he is actually a Pastor... One time his wife told us her dad was a Pastor, so if not... well, it is close enough. This guy is actually pretty nice. One time he helped Michelle fix her car, without her even having to put on her "Damsel in Distress" face. But, he's highlighted his hair recently. I'm the judgier couch potato, so there is most likely no reason for me to explain further why he got a mention here. (But in case you don't get it, I'm judging him for having a midlife crisis and highlighting his hair.)

Neighbor 6: The Caputos.

These are the Caputos.

They are our friends and our nicest neighbors. After this lengthy post about weird neighbors, I wanted to be sure they knew I did not include them in with that bunch.

These are their cats.

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