Friday, January 15, 2010

The Spit Saga

Sometimes I am amazed at the crazy things we encounter in apartment living. Say, for instance, the current drama in our apartment stairwell.

When we first moved in, I noticed a strange bubbly glob of what looked like spit in the stairwell every morning. I knew it was fresh each day because by the end of the day it had sort of evaporated into a damp looking spot where a puddle used to be. I kept wondering if someone was actually spitting in the corner of the stairwell or if maybe there was something strange living up above this exact spot and oozing some weird liquid over the course of the night. Obviously, I surmised, someone is spitting. Why? I had no idea.

Move to a couple weeks later, shortly after Adelaide's birth. On my few first ventures out of the house with her, I noticed that not only was there a puddle down on the landing in the original spot, but now, each day, there was a puddle, something quite huge, in front of our next door neighbor's door. I still had absolutely no idea what to think about it, but didn't have a lot of energy to expend in trying to come up with a logical reason for this, so I didn't worry about it.

Lo and behold, shortly before Christmas, (the daily spit continuing to appear), my friend and neighbor Alisha has a baby. Alisha, her husband, and their two kids live down and over one from us (right below the people who have spit in front of their door). We were chatting one day and she said she is really frustrated with the people above them because they are being loud late into the night, which was particularly frustrating since she would just get the baby to sleep before they would start something like vacuuming or the mom cussing out her daughter. We never hear anything because the side walls in these apartments are thick and we don't back up to their real living space, but I know she probably can hear everything they do upstairs because we hear our upstairs neighbors all the time. We have, however, noticed that they don't seem to be good neighbors, with their guests parking in reserved spots (ours at times), etc. So probably everyone in the whole stairwell (all 5 other apartments, who knows?) are irritated with her. Alisha has been dealing with it the way most adults would by informing the office, who then is sending her 10 days comply or vacate notices about the noise policies. So come on, Office Staff, clearly this is not the exemplary neighbors.

A few days later everyone in the stairwell gets a notice from the office requesting that whoever is spitting stops, since it is bothering the residents next door. Now, if I were the target, I would consider that I had probably pissed someone off and either apologize and work it out or zip my lip, since someone that immature is only going to be egged on the more attention is drawn to their work... it's an obvious pattern that emerges in 2-year-olds and never disappears for some.

After the notice, the spit continues to show up daily. I called the office one day to request a maintenance guy to come fix something and they mentioned it to me and happened to mention that the lady next door to us claims this started when we moved in.


Our interaction with this neighbor has thus far consisted of "Hi" if we run into each other going out to our cars. That's it. No more - no arguments, no complaints, no snide run-ins, unless you count us leaving a polite note on their guest's car when they were in our spot, a snide run-in (and they don't eve know that we know it was their guest, the car was gone when we got up in the morning).

Of course, my defenses go up right away but I calmly say, "Well, I can assure you that, especially with a new baby, we have way more interesting things to do than spit on our neighbor's doorstep." And then, of course, they backtrack and say things like "of course, of course, could you just keep an eye out and let us know if you see anything, and have Jesse do that too."

Sure, I said, meanwhile thinking that leaving spit on someone's doorstep is sounding more and more appealing. If our neighbors treated anyone less mature like that, I can see why they would be a target (although the whole thing is ridiculous).

A few days ago, we found another notice stuck in our door:

Dear Residents:
Someone has been consistently spitting piles of spit in front of Apartment XX. This is very disgusting and completely unnecessary. It is obvious that XX is being targeted by someone for an unknown reason. Whatever the reason is, the spitting must stop immediately.
It goes on to list the harassment policies here with a statement that they are going to increase surveillance to find out who the "perpetrator" is.

We ran into our neighbor on our way into the apartment the other day, and she pointed it out to me and said how annoying it was.

Yeah, I said, that is so gross and irritating - there's also some down on the landing all the time too. She asked me to let her know if I ever saw anyone do it. "Sure," I said. "We're not the ones doing it."

"Yeah, I know," she replied, "It's just so gross." (Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "If you know it's not us, then why are you implying to the office that we are doing it, huh, lady?)

The next day, I opened my door and was assaulted by the overwhelming smell of Simple Green. Peeking my head out, I saw that the doorstep of the neighbor and the entire stairwell was doused. Gross. So now instead of just dodging a little bit of spit in the stairs, I have to track Simple Green into our apartment and car each time I haul the carseat in and out of the house.


What is wrong with people and when will this end? I'm sick of getting notices and feeling like the office views us as suspects.

My theory: She's the culprit, trying to stir up trouble and get someone else kicked out. I'll let you know if it ever resolves...

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  1. Oh that is so disgusting!!! Ya gotta love apartment life, eh? Gross, gross, gross!

    Maybe you should do some of your own secret surveillance and see if you can catch the person?? That would be fun, huh? :P

  2. I am with Lani. You should totally set up a hidden camera. HIL-arious!
    And gross.
    Really gross.