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Valentine's Day Surprise, Anger, Alienation, Then Resolution. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Valentine's Day Surprise, Anger, Alienation, Then Resolution. [Feb. 16th, 2004|05:15 pm]
[In the Moment |satisfiedsatisfied]
[Special Music |Four Tet - Misnomer]

This Valentine's Day note was taped to our door from our dear neighbor, who made this their first attempt to talk to us.

I Live Next Door . . .

Okay folks, this was the very first communication we received from our next-door neighbors in over the one month we've been here.

Well, I overheard the woman say, "And he's smoking again!" with the slamming-shut of their window, just a handful of days after we moved in our place.

Back then, we laughed about that, and then over this time, we figured everything was fine, considering nothing further was said.

I even forgot about the window-slamming . . . until I found the note on Saturday.

I live next door in #211, and I talked to the office.

Who are you? You haven't said hello once. By the way, hello? Hmmm. You talked to the office? Funny, I went down there. The dynamic, wonderful and talented office manager didn't have any idea what you're talking about . . . she was surprised by the note.

I'm allergic to [sic] ciggarette smoke & last night I was in the emergency room for a migraine.

I am a conscientious person, and I care about the well-being of others. Which, in light of this note, I was surprised to hear about an emergency visit. Having allergies suck, but you didn't know that I have allergies too. Hay fever happens big time with my system, and I suffer from headaches and sneezing and stuffy sinuses when that allergen gets heavy in the air.

Plus, we're all allergic to the ingredients in tobacco smoke, Miss Mysterious Complainer.

Yet, some of us are addicted to it, and some of us actually ingest it multiple times, daily.

Emergency room? Was this an attempt to create sympathy? I don't even know you, and so this must be a weak argument, considering you haven't even spoken to us.

I'm tired of having to close my windows when you go out to smoke, it comes clear to the [sic] dinning room.

Well, I guess you got back at me in particular. I felt surprised, then embarrassed, due to the fact that it was taped on our door for everybody to see. Then I felt angry all weekend.

I'm also a very conscientious smoker, someone who deliberately makes sure that his smoke doesn't get in others' faces and puts out his cigarettes. However, after double-checking with the office, it is perfectly legal to smoke on the balcony.

Also, we don't like certain things too. We don't like when the upstairs neighbors drink, yell, and then proceed to chase each other around the house. Then someone gets a beating, because you can hear physical scuffling upstairs, and banging, to all hours of the early morning, every night, audible as a high bit-rate mp3, in our bedrooms.

We don't voice direct complaint toward the others, however, since it's not our business.

We also don't assume anything, because it makes asses out of the target of assumption and the one who assumes. Makes an ass out of you and me, right . . . yet I smell a lot of assumption in this note.

Can you please go out the other door to smoke.

The only other door is the front door to the hallway lobby. That's a public walkway, and public enclosed places are prohibited by law against smoking.

I'm not smoking inside our apartment. As much as I'm addicted, I also don't want to smell it all the time in the apartment. Granted, it's illogical, considering I have no problem with ashtray breath, and it doesn't bother me that there's a cake of tar in my lungs. Such are the things with addictions to legal tobacco. The fact remains, it's legal to smoke out on our private balcony.

I pay rent also.

I'm glad you aren't living here free.

And 2nd hand smoke is becoming a problem.

Yes, it's becoming a huge problem, considering the solution to the situation, closing the windows to the apartment, isn't something you want to do for yourself, considering that it's the one thing in your control that you can do to keep yourself from smelling the smoke.

If only you took the time to know me.

What you don't know is that one of my best friends has migraine attacks, and I know a little about migraines. Cigarette smoke is a cause, but it is not the only cause.

Plus, Los Angeles air isn't exactly healthy and clean. The common joke for smokers here is that at least we're healthier because we're breathing our air through a filter.

However, put the joke aside, Miss Mysterious Complainer. You're assuming that I should cease doing something that is my legal right because it bothers you.

So yeah, you made your point. I cringed, going out for each of the 30 or so cig-smokes I proceeded to have over the weekend after finding the note, hoping I didn't run into you until I went down to the manager's office on Monday Morning.

Then, this morning the manager and I had a few minutes of polite, detailed, and professional conversation. She agreed that the note was rude, considering you haven't talked to us once in the month we've been here.

We don't ever want to be bothered with something like this again because we are doing nothing wrong.

I can be approached, and we can still have a pleasant, relationship-building conversation.

Last-straw stress or no, it's no reason to embarrass me. It's also no reason to leave a strange note that made me feel alienated, unsure, and rather angry.

If only you knew me, you'd know why your complaint about my smoking is one of my strongest pet peeves with regards to others.

I feel strongly about the right to smoke tobacco.

There is reason for concern. Smoking is bad for our health.

