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Discuss: My Neighbors, the Bagpipers

Downtown apartment living has many perks.  My favorite restaurants are steps from my front door, and food can be delivered at virtually any hour of the day.  I get to enjoy the pool in the summertime.  And I don’t have to worry about taking out the trash or mowing the lawn.

One drawback, however, is how difficult it can be to share space with dozens of other people who you may or may not know.  When your neighbors have a fight and shout things like, “All I do is work all day and look beautiful, and all you do is criticize me and drink beer,” you hear that.  When they walk to the trash room wearing nothing but a bathrobe and Uggs, you see that.  And when they cook a delectable pork roast for their dinner party, you smell that (and make a mental note to become better friends with the people in 1014).

For the past three weeks, nearly every night at 11:00PM, I have heard the sounds of a commotion followed by the aggressive thumping of my neighbor’s headboard against a wall that’s clearly taken more hits than Muhammad Ali.  

In the beginning, this near-nightly chorus of slams and thuds was amusing.  Again?  That’s four times this week.  Good for them.  By the second week, it became a humorous annoyance.  Doth I hear the slamming of a headboard?  It must be 11:00PM.  But now, at the close of week three, it’s just.not.funny.anymore.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?!? *turns up volume on television to 29*

Now, I don’t usually go to bed before midnight (I don’t sleep. I blog.), but last night, I crawled under the covers a little after 10:00 PM, only to be awoken by the broken staccato of oak on plaster minutes later. This leaves me with a dilemma: Obviously, I don’t want to listen to 15-30 minutes of outtakes from the musical STOMP! five-nights-a-week.  But I firmly believe that my neighbors have the right to do whatever they want in that apartment, as often as they want.  

In fact, I’m happy for them.  It’s somewhat comforting to know that two people can be so attracted to one another that “bagpiping” 5-6 times per week is considered normal.  But I.cannot.live.this.way for the remaining 11 months of my lease.  And this is not the first time that something like this has happened to me during my eight years in D.C.

In 2005, a former next door neighbor dated a woman who the entire sixth floor referred to as The Screamer.  She had pipes like Christina Aguilera and an X-rated vocabulary that would have made Jenna Jameson blush.  After a few weeks of having the calm of our weekend nights broken by her loud chanting, and nearly a dozen letters sent from building management without reply, another neighbor and I decided to take decisive action. 

In short, we borrowed a bullhorn from a relative of hers and then sat on the floor in my bedroom waiting for The Screamer to make her entrance.  Once she did, my friend began moaning–ala When Harry Met Sally–into the bullhorn.  After a minute or two, the couple realized they were being mocked and stopped.  That was The Screamer’s finale performance.

Was this a bit of an over reaction?  Probably.  But we were 22, severely sleep deprived and trying to study for grad school/med school finals.  Drastic measures seemed warranted.

This time, a bit older and wiser, I’d like to handle things more calmly–especially since the only thing I can hear is the sound of drywall being beaten until fork tender.

I’d ignore the thumping if it weren’t so loud, and if it didn’t pain me to watch my pictures hold onto their nails for dear life every time the shaking starts.  So I thought that the readers of this blog might have some ideas about to handle this situation.  (Moving is not an option, since breaking my lease would cost more than my undergraduate education. And I already tried earplugs, they didn’t help.)

Thus far, the only thing I can think to do is to slide a note under their front door politely asking them to move their bed a little further away from the wall.  Though I don’t know what I would write in such a note.  (Dear Sir or Madam, While I am not one to begrudge anyone their nightly orgasm, I must respectfully request that you move your bed three inches further away from the western wall of your apartment.  Sincerely, Your Sleep Deprived Neighbor and One Very Abused Headboard –P.S. Good for you!)  I also don’t know how such a plea would be received.  They might be embarrassed, or they might consider my note the opening salvo of World War III.

How would you respond if you were me?  How would you react if a neighbor kindly and politely asked you to move your bed a little further from the wall?  I’m open to suggestions, leave them in the comments.

