Friday, March 4, 2011

Scenes From A Marriage: Apartment Building Amour

Nothing ruins the mood like hearing your upstairs neighbors having sex.

You'd think it would be sexy to hear sex sounds, but it's not, especially when the people making them once flooded your hallway with their toilet.

"Let's put on some music!" said Jeff, who was not about to give up that easily.

"Um... okay." I leaned over to our aged CD player. "We've got... Garrison Keillor... David Sedaris... ooh, Michael Beschloss reading LBJ's secret White House tapes!"

"Um, no. We are not getting it on to your sleep aids. Try again."

Under a two-inch layer of dust I found some John Coltrane. I turned it on and waited for the bass line to drown out the awkwardness.

"You know," said Jeff in his best Barry White voice, "this album is called 'A Love Supreme'." He started puttin' on the moves.

"Do you think it's too loud?" Suddenly I was worried about our downstairs neighbors. What if, in muffling the upstairs sex noises, we were bothering the people below with our smooth jazz (which, let's face it, is basically sex noise anytime it's played after 10 pm)? The last thing I needed was squealing from above and a broom handle banging on the ceiling underneath us. We would be stuck in the middle of a sex-rage sandwich!

It occurred to me, as I leaned over, desperately trying to lower the volume on our Jurassic-era "boom box" while trying simultaneously to plug my ears, that this is a problem very specific to apartment dwellers. If we lived in a ranch house way out in the boonies, we would never have to hear anyone have sex, except maybe for livestock.

Then again, it's always the remote ranch houses that get terrorized by psychos. So, six of one, half dozen of the other, really: Whether you need to invest in ear plugs or a shotgun, no matter where you live, you're always going to have to deal with some bullshit.

Like post-coital Rock Band. Which is just mean.
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16 comments :

  1. I'm always complaining about what a pain in the ass it is to own a home (yard work, expensive repairs, etc.), but you're right--it's a trade-off. At least we can have loud sex...er, could have loud sex. Now that we have a kid, we may as well live in an apartment again. Sigh.

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  2. "Sex-rage Sandwich" - adding that to the list of awesome phrases I've heard this week that did NOT come from Charlie Sheen.

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  3. One man's ceiling is another man's floor...
    It makes more sense here than for it's intended meaning.

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  4. This was great... and I loved the Sex-Rage Sangwich comment! Hope in the end you find a way to ignore the whole upstairs or downstairs and enjoy your time :)

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  5. My neighbor claims she can hear her neighbors next door AND one more house down having sex on a regular basus AND she gets a full on - 300 lb., naked, hairy man peep show weekly because he doens't seem to know what curtains are - so, sometimes, being in a house isn't all it's cracked up to be! :-)

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  6. hahaha. You had me laughing out loud at work... which is at a library... totally inappropriate. :) Happy Friday!

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  7. This was great. Reminded me of brownstone apt. living in Minneapolis in the 60's when my husband and I were poor struggling students and could not afford a T.V. or air conditioner. What a peep show we had with all the open windows across the alley. We made pop corn and laughed ourselves to sleep!

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  8. At least it wasn't your parents. Sex noises from strangers can ruin your evening, but sex noises from parents can ruin YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

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  9. Totally like the sex-rage sandwich. I swear when I lived in an apartment the woman above me was a hooker...every night it went like this...sex noises, headboard banging against the wall, someone leaving, shower going. Seriously?

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  10. It's like we're the same person! Sex sounds and flooding over here too! I have a blog planned that is dedicated to all of my past and current shitty neighbors in this building...I'll make sure to send you a link.

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  11. This was very funny! :-) We never had that problem (fortunately) in apartment dwelling, either in NY or France, and now we live in a house. (with no cattle).

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  12. hmmmm, sex-rage sandwich or being terrorized at gunpoint. That's a tough one, Dick. Is there a door number three? There is? The Hard Rock hotel? But Dick, isn't that just a sex-rage sandwich for tailgaters? Shut-up and choose, you say? Dick, rude much? I have no idea where I'm going with this so I'll just stop now.

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  13. Well, I never lived out in the boonies, but during the time I was married, we lived in all sorts of places - garden apts, two family upstairs, two family downstairs, single family house, carriage house - and each had it's own set of prep work when it came to doing it.
    Once you become parents your bedroom is usually too close to the kid's bedroom and you do a quick, quiet walk of shame from whatever creative place you chose to do it to your bedroom.

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  14. Our duplex is the WORST. However, I try to match every sound for sound. Also, the next day when I see her, I make direct and unflinching eye contact that I hope says "be quieter next time, you big hussy!" but probably says "I'm creepy"

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  15. Last week my mind wandered to horror movies as I heard and watched the cross hanging inside my bedroom door rattling against the wall with no provocation. My inner dialogue vascillated between my place being haunted to a strange New Jersey earthquake. Alas, a shout rang out severing my imagination. It was my neighbor having sex; rattling MY cross. Sometimes I feel sorry for her "man of the moment" - if I can tell she's faking then surely he can too. With paper thin walls, what's a little intimacy between neighbors?!

    I agree, however, as often they enjoy love making to House Music and toy with their karaoke machine after -- Just sick! :)

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  16. I love everyone's raunchy neighbor sex stories. :-) The day my husband and I moved into our last apartment, one of our neighbors was having sex very loudly with her window wide open, so as we walked by her unit carrying boxes, we got an earful. That happened several times over the two years we lived there. Our neighbor on the other side of us often vomited loudly in the mornings, and yet another neighbor with whom we shared a wall in the bathroom could be heard groaning loudly for a couple of weeks as he worked out a kidney stone. Good times.

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