In the United States, the anti-smoking sentiment grows.

However, smoking cost me my job at a former employer, due to the lack of understanding and the resulting dislike from the company's director.

I was a valued employee, with some of the highest quality marks, but it didn't matter one bit, because I smoked.

My own family and friends do not have the right to order me to do anything about my smoking.

I don't like being addicted to nicotine, but only those who have smoked about a pack or more a day can understand the agony of quitting smoking, something I cannot afford the time to spend, ironically enough, as it's very expensive financially to upkeep the addiction.

Thetruth.com is good at putting out the words on the dangerous long-term effects of smoking. However, the 'good fight' they so arrogantly fight against the tobacco companies should be directed at the United States Government.

The US Government organized and implemented 'sin taxes' on our smokes and alcohol. The US Government collects and profits from the tobacco and alcohol producers.

Thetruth.com spins its wheels, fighting a battle against the wrong people.

What Thetruth.com does accomplish is the feeding of anti-smoking opinions. They do it so well, and as a result, non-smokers feel righteous and less-caring toward smokers in their objections.

It's the very feeding of the opinions of people that cause the average person to be ignorant of the feelings and rights of others, so much so, that non-smokers feel justified in objections to smokers.

However, I won't assume anything about our neighbors.

Whether or not they are of the sentiment of anti-smokers doesn't matter. Leaving a strange note, based on weak arguments and assumptions, that's just downright insulting in its self-justification.

However, in final analysis, my sentiment, given the assumptions and frustrations, is as follows.

Don't Do Handstands in Frustration.

Don't do handstands in frustration.

There's No Reason to Let This Turn Hitchcockian.

There's no reason for this to turn into something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

I Am Not A Crook.

I am not a crook.

I'm Nice, Friendly, Approachable . . .

I'm nice, friendly, approachable, and most of all, understanding of others.

I don't expect it in return.

However, I don't appreciate being treated rudely.

Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em.

Well, Miss Mysterious Complainer, I can let this one slide in time. We can possibly be friendly neighbors in the future. However, as this whole note-leaving dysfunction spearheads the demonstration of how you've been toward us so far, until you change your approach, I say, smoke 'em if you got 'em.


[User Picture]From: anthrogeek
2004-02-17 02:01 am (UTC)
wow. drama, drama, drama. :P
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 02:09 am (UTC)
No kidding.

I merely felt the disrespect and insult from this note, and I felt like posting my response.
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From: enigma9
2004-02-17 02:29 am (UTC)
I would like to hug you.

And also bum smokes from you, in the event you ever end up in Boston :)
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 02:35 am (UTC)
Thank you.

And if I got one, I usually give a smoke to strangers, if they ask kindly. :D
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[User Picture]From: heatherface
2004-02-17 02:35 am (UTC)
Long fucking post.

"Plus, Los Angeles air isn't exactly healthy and clean." We L.A natives don't trust air we can't see.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 02:38 am (UTC)
It's not so clean back home in the Detroit atmosphere either.

The Auto Capital really doesn't believe in emissions testing or any standards as such. It's probably a step in a better air quality here, considering we'd smell whiffs of the Detroit incinerator on warm summer nights when the wind blew from the southwest.
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[User Picture]From: kzookitten
2004-02-17 02:58 am (UTC)


What a heinous bitch!

That is so damn rude I would explode with anger. I probably would lose sleep because Id be so angry.

Thats seriously ridiculous.

(Im really at a loss at what to say, I mean, that is some astoundingly awful behavior right there)
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 03:01 am (UTC)

Re: Ack

I was at a loss of what to say to . . . until I talked to my roomate about it, talked to my girlfriend, and then did a lot of internal debate over it.

Then I realized, I wasn't doing anything wrong. It's perfectly legal to smoke out there.

Trust me, I was angry too. But, I communicate with others and resolve problems in a constructive fashion. It's the neighbor's loss.

I'mma go have a smoke outside to take a brief break from writing all this. :D
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[User Picture]From: longlivepeach
2004-02-17 05:49 am (UTC)
aye, i pretty much agree with you. if you have that salesman spirit, you can probably have a friendly chat with her and get her to feel like she's getting the good end of the deal by you smoking on your own, rent-paid balcony. besides that, i don't have any real advice. maybe if she likes puppies, you can get her a puppy calendar or something.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 05:58 am (UTC)
I know, I'd love to talk to her and her family, and establish the good-neighbor intent.

Yet, judging by how the neighbors have treated this as of yet, I'm thinking that's a sound "no" from them. :D

So yeah, I'm not going out of my way just yet.

But I will and have used moments like these for the benefit, entertainment, and education of all!
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[User Picture]From: musicsdaughter
2004-02-17 06:43 am (UTC)
having read the last few entries in your journal, I've decided you sound like a really neat kinda person, so I've added you to my friendslist :)
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 06:54 am (UTC)
No problem!