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    56 comments

  1. Kelly says:

    Great HIMYM reference!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  2. SB says:

    1) I appreciate the How I Met Your Mother reference–“playing bagpipes”.
    2) The bullhorn idea is both brilliant and hillarious, and one day I just might have to steal it.
    3) As tempted as I have been to pull out the broom and bang on the ceiling most nights, I too have withheld and silently but angerly laid awake in night after night. It was so bad that I even knew there routine, which totally grossed me out. Thank God my new upstairs neighbors are a bit less animated in the sack. I think the note is a great idea, especially if you don't have a building manager to complain to and take care of it for you. It's funny but too the point, and if they are like any other normal person, would hopefully realize the noise they were making, get a bit embarrassed, and take measures not to do it again. If not, there's always round 2 of the bullhorn!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  3. m says:

    If I were the couple in question (good for them, seriously), I think I could best cope with a note slid under the door. Maybe the best way to go is “Dear Neighbors – Unfortunately, the shared wall between our units is a bit thin – any tapping against the wall resonates into my unit. Would you mind putting some space between your bed and the wall? I apologize for any inconvenience.” or some such.

    And then I'd drink half a bottle of wine and slide the note under the door.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  4. RMS says:

    Even though I'm sure you were being sarcastic, I think you should write them a note exactly as you describe here.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  5. Dulcinea says:

    Honestly, I think a polite anonymous note would be appropriate here. Normally I wouldn't suggest going anon, but in this case it will make things less awkward both for you and the recipient. Something short and to the point, not too cutesy or it might read as passive agressive/sarcastic/rude. Something like, “Dear Neighbor, I just wanted to let you know that I can hear your headboard banging against the wall every night and it is disruptive to me. It also actually shakes my walls and rattles my pictures. Please consider moving the bed a few inches further from the wall to prevent the noise. Thank you and best wishes! – A Neighbor.”

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  6. KateW says:

    Belle, I had this exact situation my senior year of college – though I believe their “bagpiping” locale was a futon on wheels, that would ram into the wall of my bedroom very forcefully. I went through the same cycle (amusement, annoyance, losing my mind). I decided to just hit back. The next time it started, I grabbed a giant Econ book and started slamming it against the wall. If your walls are thin enough that you feel every slam of the headboard, your amorous neighbors will likely hear the noise and be embarrassed enough to move the bed (or maybe take the “bagpiping” to another room). Good luck!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  7. Serena says:

    I think that they must be aware that you can hear them. I mean, unless the walls are cement block, of course a headboard slamming against the wall can be heard from the other side. So I wouldn't be afraid to give them the note. Exactly as you wrote it.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  8. E says:

    Definitely go the note route. I'm sure they would be wildly embarrassed to know you are hearing them, or at least I hope they would be. I don't think it's too passive aggressive to not sign it, either.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  9. EBB says:

    My roommate had the same problem with our downstairs neighbor. After repeatedly being woken up by his headboard slamming into the wall, she wrote a short little note along the lines of:

    Dear Neighbor-who-shares-my-wall,

    Would you mind moving your headboard a few inches away from the wall? Your activities (Congrats on the sex, by the way! That's awesome) are waking me up in the middle of the night and early in the morning. Thanks so much!

    -Your sleep deprived neighbors upstairs.

    He wrote back a nice little note explaining his new hobby of “birdhouse building” and how much he appreciated her humor. He even left a bottle of wine as an apology! Write the note, most people appreciate candor over passive agressive death stares in the hallway.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  10. m says:

    When I lived in DC, I once had a downstairs neighbor slip a note under my door informing me that my stomping around in heavy shoes was quite bothersome. Only, the note was filled with false niceties such as an excessive number of smiley faces. Plus, I've never been in the habit of wearing shoes in the house except when I'm about to leave. And finally, at that time I lived in a small studio that didn't permit much in the way of walking around – I sat around working at my desk or watching tv. That sounds like I am making excuses but the point is, the note pissed me off because I took it to be an overreaction from someone who is easily put upon.

