I had a not-so-nice moment today, and I'm feeling terrible about it.
One of the things I hate most about where we live is that the buildings are set so close together along the street that it actually amplifies sound and the insulation in the walls and the windows do nothing to dampen any noise coming from the street. We have a couple sets of neighbors who allow their children to play in the street between the condominium buildings and they never seem to worry about how loud their children are.
One set of neighbors has a little boy, I would guess he is about 6, and he's a screamer. He screams every time one of the other kids does something he doesn't like. The little dude totally freaked me out a month or so ago because he screams like he's being hurt. His parents let the kids play down the street (by our unit) instead of by their own. I yelled at the kids once to quiet down, and now they tend to play down by their own unit. I didn't feel bad about that.
But the other set of neighbors, they live closer to us (the unit directly across the street) and also have loud children. And they also let their children play in the street. My parents let me play in the street when I was their age, but then again, where we lived the neighbors weren't so packed in together and the neighbors' living room and bedroom windows weren't right next to the curb.
I can handle the chatter and squeals of children playing—heck, I even like it—but holy frijoles one can only take so much banging and screaming, especially when the banging and screaming isn't being done by your own children.
Today, it seems the father was playing with his boy in their garage and they were bouncing the ball off of the garage door and it makes this huge booming noise. It took me about an hour to get annoyed enough to try and figure out what it was. Apparently they were also wrestling with their garbage cans. I know they probably just knocked the cans over, but the NOISE!
So, after an hour of this I decided enough is enough, and I went outside to figure out which unit it was coming from and ask them to stop.
I'm not sure when I changed my mind from asking to telling. I meant to knock on the door, instead I pounded on it. I meant to ask, instead I yelled. When I complained about the noise from bouncing the ball on the garage door, he complained about me pounding on his front door. To which I responded that I could stand there and pound on his door for an hour if he would like, or he could ask his child to stop bouncing the ball on the garage door. Mature, I know.
But that's not the part I feel badly about. As I was walking back to our unit it dawned on me that his son had been peeking around the front door behind him and I had, without intending to, yelled at this man, a complete stranger to me, in front of his child.
I'm generally a non-confrontational person, so when I do decide to confront someone I tend to get worked up about it and that's likely why when I went over there with every intention of asking I ended up yelling. These neighbors have been rude and inconsiderate of others in the neighborhood since they moved in, so I'm not terribly upset that I was rude. I am upset that I was inconsiderate and that I yelled at him and most likely made him feel humiliated in front of his child. I want to apologize for that, but I'm not entirely sure how to approach it.
It's dark now, so I really don't want to walk over there now. Maybe tomorrow. Or would leaving a note or card be better? I'm afraid that if I go over in person I'll get all defensive and end up making an ass of myself again. Maybe it's better to leave it alone. God I hope we move soon.