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what to do now?

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what to do now?

Postby Jerril » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:03 am

1 1/2 yrs ago, a loud band was playing up the street. I went up there to shine a flashlight in their window to give them a message. When I arrived, I got more pissed off since they were middle aged people, not just some teens or younger adults who should know better.

So, I walked up to the band, who were playing in the middle of a crowd of people and I shone my flashlight in their eyes, one at a time. I knew the lead guitar player and he said my name and "what the f**k?" with a sad look in his eyes. Someone from the crowd said "What the f**k?" as well and someone tried to grab my arm. I twisted away. Then I left.

Another person I knew (I live in a small city), a woman in her mid to late thirties, followed me and asked me if I was trying to sleep. I was flabbergasted at her question, as if it was OK to be playing amplified music (like a rock concert or in a bar) outside despite the neighbourhood deserving their peace and quiet.

I just can't believe they would do all that in the first place. I'm not sure how to approach all this. On the one hand, I still harbour a grudge, rightfully so, but on the other hand, I feel like I owe apologies but don't want to make them believe that all the wrongfulness of that evening is on me. We all live in a small city and see each other every so often. It's awkward....

Any idea what to do now?
Jerril
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Re: what to do now?

Postby Johnny-Jack » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:58 pm

I can sympathize because I've experienced something similar, where a group of neighbors are making more sound than I'd like. Loud bass music in the same building can reverberate into my nervous system and make me want to scream (though I usually don't).

Have you ever done anything like that before? There are state or local laws that allow construction noise during a lot of hours of the day. I don't know how band noise fits in but I think most neighbors won't make a big deal of occasional loud parties, especially on weekends, certain holidays, days when a local sports team has a big game. It sounds like this is for you about good relations rather than a legal interpretation.

The flashlight says it was after dark but if it was, say, 7 or 8pm, most people would consider that within reasonable limits. I guess it depends on what you want to happen. If you want an apology for party noise that happened 1.5 years ago, I wouldn't hold your breathe. People enjoy themselves and make noise and unless it's really late, it sounds kind of normal -- and hopefully infrequent.

The group was enjoying themselves and the flashlight in the face comes across as something a killjoy would do, especially if you didn't explain much at the time. You probably don't want to be that person. Has anyone ever mentioned it or avoided you in a way that indicates they still remember it and maybe hold it against you?

If it were me (and I'm not you, of course) and there were a few people I felt a strong need to clear things up with, I'd start with an apology for my weird behavior that one time. I'd use weird to acknowledge I know it was odd (which they likely felt) and an apology costs nothing and clears up a lot of messes we're part of in life. But...after that was said, I'd explain my thinking at the time without defending or trying to justify it. No more than a sentence for the explanation. That way I'd get it out and feel I could move on, but what would be left with people I want good relations with would be the apology, which says, I want to put this behind me.

The right kind of apology doesn't say "I was all wrong, it was all me." It does your side of a clean-up and leaves room for someone else to reply. Occasionally that other reply is a matching apology of sorts -- in this case, maybe a "yeah, I didn't realize we were being so loud." An apology can send the message that you don't take yourself so seriously. Just what I'd do.
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Re: what to do now?

Postby Jerril » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:21 pm

Hi Johnny-Jack,

Thank you for your reply.

Actually, legally, they were in the wrong. I would've called police, but they rarely come for these kinds of complaints (not to blame them, they have more pressing matters).

Local bylaw states:

"No person shall play or operate any radio, stereophonic equipment or other instrument or any apparatus for the production or amplification of sound either in or on private premises or in any public place in such a manner as to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity."

There are different perimeters for construction noise (hammering, sawing, etc) They are allowed to do so until 10:00 PM, but that was not the case here. Just a loud party with professional amps.

They really ought to have played acoustic instruments. Instead, they chose to blare their noise which reached many, many people in a two or three block radius. Very irresponsible, I'd say.

I'm not sure about saying my behaviour was "weird," but it was not diplomatic, anyway. That might be a useful tact to take here, apologize for not being DIPLOMATIC. Then, it is obvious that I still think they did something wrong, but that I handled it poorly.

-- Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:23 pm --

But, aside from the law, I do believe that people have a right to party and blow off steam. And, we should be a bit flexible in this regard. But, it is hard to be gracious, when you actually feel the bass vibrations, even with earplugs.
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