    That said, I think a note under the door is the right approach. It's discreet and anonymous and can be messaged in such a way that you don't end up annoying them. The humor that you used in describing their physical love for one another in this post is a good start. They probably have no idea how much noise they are making or they may not care; asking them to reconsider the position of their bed is fair – anything more than that (say, asking them to stop or accommodate your sleep schedule–not that I'm suggesting you would do either) only makes you look like the asshole.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  11. mkat says:

    Agree with @m on her note. I think not referencing their “activities,” ahem, is the most polite route, although your note as drafted also has a funny but still respectful enough tone that only the humorless could fail to appreciate 🙂

    But, you never know if you have humorless humpers next door, so I'd take the safer route of @m's note and hopefully avoid WWIII!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  12. JK says:

    Agree that a note is the best way to go but I would definitely do the cute/funny note that you wrote above.

    I once got a note about my dog barking while I was in law school (he was doing it while I was at class only and I didn't know!) and it made me cry. I think the writer tried to be polite about it but added in some capital letters and underlined words that made me feel awful 🙁

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  13. AJL says:

    I have dealt with this situation myself far too many times. I am normally the type of person who will go to the neighbor making the noise, point at my watch, and kindly ask him/her to quiet down. In my situation, this has been going on intermittently for 3 years (more with music and screaming than headboard banging). I actually reviewed my lease and there are specific terms in there that state excessively loud noise is not permitted before 6 am or after 11 pm. Headboard banging, I would think, would fall into this category if you have something similar in your lease. I'd go the note route like you mentioned, and if that doesn't work, contact the leasing office about sending out a noise violation notice.

    Another thing that has really helped me sleep through anything (and I wake up at the sound of a pin dropping) is this machine https://www.marpac.com/Marpac-Dohm-NSF/dp/B006Z8J9I0. I truly think it is a miracle machine and recommend it to everyone the same way you do the Clarisonic.

    Best of luck with this issue. It is never fun dealing with noisy and inconsiderate neighbors.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  14. Kristen says:

    I think the note suggestions from “m” and “Dulcinea” sound great–if I received a note like that, I would not be offended. KateW's idea of pounding on the wall would work well if the noise continued–it may not be as polite (I don't think it would be at all rude though), but they will definitely get the point immediately. Good luck!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  15. Lindsey says:

    Or you could go this route… https://www.refinery29.com/2012/10/38252/wifi-names?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  16. S says:

    I loved the note you wrote above. I think being funny about it, rather than being overly nice or overly mean is the way to go. And if all else fails, get a sound machine or loud fan. Good luck!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  17. H says:

    I think a polite, funny note is totally appropriate here, and the one you drafted doesn't sound fake or passive-aggressive at all!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  18. suomynona says:

    I agree with Serena in a way. How could they not know that everyone could hear the thudding? I'm thinking maybe that their intention though. Maybe it helps his ego to picture everyone in the building knowing that he is just that damn good. If that's the case, maybe the note will satiate his need for approval instead of fueling the behavior.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  19. Sally says:

    I'm not a fan of anonymous note. In college, I got back from Christmas break to an anonymous note on my apartment door. The writer complained rather nastily about my thumping bass that had been going on all week.

    Like I said, it was Christmas break and my apartment had actually been vacant all week. Even so, I hardly ever listened to music and never loud (very sensitive to noise). I was perturbed — because the letter was anonymous, I didn't have the opportunity to defend myself.

    I think, to save everyone's dignity, you should leave out any comments on their love life and sign with your apartment number. Maybe you too will get an apology bottle of wine out of it! I'd go with:

    “Hello, neighbors! Hope you won't mind doing me a favor and moving your bed away from the wall a few inches. Thanks and have a nice weekend. Your neighbor in #123”

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  20. E says:

    I agree that a nice note (not passive aggressive) is the proper route. Also, they could either slide the bed out or slide a pillow between the bed & the wall – that takes care of it (not that I speak from experience or anything 😉 I think you should sign the note annonymously – if I were on the receiving end of that note I would be mortified and I would not want to know which neighbor it was from.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  21. Suburban Sweetheart says:

    The note is a good idea, I think. I've done it before – only after I broke my hand pounding on the wall in exhausted anger – & my neighbors, well, piped down. Worth a shot!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  22. Amy VV says:

    I think the note route can work well, though I'm not sure anonymous is the way to go; “from the neighbor in 1020” makes it clear which direction they need to worry about. We got a similar note once after being inspired to clean and rearrange our living room at 9:00pm. The people living in the apartment directly below us left a note saying they'd “play the ukelele until we stopped” if we were ever super-noisy late at night again. While my husband and I had a good laugh at the ukelele threat, we now make a special effort to avoid anything too noisy after 10pm (even though we're night owls routinely up until midnight).

