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Don't bring the noise

3 ways to deal with partying neighbors

November 10, 2011|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

Real talk: I’ve been lame lately. The decision to defy my worsening health and party until I lost my voice for a solid three days in honor of my 25th combined with my annual “it’s cold outside and I should start saving for the holidays anyway” attitude has led to more frequent BYOB trips, followed by bedtimes my grandmother would laugh at.

The same cannot be said for my upstairs neighbors.

While I’ve been busy spending quality time with Netflix Instant, they’ve been having quite a time of it. And they have no issues sharing.

They have no problem sharing the exact moment they get back from the bar. They have no problem sharing when they’re out back for a smoke. And they definitely have no problem sharing their favorite Lady Gaga “Telephone” remix. At 4 a.m. On repeat.

I live in Wrigleyville—a neighborhood not for the faint of party heart—and the people in our building are young. Parties don’t happen every weekend, but they happen. My apartment is no exception. But I don’t care if your apartment is located just above the DJ booth at John Barleycorn—at a certain point, you must sleep. You can’t bring the party home every weekend. And if you do, you’re going to have to keep it down (all rules void on New Year’s Eve, the first warm day of spring and the morning of St. Patrick’s day).

As I see it, I have three choices in how to deal with these unlicensed weekend mini-raves:

Join: We had a philosophy when crashing upperclassmen parties in college that if you showed up late enough and with beer, you were welcome just about anywhere. I’m sure the same goes for a Wrigleyville margarita party, right? If you can’t beat ‘em, you can at least drink their booze until you forget why you were going to complain in the first place.

Fight: There’s the broomstick-to-the-ceiling bit, but I’m not sure my broom reaching the ceiling. Actually, I’m not sure I have a broom. But I do have a stereo. And a wide selection of country hits from the early 1990s. There is no pop music that the Dixie Chicks can’t drown out. And really, does anything kill a party faster than the Dixie Chicks?

Revenge: The 6 a.m. cleaning kind. Vacuuming, re-painting, general use of the garbage disposal. Anything that involves strong smells and loud noises. Did I mention that I do my best cleaning to a soundtrack of thrash metal and noise rock?

And if all else fails, there’s always trusty Midwestern passive-aggression. Maybe write a column about it? Check.

Emily Van Zandt is a RedEye reporter. When she gets home from the bars she eats her ill-advised Taco Bell and drunk texts her sister like a responsible adult. @mmxbars

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