I'd even friend the neighbor, if they'd give me some understanding.
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From: ex_seel
2004-02-17 08:30 am (UTC)
"Then someone gets a beating, because you can hear physical scuffling upstairs, and banging, to all hours of the early morning, every night, audible as a high bit-rate mp3, in our bedrooms."

What about digital artifacts and aliasing? Do you get those, as well?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 04:39 pm (UTC)
Damn, you're good!

I'm sure their own vision is aliased, like mine, when I drink.

Certainly, with the right lighting upstairs, they'd probably experience quite a bit of stepping with regards to shadows.

That's only if they like chiaroscuro lighting though. Me? I just am cool with them and the neighbors next door, so long as I'm not bothered with this anti-smoking booooo-shieeeet.
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[User Picture]From: sm0t
2004-02-17 09:26 am (UTC)
Some people are so clueless when it comes to responding to confrontational situations. She was condecending and tried to inflict a guilt trip on you. If she had been a bit more human in her approach, she would have had much more pleasant results.

When someone asks me politely, I will always put my cigarette out, even if I've just lit it. However, if someone gives me a dirty look and tells me to put it out, I will straight up say no and do my utmost to fill her personal space with my carcinogens. Fight attitude with attitude. No one wins, but it sure feels good to be vindictive.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-17 04:48 pm (UTC)
The fat is in the fire!

I could have wrote your comment, it's exactly my feelings on the matter.

That's the sad, sad thing: I woulda cared, if she hadn't chose that note to be the 1st attempt to talk.

I guess I must be all scary lookin' to someone like her. Shit, she must think I'm the devil.
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[User Picture]From: thedeadfisharmy
2004-02-17 06:18 pm (UTC)
Howdy, I'm off collecting new interesting people to keep me amused on my friends list, and the last handful of entries here have made the cut. Mind another reader?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-18 12:21 am (UTC)
Sure, it's not a problem at all!

Thanks for delving into the full story!
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[User Picture]From: cutedestruction
2004-02-18 03:28 am (UTC)
You've put into elegant prose the reasoning for my hatred for all the anti-smoking campaigns. Thank you. I'm not a smoker, but I don't appreciate ads like the ones by "truth" that assume that people have no responsibility for their own actions. It's gotten to the point where most smokers are treated like a lower species, which is just ridiculous.

Anyway, I know that some people have to go to hospitals for migraines, but I've never known cigarette smoke to set one of those things off. I guess it's possible, but probably only if one is in a smoke-filled room.

I've got a migraine myself right now (I know, computer screens=bad, but I was so bored staring at the ceiling), so forgive me if I'm not making any sense, please. :-) I hope that you don't continue to have problems from these neighbors.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-18 03:44 am (UTC)
I haven't heard anything, but early today the manager smiled and waved at me, so at least that's encouraging.

I'm willing to talk to the neighbors if they decide that passive/agressive weird notes are not exactly as productive as they thought.

As for migraines, yes they are triggered from cigarette smoke, and they are also triggered from a number of other causes. In that light, not only mentioning the migraine emergency, but also that I was directly responsible, even though others smoke on the balcony, well that was just a nice try, but I am not buying it.
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From: acid_burn_007
2004-02-20 04:12 pm (UTC)
As another note...awesome post with great points. However, it seems that until capital punishment is the consequence for smoking in America, the war between Non/Smokers will continue. And every time I see one of those damn truth commericials, I want a cigarette. I think they're just fueling us.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-20 04:27 pm (UTC)
I know!

I respectfully carry on my life around the smoking laws.

On 5 hour plane flights, or an 8 hour car ride in a non-smoker's car, I don't light up . . .

Not that it has anything to do with the note in dispute, but actually, it's just a compromise that I make because I'm a nice guy. If I didn't smoke, I wouldn't want it in my house or face, either . . .

Yet, there's none of that understanding seemingly behind the message of anti-smoking campaigns. "Kill the Tobacco Companies!"


Where would human rights groups get with targeting a company? Nowhere, especially since they're taxed to do business with their product.

Exactly on the smoking-related TV stuff . . . even when someone lights up on TV, I think about having one. It's probably one of the stronger addictions, nicotine, like cocaine and heroin.
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[User Picture]From: hexhive99
2004-02-26 04:22 pm (UTC)
wtf! What's next?!? You have every right to be out there if you choose to.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-02-26 04:36 pm (UTC)
I know.

So far, since then, we have had no complaints from next door, merely silence and occasional shutting of their windows.

As for what's next, I have no idea on this front. I'm content for their secrecy and inability to talk to me, and I continue to smoke out there. Oh, the melodrama. :D
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