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  23. Heatherskib says:

    Now all I can picture is that scene from “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”…. But in other news I feel for you on the bad neighbors thing. I'd try the letter first… from there all I can do is wish you luck!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  24. Mel says:

    I had downstairs neighbors that would party all night while I was in law school (during finals season). I took the petty route (but it worked). I took my largest book and slammed it against the door, at 7AM the next day. It may be petty, but that seemed to be the only thing that worked. I had repeatedly asked them to tone the parties down.

    My suggestion – fight fire with fire. Slam a book against the wall at 3AM, that way your neighbors are well aware of the thickness of the wall.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  25. DC girl says:

    Please go with the anonymous note, I beg you! I have been on the receiving end of a somewhat similar letter. I was horribly embarrassed and would have died knowing which of my neighbors it came from. Had I known, I would have turned bright red everytime I saw them…

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  26. M says:

    I'll admit it, I had a situation like this a couple of years ago. My roommate and I were snarkily told that my bedroom shared a wall with our neighbor's bedroom by another gossipy neighbor from a different floor…the only reason we found out, was that the next door neighbor told the entire building that she could hear, what she called “late night activities” coming from our apartment. I was really embarrassed because my boyfriend & I had NO idea anyone could hear & thought we were being super quiet…I moved my bed immediately and left a bottle of wine for my neighbor with a SORRY note because I felt terrible & super awkward. I just wish she'd come to me and let me know so we could have fixed the situation right away instead of telling the entire building. Anyway, so I agree that going the courteous note route is the best way to go, I'd also sign my apt number so that they know what wall you're talking about.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  27. GB says:

    So, yeah. My fiance and I are a lot like your neighbors. Only for us it's six in the morning. (We're extremely busy people and go to bed around 10–when else are we going to get our thang on?????) I'm sure our neighbors would understand if I weren't so loud. And I always try to be quieter, honest, but it isn't exactly something you're thinking about in the throes of passion.

    I'm with DC Girl. Go with the anonymous note. If someone left me a note I would be extremely embarrassed, but I'd make damn sure we were more careful about the noise. But if they also told me who they were, I would probably have to move. Willful ignorance is my friend.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  28. CynthiaW says:

    I think that the funny note is the best idea – how can anyone having that much sex not have a good sense of humor? They must at least be relaxed enough to not be all uptight and easily-offended. If I received such a note, I'd probably be a bit mortified, but then I'd move my bed.

    I wouldn't start slamming things around before you give them a chance to fix the problem – that way lies WWIII.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  29. CM says:

    I agree with CynthiaW. I have been through this in the past and I always try to suffer through it until I get so annoyed that I wind up banging back on the walls to make my point. But if there is a risk that they really didn't know that they were bothering you, then you wind up feeling like the jerk who just lashed out without giving them any warning.

    Plus, if you leave an anonymous note, it's not as if it's really anonymous – they obviously know whose apartment their bed is adjacent to – so then you leave the ball in their court on whether they feel they need to say something to you, or just correct the behaviour.

    Only if the note fails to solve the problem would I resort to banging on walls!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  30. M says:

    I think your sample note is perfectly worded. I don't think it matters if you go anonymous or not, won't it be pretty obvious which neighbor it was, based on where they have the bed?

    I have a girl who is really happy next door to me and have been struggling with how to address it – these anecdotes have helped.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  31. anon 2.0 says:

    “humorless humpers next door” sounds like the name of a new reality show.

    My upstairs neighbor from hell situation ended with me having to move. Instead of just the thumping against the wall, add the bed spring of doom and between midnight and four am about 3 – 5 times a week with different guys.

    The note got zero response, the apt manager said that is just the reality of apartment life. I put up with the crap for three freaking years. Ended up with some pretty serious stress issues that miraculously went away after I found a new place where I could sleep at night.

