This weekend I had a very “interesting” experience to say the least. For the second time in 5 months, my neighbors to the left called 911 in the middle of the night to complain about the neighbors to the right who were being noisy. Because the entrance to my home falls between the two, the police think it’s coming from my apartment and subsequently beat the door down until I raise from my slumber in a panic, open the door and they barge in to investigate why I’m allegedly screaming. Literally. The first time they called due to screams of passion and this time it was screams of terror, so the police checked my closets, my tub and my balcony to ensure I wasn’t hiding my domestic attacker. After investigating to their satisfaction and my repeated assurances that I am painfully and terminally alone with no reason to be screaming in the middle of the night, sexual or otherwise, they finally left so I could return to my bed wide awake and highly irritated that this has happened yet again.
Needless to say when I saw my neighbors outside I was not a happy camper. The first time I can understand how this happened, because from an outside view of the apartments one might think the layout would be different. But we worked all that out, so I couldn’t understand how it has happened again, especially on a Friday night when I’m so exhausted from my work week before. The couple who called the police are a young married couple in their early to mid-twenties, and while I don’t want to make generalizations about people, I just have to say they are my least favorite kind of human. As soon as I approached their car with a solid “wtf happened last night man?!” the guy starts blathering about how it was the police’s fault for going to the wrong apartment and the people to the right are psychos. Meanwhile his wife goes into a full on breakdown, wailing and crying from the passenger seat about how “living here is ruining my life!!” Direct quote.
I don’t know if it’s my age or my upbringing but this display of victimization flew all over me. For the second time these people have caused my privacy to be completely violated in the middle of the night, interrupted my sleep, wasted police resources and humiliated me because now god only knows what the other neighbors now think is happening in my house! All this because they are too scared to just approach the other people personally and tell them to pipe down because their crazy warthog sex and fight club is keeping them up at night. And they are too busy crying about how this is affecting THEM to offer me an apology. The wife literally jumped out of the car shaking and ran back inside, crying uncontrollably because she “can’t take all this.” The “all this” at hand was me just confronting them personally about their actions.
This victim mentality runs so rampant nowadays. I could blame it on them being Gen Z or whatever, but I see it in all ages. It’s like everyone has gotten way too comfortable hiding behind a computer and they can’t handle actual conflict resolution. Everything is fine as long as they can hurl accusations and insults from their safe space, but as soon as you want to drag them out of it to handle it in person, they’re now the victim. It’s infuriating to me.
I grew up with not a lot of material possessions, so living where I do now is something I’m very proud of. This apartment resides in a gated community alongside a clubhouse with poolside cabanas and a gym as well as single-family dwellings that start at $800k and go up. I’m not saying this to brag, I just want to make it clear why it sounded so absolutely ridiculous when that young girl cried to me that “living here is ruining her life.” You’ve got a long row to sow if a noisy neighbor in an upscale community puts you over the edge.
It feels like somewhere along the way it became everyone else’s job to worry about YOUR well-being and personal accountability went out the window. For example, the other day I was searching for an Instagram account that had the word ‘horror’ in it. I’m a fan of old horror movies and this account had lots of funny memes; it’s not by any stretch of the imagination something dark, dangerous or sinister. When I tapped the search button, instead of seeing results, I was instead directed to a pop-up warning from Instagram: “Can we help? Posts with words you’re searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm or even lead to death. If you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help.” Attached was an option to either tap the get help link or see my results. Apparently the computer wizards at a social media app are now therapists who can detect suicidal folks based on such triggering verbiage as “horror.” To be quite frank, watching the 24-hour news cycle makes me far more eager to off myself than watching Friday the 13th for the hundredth time. But furthermore, while it’s nice to know someone out there cares I guess, it’s not the job of a social media app to monitor my mental health!
Look, while there’s nothing wrong with caring about your fellow man, we all need to be accountable for ourselves. Like they say about airplane emergencies, you should put on your own oxygen mask FIRST because you can’t help others if you can’t help yourself. It’s not the internet’s job to check in and make sure you’re ok. You don’t need a podcast to breakdown news stories for you when you can just listen and form your own opinions. It’s not the police’s job to give a verbal warning to a noisy neighbor, at least it shouldn’t be your first resort. Grow a set, learn how to stand up for yourself and calmly find resolution. And when you’re in the wrong, learn how to just say I’m sorry instead of trying to find excuses for your behavior. We ALL have stuff that shapes us. Do you want that stuff to make you a victor or a victim? I know who I’d rather be.