Just a thought... Good manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them. [Bill Kelly]
Did you hear the story about the Vancouver area man who's been evicted because of his three-year-old's "running, stomping and banging?" The story from CTV is here.
Here's the Twitter-length version: several residents had submitted formal complaints that little Marcus is too loud. Dad admits that the condo's wooden construction likely amplified the little pitter-pat of Marcus' not-so-tiny feet, but still, they've been given to the end of the month to find new lodgings.
And do you know what? I am okay with that.
Yes, we have a four-year-old grandson who likes to be boisterous - BOYsterous even - and we get that. But he's also been taught to be considerate of the feelings of others. That includes those whom you can't see, but are on the other side of walls or floors or ceilings. It's called parenting.
We had our own terrible neighbour when we lived in a condo in downtown Toronto. Up on the 31st floor, our neighbours above were in what they called the LPH or Lower Pent House. Whether at 11:30 pm or 1 am, we'd be awakened by the very clear sounds of someone practising piano. Same refrains again and again. And did I mention it was loud?
Our condo rules specified that a certain percentage of floor space had to be covered by rugs or carpet, in the hopes of keeping down the noise factor. This piano - it was a baby grand, we're told by staff who'd been in there - was not on a rug until we complained about it.
But the young lady playing it (whose parents occupied another condo so their little private school prodigy could do whatever she wanted) didn't care about our pleas for quiet after a certain hour. Whether or not she knew that I got up at 3:30 am every day, I'm not sure; nor do I think it would have made any difference.
When building management would call her the next day, she snapped that her parents have lawyers to "take care of you!" We didn't stay around to find out if the entitled little twit was telling the truth.
When Lauren moved out a short time after all of this silliness, we downsized to a smaller condo on a lower floor. There, we could hear a woman come home every night around 10:30, walk around in her high heels and then often vacuum.
The mechanical noise or the clickety-click of heels were better than Miss Thing's wretched renditions of whatever composer she was making grateful for his decomposition. This overhead overload is also why we always try for a top floor when we book into a hotel. It's not always possible without blowing the budget, but at least we don't hear partiers coming in with their stilettos on tile floors at all hours.
So, yes, heartless as some may see the decision, I'm on the team of the man's neighbours, who want, asked for and deserve some peace. Yes, boys will be boys (and nowhere do I see that the child has a condition that makes him unable to control or limit his activity or noise levels), but the words "stop!" and "no!" and "quiet!" go a long way, too. I'm tired of always being at the mercy of other people's civility (or lack therof).
Leaving a condo wasn't the first or last time bad neighbours made us choose to go: we sold our cottage on the Trent Canal because our new neighbours thought it was just fine to set off fireworks at 1 am on a Monday and to tell us to F-Off when we ran out in our pajamas begging them to stop. If being a good neighbour has to be enforced, then so be it. I hope they like their new home better. Maybe it will be over a bowling alley and everyone can get what they want.
(@erindavis on Twitter)