    So if the note fails, there is your plan B. Do not be like me and keep hoping things will get better. Get. The. Hell. Out.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  32. DC girl says:

    Do you have to specifically ask that they move the bed from the wall? Readers are right, that would be an obvious indicator of the letter writer. Perhaps you can just say that you hear loud noises and thumping from their apartment and could they please try to keep the noise level down. The one I recieved was wordered similarly and trust me, after I got the letter, I was uber careful of all noises associated with this partciular activity.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  33. mox says:

    My boyfriend had a problem with a neighbor who would come home at 3am on any given morning, cook obscenely smelly curry, smoke pot, listen to loud thumping techno, and then have loud sex with different gals every week (we could tell because, well, the noises). My boyfriend nicely confronted him about it, but to no avail.

    When it happened again while I was visiting, I wasn't as nice. I calmly walked over myself, pounded on the door until he answered, and made a [nonviolent but still effective] threat.

    Over and done.

    You don't have to be friends with these people. Chances are if they are loud, they know it. And are assholes for not caring.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  34. Anon says:

    I've actually received a note – and I noticed that everyone else on my hall did, too. It was from a downstairs neighbor that had the exact same issue that you have, but from a different angle. It was hilarious, and I wish I'd kept it so I could share it with you.

    We weren't the ones causing the problem (there were specific details provided, so it's not just us being thick), and I never heard what the note was referencing, so I don't know if it was effective.

    Now, it a somewhat related topic, I'm currently having an issue with my neighbor's cigar/cigarette smoke coming through the vents into my condo. I'm all for your right to do what you want in your unit, but I want it out of mine. All the smoke is giving me a massive headache. Do I go the note route? Open all the windows and hope no one is smoking outside?

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  35. Anonymous says:

    This is a tricky situation to be in. In a way, people who say it's city living or apartment-dwelling living, this is true. There has to be some give and take on both sides. I don't think they are doing it on purpose to specifically annoy you, so that's a good thing. They may not realize how noisy they are or how thin the walls are or they simply don't care while they are doing what they are doing. I think it's a tricky situation because you really don't know who is on the other side of the wall, even if they seem decent in the hallway and the elevator or the lobby. Behind closed doors, people can be different and show different faces. Once you make them aware, you give them the power or the choice to be decent and embarrassed or uncaring and continue to be be noisy and possibly even try to make more noise and make life uncomfortable for you. If you don't have management or by-laws that state quiet hours, I think you should give this a little more time. It could be a new relationship. In time, maybe things will settle or slow down and the problem will take care of itself. If it doesn't or you can't function because you are losing sleep, then try other routes, such as the note. If you do end up going the note way, I would think humor would be your best avenue. Good luck!

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  36. C says:

    I agree with the note idea, but at the end of the day, you don't know these people. You could be perfectly polite and they could still choose to react negatively out of embarrassment or just interpreting something random in your note as being rude.

    It's a given you're going to be polite in your note, but people don't always react the way you expect them to. Not everyone is rational. You can't exactly dwell on their reaction when you don't know them.

    When I was in law school our upstairs neighbor's dog barked incessantly, but I assumed that they had no idea because I give people the benefit of the doubt and the dog was really noisy. Another neighbor came to our door one day asking if we, too, could hear this dog and said she was planning on leaving them a note to do something about it. I said I agreed and they should write it, but that she should go easy on them because they might not even know. WELL– next day the upstairs neighbor knocks on my door and asks me if I wrote the note. I politely said that I didn't, but I knew that the neighbors had been talking about them behind their back. He said he didn't know the dog was that loud and I reassured him that I assumed as much. Even gave him some tips (I have a very vocal dog myself) and told him not to worry about it. From that day forward, the upstairs neighbors were extremely cold to me any time they saw me. It took me a while to realize that they must have thought I had lied and wrote the note myself, which I'm assuming was less than kind.

