A Letter to My Downstairs Neighbors

About five months ago, on a cold winter’s night, I arrived at a lovely Raleigh apartment with my husband, son and pug dog. Despite our best efforts, we were kind of like Miley Cyrus. We came in like a wrecking ball. (Oddly enough, we were also twerking.) We’ve had some great neighbors who have never complained, and I’d like to express my gratitude.

To the middle-aged, single gentleman who is always polite:

Thank you for smiling and looking the other way when my son throws a tantrum in the stairwell. I know that fleeting look of panic in your eyes – the one that comes before the gracious smile, the one that says, OMG a screaming toddler. I hope it doesn’t touch me. Do you know how I know that look? Because I’ve given that look. It’s not that you don’t like kids. It’s just that you don’t want to interact with any if you don’t have to. I totally get it. And I’m really, really sorry if I’ve ever made you late for work.

To the elderly woman who is afraid of dogs:

I’m sorry my pug barks at you. I promise she won’t bite. She doesn’t even have all her teeth. As a matter of fact, my pudgy, arthritic pug doesn’t even walk down stairs anymore. You two probably have more in common than you think.

To the hot girl with the adorable puppy:

Flaunt it. Go right ahead. Boobs sag and dogs grow up. In just a few short years you may find yourself carrying a fat old dog down the stairs with a tantruming toddler at your heals, while you may or may not be wearing a bra. (And going braless won’t be quite as cute as it is now.) So enjoy it sister!

To the young man living directly below us:

You’ve heard every bark, every toddler squeal of joy. You’ve heard every holler of my darling little boy. You didn’t even mind when my pug ran through your doorway. You pet her on the head saying simply “It’s okay.” As we prepare to move out and pack up all our junk, I hope for your sake, your new neighbor is a monk.

P. S. To the guy who recently decided that 8 p.m. (my son’s bedtime) is the perfect time to crank up the bass in the parking lot, I will find out where you live and blast a Baby Genius video outside your door at 6 a.m. until “ooples and banoonoos” haunt your dreams.

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