December 7, 2016

My Neighbors Are Nightmares

Hey, Bonita…

Dear Bonita,

I have been trying since August to put up with a situation that has become unbearable. I have given this the fairest shake of my life, believe me, and I just can't abide by what's going on anymore. Neither ignorance nor acceptance is working. It's time to grab this bull by the horns.

It's not my boyfriend or his dog or my roommates—they're all great. My neighbors are nightmares! Houses are really close on my street, and that excited me when I moved in; I remember being really impressed by how funky and cool my neighbors were during the first week. They were always watching movies or playing music out on their porch, having people over and throwing parties that everyone on our street would be invited to.

But now it all just feels like noise, noise, noise. There's never a quiet moment! I don't know how they can stand it themselves, and as their neighbor I've just about had enough of the 3 a.m. porch parties. I used to be really into it, but now I just want a full night's rest. I don't feel comfortable approaching them, because I used to party right along with them, and I'd look like a hypocrite. I'm racking my brain trying to come up with polite ways to nip this in the bud, and I'm coming up short. Any suggestions?


Still Awake!

Dear Awake,

There's no polite way to nip this in the bud. You're right—you've set a precedent by being one of the party people, but that doesn't mean that you consent to party 24/7. No one expects anyone to be cool with noise all the time, so don't feel self-conscious about asking them to turn their music down. You're still a good neighbor and a cool person even if you want peace and quiet.

You're just gonna have to dig deep and let them know that after a certain time of night, they need to quiet down. It doesn't matter if they're funky and cool, they're just being rude when they assume everyone on the block wants to listen to Can at 3 a.m. on a Monday. Legally, their music shouldn't be reaching your house anyway after 11 p.m. on weeknights. Stand on their porch, take a deep breath, then knock on the door and tell them your truth.

Hey Bonita,

I went camping and obviously got bitten by something out in the wild. It turned into some pretty major welts, so I had to go to urgent care and get it taken care of. The deal is that I just started hooking up with an awesome new person, and the welts are in pretty intimate areas (I guess chiggers got under my tights, not sure).

I'm nervous to hop back in bed before my medication kicks in, especially since this is new and they could very well run off at the sight of weird bumps and welts so close to my genitals. I could totally see someone assuming it's an STD, but it's really just bug bites. Should I tell them before our next date, or just handle it when it comes up?

Hey friend,

Relax! People are much more understanding about bodily weirdness than we like to think. If they're just bug bites, treat them as such. You wouldn't tell your partner about a mosquito bite, would you? Let it come up on its own and tell them then, or if it's really making you that nervous, you can just bring it up yourself while you're undressing. Either way, a good person wouldn't walk out over a weird-looking sting, so if they do, I'd just say that you're better off without them.

Need advice? Email, use our anonymous form, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.