Our guest blogger Elyse learns why it pays to be friendly with your neighbors.
We moved in on the same day as our second floor neighbors. They were three guys, we were three girls and we were close enough in age to comfortably mix socially. They laughed at us for living on the fifth floor and we’d let them climb down the fire escape when they locked themselves out of their apartment. That happened a couple of times. (Ed. note, perhaps on purpose?) They are by no means perfect neighbors. They have a private patio behind the building, and a tendency to blast the same techno playlist until 4 AM whenever they throw a party. Which is a little too often. But instead of being the jerks who scream out the window or call the cops, we chose to take the oft-lauded, but rarely practiced, diplomatic approach. We’ve politely mentioned it the next day a few times, and according to Rachel they’ve given us permission to throw water balloons out the window if they’re too loud—an offer we have yet to actually take them up on. We also chit-chat in the lobby and make sure to clean all the sawdust off the electric drill when we borrow it. When they got a new projector for watching football games on the wall of the building, we made sure to climb out on the fire escape and offer some token remarks of admiration.
So what’s the point of me telling you about our cordial relationship with these guys? A month after we moved in, Rachel had been telling them about our exploits trying to get free furniture from Craigslist—which they made fun of, of course — and had mentioned our troubles finding appropriate dining room chairs. A few weeks later, we entered the building to find four chairs sitting in the lobby with a note, which read, “Girls, “Free Craigslist” Enjoy. Second Floor Guys.” They had just bought a new table and chairs set and were getting rid of their old ones, so they decided to give them to the girls on the fifth floor who let them climb down the fire escape when they locked themselves out of the apartment and made sure to pop out on the same fire escape to congratulate them on their newest toys for their patio parties.
And that’s why it pays to be friends with your neighbors.