My husband and I have been married for almost a year now (11 months on April 21!). For that almost-year we have been living in a quintessential first apartment, complete with crappy neighbours, uncaring building owners, and all the weirdness that comes with living with a bunch of people that should never meet, yet do because they happen to live in the same building.
We are hermits in our apartment world, with some marked exceptions. We don't really associate with our neighbours, which I think stems from the fact that we don't have children and we're rarely hanging out in our apartment. We're a really busy, 20-something couple, and that is reflected in our non-relationships with our neighbours. Case in point - new people moved in directly across the hall from us, and yet we have not introduced ourselves. And since they (no clue how many) have moved in, we haven't seen or heard anything from them, which is actually a nice change, considering what we live above.
Our neighbour below us, although a complete stranger, is very well known in our apartment and in our circle of family and friends. This is because he has the distinct honour of being the worst part of our apartment life.
And that, my friends, is saying something. Because we deal with all kinds of crap living in a building that is owned by a big, impersonal, stupid company. Like water being turned off at least once a month. Like there being no hot water for days on end at least once a month. Like repairs never getting done in our apartment even though we asked for them to be completed LAST MAY. Like weird smells in the hallways that permeate into our living space, an unending tropical heat wave all winter, our names being deleted for NO reason from the list of tenants at the front buzzer, our mailbox getting broken into and vandalized, and the locks being changed on the doors without warning or the offer of new keys.
See how impressive it is that Downstairs Guy is the WORST problem and the BIGGEST thing we will NOT miss when we leave?
Because he is far more noisy than the bottle-smashing, screaming, car alarming, yappy dog yelling, big dog escaping through the balconey window cacophony that occurs outside our window EVERY night. His VERY bad taste in music (or anything that has a bass line of ANY kind) is pumped so loudly I now know the lyrics to multiple rap songs that I probably could have lived my whole life without ever acknowledging their existence.
Because his pot habit makes it impossible to ever open our windows in the summer. His enjoyment of using the outdoors as his personal ashtray gives my husband and I a whole new understanding of what "high" feels like, when not perpetuated by God, or a great song (that actually has lyrics, not just creative swearing), or a fantastic bout of you-know.
Because, with his help, we have achieved the requisite number of first apartment stories that will carry us into the rest of our adulthood.
Because when we buy our first house, we will leave him behind and NEVER look back. EVER.