neighborly love

August 28, 2010

My housemates and I are throwing a party this weekend, both for housewarming and to welcome the latest folks to sign the best years of their life away in the name of science (aka, the new physics grad students).  It’s a fancy-dress party, with grilling.  We have aprons, so this is not necessarily as bad of an idea as it sounds.  Necessarily.  Mostly we just never get to dress nice, so we’re inventing a reason.

Anyhow, I learned in college that when throwing a party that’s likely to generate noise and/or a significant quantity of intoxicated people, it’s a good idea to warn your neighbors.  By following this strategy, I have never once had the cops called, despite throwing some insanely rowdy parties my senior year in college.  I do mean rowdy, too.  To give you an idea, on Halloween, our keg ran dry before midnight; on another occasion, a 6-foot-tall bookshelf full of books fell victim to the living room dance party (we were lucky nobody was standing in its path of destruction).  One particularly memorable event had me standing outside my own bedroom throwing sticks at the window, screaming that I would climb on the roof and enter through the window regardless of what was going on, if the three folks in there did not keep their clothes on and unlock the door immediately.

Our neighbors at that house had two small children, and the tolerance of saints.  Either that, or they left town every time we told them there was a party coming up.  You learn these things, I suppose, if you’re sharing a driveway with a college-student rental 3 blocks from a major university.

Back to the topic at hand, even though my days of parties that rowdy are behind me, I made the rounds on Wednesday evening warning people about our upcoming event and handing out slips of paper with my name and local phone number (thanks, google voice) to call if we pissed them off or blocked them in.  I warned everyone within a 3×3 house square centered on us; hopefully that should do the trick.  The responses I got were fairly interesting, and quite varied.

At the house next door, full of undergrads:

me: We’re throwing a party on Saturday, and I just wanted to let you know.  You’re welcome to drop by, and I wanted to…

neighbor: [cutting me off] We won’t call the cops, don’t worry.

From the old lady diagonally across the street:

Ooh, a party!  I do hope you have fun!

The other two across the street were boring, thanks for being so considerate, blah blah blah.

From the other neighbors next door, a youngish couple with an awesome dog that Pecan wrestles with a lot:

[speaking through a cloud of weed smoke, restraining their 90-lb, 6-month-old puppy from licking me to death] Niiiice, we’ll try to stop by.  I don’t think you would bother us, though, unless you were literally blowing things up.

From the two diagonally bordering our backyard:

[looking surly and disapproving] You do know the people next door have a toddler, right?

And yet, from the family that actually has the toddler:

[shrugs] I figure it’s just payback from the shit I did when I was in school.  If you get too loud, I’ll just come by, have a beer, ask you to go inside and tone it down a bit.  No big deal.

Ah, neighbors.  Should be a good time, and here’s hoping we don’t actually get these precautionary phone calls from any of them.


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