Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Long pent-up.

So all that insomnia I had last spring and summer that went away after the wedding? Is back in the past few weeks. I had up until 2009 always been a person who fell asleep at the drop of a hat, so I don't really know how to deal with it. I tried Tylenol PM Sun and Mon night and it made me sleep but uneasily--waking up unrested. Last night--let's not even talk about it. (How can it feel like "last" night when you sort of feel like it's been going on uninterrupted for eight hours?) And though I know it's not technically her fault, it's making me detest the woman who lives in the apartment above us.

For one thing she doesn't maintain a consistent schedule. In fact I wonder if she's got a spy cam installed in my apartment because no matter how I try to shake my own pattern up--going to bed at 10, going to bed at 11:30, going to bed at 1--it's just as soon as I'm finally drifting off that she decides to clomp around her own bedroom, which wakes me up with a start and gets my heart pounding in a way that I can't calm down. If I crawl into the living room, hoping to escape her foot-clods, she decides she needs a snack from the kitchen. If I watch two hours of TV (what do they call it: late late night? early morning? the witching hour?*) and finally doze off around 3:30 or 4 on our angular couch, she gets up to pee, waking me up again with a clomp and a start! It's not like she sleeps late, either (even on weekends, which are her vacuum day--good to know she's so on top of her dust situation but IT SURE DOESN'T SOUND TO US like she has rugs, so maybe a nice quiet SWEEPING would do?): some mornings she gets up at FIVE. The bedroom clock is next to my head. So I know.

Now, this is her right. She pays rent here too. But you know what? My ballet teacher taught me to walk like a cat. And this woman walks like an elephant. Sometimes I swear she sits up, stretches, yawns, swings her legs over the side of the bed, and slides her feet into nice comfy morning WOODEN CLOGS. But in point of fact I'm listening to her march back and forth above the dining room as I type this and I can tell that she's barefoot. Leaden, but unshod.

Yesterday evening Chris and I were walking down our block and he hissed, "That woman we just passed is the one upstairs." He's met her--I haven't. And luckily for her, I wasn't looking this time either--my glimpse was only enough to tell me that, surprisingly, she was slender and not the size of the water buffalo she sounds like. "Luckily for her" because if I ever recognize her in the stairwell, I really don't know what I might do. Chase her down the sidewalk with my own vacuum cleaner, maybe.

*Here's what's on TV at that time of night: Tyler Perry sitcoms. Fashion show recaps (from these I observed sleepily and approvingly that Zac Posen is one of the few designers to employ a racially diverse runway cast). Cool In Your Code. Home shopping channels--this can be nice for dropping off to sleep if you turn the volume down low, because they talk in a fairly steady and uninterrupted way and the lighting doesn't flicker too much since they're just showing jewelry. What I think I need as a sleep aid is football, so maybe I will order Chris the Saints Super Bowl DVD just so I can throw it on next time Clompy McClomperson takes her rage out on her floorboards.--That's the thing, though. Everyone gets mad and needs to stomp now and then, I understand that. This woman isn't mad. She's just either unbelievably oblivious, or passive aggressively trying to drive us out. I know it gets loud on the Wednesdays I have my friends over for ANTM. But the show is over at TEN. Scale it the F back, lady!

Lord, there she goes again. I wish I was taping this just to give you guys a taste. Those of you in houses (or on the top floor)--please sleep uninterruptedly for me tonight.


Karen said...

some people do clomp, but having lived in a basement apt. and knowing the neighbors upstairs, I realized that floor boards magnify the sound. If I ever live in a multi-story apt. building, I will want the top floor. Sleep aids that work for me: praying (really does make me nod off, like counting sheep), no caffeine after noon, hard exercise before 7 pm.

Traci said...

Give some valarian root a try. Andrew and I used it one night and we were in comas by 8 pm.

If solidarity helps you, we've always lived below Noisy McLoudertons, save for the 2 years we had a house in Preston, but we shared that space with an army of mice. I prefer the Noisies. Even the current ones, who are a rather...vocally amorous couple.

the other lion said...

My sister is a small person, but she sounds like an elephant when she walks. It is insane. INSANE.

You could try melatonin like Punkin takes. My aunt takes 3mg I think. It's in the vitamin section.

I love watching the sparkly jewelery spin away.

You could also join me on FarmVille. I already recruited Boo! =)

I feel like all my neighbors must hate me because Punkin is so loud.

End of list.

Alison said...

It's New York. You could make her disappear. I don't mind being the one to say it. However if that's the route you take please delete this comment so as not to lead a trail. A lot of people make that mistake. Not that I would like know, or anything...Oh, oven's ready, gotta go!

sarah said...

Ugh, how awful! It kind of reminds me of some of the hostels I was in, but at least I could leave. I know what you mean about the Tylenol PM, it does the same thing to me. I haven't tried the Melatonin yet, but I've heard good things yet.

And you could do as Lion says and join's ridiculous. And addicting!

Love you.

Laura said...

Thank you all for the fabuloso tips. Erika, everyone makes allowances for kids, don't worry (and the only reason why I don't feel guilty for my sibs' and my excessive loudness on the stairs of the townhouse we grew up in).

I do, however, keep accidentally dropping the remote off the couch onto the wooden floorboards when I'm in the living room in the middle of the night, so I'm sure OUR downstairs neighbors feel the same way about me! Oops.

Jennie said...

What about ear plugs? I hate them; they're uncomfortable; but when we had drug dealers living next door that was what helped us sleep till the US Marshals raided their house. I would suggest gentle discussion, but thanks to Passive-Aggressive Notes and prior experience and "Friends" I know that that hardly ever works. Good luck!

Laura said...

I've been trying ear plugs. They help a little bit. Last night confirmed to me it really isn't them--I took TWO Tylenol PM and still woke up at 4. I think it's work anxiety.