The Great Tuba Tantrum of 2016
I’m not a fan of redneck rock. I’m even less a fan of redneck rock when it’s blaring throughout the neighborhood (a well kept suburban street, btw) going on 4 hours and I’m trying to write emails and call clients.
My neighbor cranked the tunes up around 11 AM. Annoying yes, but from 11A – 2P listening to the same CD over and over again was tolerable. Going into hour 4, I’d had enough.
I’m really sensitive to sounds and textures. Some sounds make me want to punch every living thing in my vicinity, some make me calm and serene. I loathe the texture of wet paper. Wet napkins are literally the worst.
Sitting at my desk, I was writing a cover letter for a job application. I had the windows shut and the air conditioner running, but even that didn’t blot out the noise. I’m on edge in life right now, my anxiety is omnipresent. Things are changing. Jobs are changing. My routine is changing. My hormones are all out of whack, I have acne. (Here’s to being 30. :clink:).
After hearing another chorus of high pitched man-whining, I slammed my computer shut. Angry. Very angry. It’s now 3:30 PM. The same fucking CD is playing with the same high pitched whiny man voice, penetrating my window and AC buffer and going straight to my ears.
My heart is racing. It’s 100 degrees (F), and I’m sweating. Extra sweaty: The grumpy sweats. I slowly get up from my desk wondering when the hell this music will stop, or when the hell this individual will at the very least change the CD. I give it another 20 minutes saying to myself ‘if he shuts that sh!t off in the next 20 minutes, I won’t go over there and ask him to turn it down.’
It’s now 4. I, being the gracious human being I am (actually, I suck at sticking up for myself), have given the situation 30, not 20 minutes to dissipate on it’s own.
“NOWWW THE STORY PLAAYYSS OUT LIKE THISSSS, LIKE A PAPERBACK-“
This is actually a really interesting moment in my life. Usually, I would just sit inside my house and stew, thinking that I literally have no control. I inevitably would end up feeling angry and helpless, a victim to my surroundings.
Not today, bitch.
Today was truly the first time I stuck up for myself as an adult.
When I was a child, I repeatedly took the emotional and psychological, sometimes straying into physical abuse from my mother figure.
Once I realized that how I was being treated was unfair and wrong, I fought back. It took years of trying to puzzle out whether or not it was ok for my mother to call me stupid and tell me how fat I was.
This mentality has permeated my adult life. I take undue pause trying to make certain the situation I’m in is unfair before taking action. Usually things pass before I am able to stick up for me, leaving me upset with myself.
I took a few deep breaths and put on my shoes. Grabbed my keys, and descended the stairs…heart pounding. My thoughts ricocheting from ‘what the hell are you doing?!’ to ‘it’s ok to ask a neighbor to turn music down’
Back and forth, back and forth.
I walk over to his house, and gingerly take the stairs to his front porch, one at a time. Music even louder now, and sheepishly knocked at the front door. Nothing. Waiting. 2 minutes passes. There’s a pause in the music, I knock again, louder. I hear movement.
A 50 YO man, shorter than me, (I’m 5′ 9″) comes to the door wearing a towel and swim trunks. I say the following:
“Hi sir! I’m Mollie, I live across the street and work at home. Your music is a bit loud and I’m having a hard time concentrating on some important phone calls this afternoon. Would you mind please turning it down just a little bit.”
“Oh, it doesn’t seem that loud.”
“I know, and I’m sorry to be a bother, but it’s really just coming straight into my window. Would you mind please turning it down, just a little bit for about an hour?”
“uhh, it’s the middle of the day. I can do whatever I want. I’ve never had a complaint before.”
“I’m sorry sir, I have a few really important phone calls to make and it’s very distracting.”
:turns the music…up:
2 minutes goes by
:turns the music down:
I’m in the clear. Right? I trot back to my house, proud of that I stuck up for my needs for once. Sit back down at my desk and start to make my call.
Oh shit. Doorbell.
I quickly hang up the phone before my client picks up and go downstairs to see who this might be. Maybe it’s girl scouts, or someone trying to sell me tree cleaner again.
My heart feels like it’s going to burst out of my chest. I’m trying to hold back a tremor and my mind is racing. I say a timid, hello.
“I don’t appreciate you coming to my house and telling me to turn my music off.
“I’m sorry, there must be a miscommunication. I asked if you would please turn it down. Not off.”
“Well, it’s a violation of my personal life for you to come over, knock on my door and ask me that. Next time, just call the fuckin’ cops if you got a problem with my fuckin’ music.”
“Umm, I really don’t feel like this is a situation where the police need to get involved. We’re neighbors, we’re both musicians and rational adults. We can come to a solution to this on our own.”
“Yeah I’m a musician. How would you like it if I plugged my DRUMSET into my PA?!”
“I don’t think that’s necessary…”
“No, you’re fuckin’ rude. Call the fuckin’ cops on me.”
“Why are you so upset about this?”
“I’m going through some bullshit in my life, and just need some time to relax. I don’t need your fuckin’ shit, comin’ over and tellin’ me to turn my fuckin’ music off.”
“Sir, I said down, not off.”
“Whatever. It’s not my fuckin’ problem that you have work to do. Next time, just call the fuckin’ cops. I never want to see your face again.”
:storms off my porch:
I’m literally speechless. I really should be the one feeling violated at his presence at my home…maybe I should call the cops.
I think about it seriously for a moment, but decide it’s not worth adding additional drama to my day. Meanwhile, he’s plugged his drum set into the PA and is making as much noise as possible. At least it’s not Nickleback, and that I can handle! WIN!
For the next 2 hours, alternating between the drums and I shit you not, a fucking tuba, I bear witness to the Musical Tuba Tantrum of 2016.