Monday, October 1, 2012

A Letter to My Condo Association; Or: Sometimes The Best Defense Is Absurdity

Public Enemy - "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos"

I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened and read it and said they were SUCKAS!
Okay, it wasn't the government. It was my condo association. And it wasn't the other day, it was three years ago. And I didn't just call them suckas, I wrote them a letter.

You see, until recently, I lived in a condo complex in Newington called Woodsedge. I loved the place. I lived there for almost 7 years. I never had a problem the entire time I lived there, except for a small stretch around '09. 

While I was living with my good friend (ML aka MLiggy aka Hedo Turkoglu) our landlord (my other good friend, Rizz aka The Rzarektah aka Randy Rizzo) received a letter from the condo association. The head of the association stated that they had received several complaints about our condo unit. I took exception to some of the complaints, and the fact that he did not state who made them, so I responded back. 

Here is that response:

Dear Mr. Schaefer,*

My landlord recently brought to my attention a letter he received from you concerning the unit I live in , 35-6C. I would like to address several of the comments you made, many of which I find absurd and even offensive. 

I'll start off by saying that I have lived here for 4 years now and I have never received any complaints until the neighbors directly below my unit moved in. It is true that they have asked us to turn down our music several times, and we have immediately obliged. One time, I accidentally dropped cassette tapes on the ground and she came up to complain, saying that some people had to work in the morning, as if I meant to drop and break my tapes, and as if to condescendingly imply that I didn't have to work. Also, I feel it is a tad hypocritical to ask someone to turn down their music, and then 20 minutes later, blast your own music, as they have done on several occasions. On top of all that, they take the next step to contact the condo association. Well, we have also had to ask them to turn down their music on several occasions and I don't find it necessary to go any further than that if they do turn it down. 

As far as "loud sexual sounds" coming from our unit, I didn't realize we were living in Puritannical times. I am a grown man in a monogamous relationship. My girlfriend and I happen to enjoy each other's company, and as consenting adults, sometimes that involves sexual intercourse; and yes, sometimes we can be vocal about it. My roommate and his partner feel the same way. If I wanted to read into these complaints about "sexual sounds", I might declare discrimination against my roommate and his partner. Maybe that's the problem; maybe some of the other tenants don't want "their kind" in the building. Well, I'm proud to say that we live in one of the few states that recognizes gay marriage, and maybe one day, all of the citizens of this state will be as open-minded as our state's legislation, which bans ALL kinds of discrimination. But like I said, maybe I'm just reading into this too much.

Now to address the problem of littering: last year, my roommate at the time did smoke and threw cigarette butts off the deck. When a sign was posted notifying tenants, he took a look at the ground beneath, realized his mistake, and changed his behavior. It hasn't been an issue since, and of course, he doesn't even live here anymore. And as far as beer cans being thrown off the deck, that is absurd. Show me a beer can on the ground. To accuse myself and my roommate of treating our place like a college dormitory is not only offensive but pretty ironic as I actually teach at Tunxis Community College. I haven't lived on a college campus in 8 years and if anyone thinks my place is a dorm, they are quickly shown the door. 

Mr. Schaefer, I understand that you are the person responsible for complaints and that it is not an easy job dealing with everybody's different personalities. As an educator, I realize this, trust me. However, you have to take into consideration who is doing the complaining. Our neighbors directly below us have made it almost impossible to enjoy ourselves. We have gone to extraordinary lengths to appease them and nothing seems to work. She told my roommate to turn down the music one Friday night at 7pm. He was listening to an ipod player at a very appropriate level (the ipod player does not even reach a high level) but he was still kind enough to oblige and listen to his music through headphones. Now if there have been other complaints from other tenants, maybe I'm wrong and maybe our idea of appropriate audio levels differ, but in my entire time at the condo, I have had no complaints from anyone else. I could complain about her dog that woke me up for a month straight at 7am. I could complain about the 10 minutes of hammering or pounding on food or whatever the noise is they make down there almost every day, but I don't, because I realize that some things in life are noisy. There are a lot of people in this building, with a lot of different work schedules, and there are bound to be some loud noises, possibly even some sexual sounds. We understand that, we respect all of our neighbors and the entire community, and we hope that respect is shown to us. 

Thank you.

*his real name!

They sent a letter saying the issue would be addressed at their upcoming meeting. I never heard from them again. 

I Love You All (Even You, Mr. Schaefer)...Class Dismissed.

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