When my neighbors moved out in April, I submitted a list of demands for their replacements. Now that the building is full of students again, I can evaluate how well my demands have been met.
Demand #8 read: “They must not repeatedly break up with their boyfriends in the hallway outside my door where I can hear every single word. …”
Just after I’d gotten into my pajamas tonight, a student of some kind knocked on my door. I considered several important facts:
- I’ve never met this person
- I have no particular desire to meet this person, and certainly not while wearing pajamas
- The probability she knocked on the wrong door is about 96%
- Answering the door would just be embarrassing (not for me so much as for her), and she was sure to re-read the apartment number at any moment and realize her mistake anyway
I went back to reading my book.
A minute or so passed before I then heard her side of a phone conversation. She was quite upset with whomever she called, and I do not believe it a stretch of the imagination to suppose she had come over to visit her boyfriend after (or during) a fight, hoping to talk in person. She asked him to please, please just open the door.
At this point it would surely have just made things worse to open the door and suggest she fight with someone in a different apartment, so I stayed planted firmly on my couch and bumped up the volume on Mr. Frédéric Chopin’s Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor. A minute later:
Hey, which room are you in? … (trailing off down the hall) Oh. I guess I forgot.
In summary, not only are my neighbors still breaking up (or on the verge of breaking up) in the hallway, they’re now including me in the proceedings. I feel quite strongly that if I have to break up with someone, it should at an absolute minimum be someone I have met prior to us breaking up.
Update: A coworker has pointed out that it’s better to break up with someone you’ve never met. “I just don’t think we should see each other anymore,” says one. “Okay,” says the other. “We’ve never seen each other before, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”