    OK the point is- I did literally nothing and was really nice and supportive and they STILL got upset with me! If you know what you're doing is considerate and kind, that's all you can do.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  37. L says:

    I once got a very nasty note about my dog barking one day. I'd left the windows open-open by accident and it set her off, but it was late – I didn't get home till 12:30 on that Saturday. The note was SO MEAN. But then again, I just kept coming back that it was worse to have a dog barking all night than to get a mean note. I wrote a note to any neighbor that I thought could hear, one above, and one or two to the side and across, explaining why she'd barked excessively that night, that I wouldn't let it happened again, and included my phone number and email in case it happened again. I had to re-write a few times to not mention how mean the first, anonymous note to me was, but at the end of the day, I knew I needed to apologize, meanness of the note or not. I lived there for 3.5 years and there was never another issue. A note can be effective, but the mean nature of the note hurt a lot. I'd leave it very sanitized.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  38. Ace says:

    Acknowledging that I'll be in the minority here, I'd go with knocking back on the wall once the offending act commences again – I'd say at the two minute mark. That way you aren't interrupting at a frustratingly important time (and I approximate this based on my figuring you wouldn't be overly disturbed by several minutes in a night), but instead when they're definitely in a good mood.

    I wouldn't do the note simply because it would upset me, if I were in their shoes. I would stew on it. I would go from embarrassed to slightly irritated – “Who is this person? Are they merely jealous of my nookie? And how long have they been calculating this note?”

    With the banging on the wall, you haven't made a production out of it. You've gone “Dear Noise. Here is some noise back. You can hear my frustration. Maybe you didn't realize. But here is an example of the acoustics in here.” At that point in the lovemaking, most people would giggle to one another and be more careful. No production. Just a response. But that's just me.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  39. Anonymous says:

    I meant to write this the first time around. If you want to try a non-confrontational way, maybe you could put a rug in your room or try other sound-absorbing ideas. Your room could have a lot of hard surfaces, which would serve only to transmit noise and not absorb noise. Good luck.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  40. Betts says:

    I had an issue with downstairs neighbors, only it was a domestic violence issue. I finally wrote a note saying that I'd call the cops the next time I heard the guy beating up his girlfriend. I'd have much rather have endured noisy lovemaking

    Just send your neighbors a note

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  41. Kristen says:

    Betts, you should have called the cops the first time! Forget your own comfort of not hearing the noise, think of that person's safety! If someone was beating you, and your neighbor could hear, wouldn't you hope they would call!?

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  42. Anon says:

    Betts, I can't believe you didn't call the cops! The victim in that relationship could be DEAD by now because YOU didn't step in! Loud sex and domestic violence aren't in the same universe!!

    Belle, go for the note. I'm another for the “OMG, I'd be mortified and hush up immediately” camp.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  43. Betts says:

    Based on my previous experience with a girlfriend who was in an abusive relationship, no matter how may phone calls to the police are made by well meaning friends, family and neighbors, if the woman tells the responding POs that she does not wish to press charges against her abuser, the only thing that happens is that the guy gets a “talking to” until the next time someone else makes another call and the same thing happens all over again.

    This may sound harsh but until the victim decides herself that she cares enough about her own safety to either press charges or leave the relationship, there isn't that much that those around her can do. And if we're neighbors, then we complain about the noise. The couple in question vacated the apartment a month after my note. Don't know if they found a new place together or if they were going their separate ways. Sorry, but I could not put myself in the position as her protector. I had my own safety to think about.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  44. Sara says:

    Found this on Pinterest, if you need inspiration for your note: https://www.biglolz.com/funny-pics/7238/.

    October 19, 2012/Reply
  45. nancy says:

    Belle,

    You should check out this Guardian UK article for inspiration : )

    Would you name your Wifi network 'We can hear you having sex:'
    https://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/18/name-your-wi-fi-network

    October 20, 2012/Reply
  46. MW says:

    My 70+ year old and going deaf neighbors aren't having noisy sex, but they do shout terrible things at each other . After several years of hearing them say horrid things at each other, I finally slammed on the wall when they woke me with their shouting at 6:30 AM on a vacation day.

    They have since modulated their shouting. In conclusion, `don't be like me. Do something now.

    October 20, 2012/Reply
  47. Maria Blanco Pate says:

    Belle, I agree with Sally. No need to tell them why you would like the headboard moved. They are either aware of what they are doing in which case they will probably ignore you regardless of what you write, or they are unaware and will probably be a bit embarrassed. Good luck and tell us how this turns out! María

    October 20, 2012/Reply
  48. Theresa says:

    The note you wrote is totally perfect. To the point yet witty. Copy, paste, deliver, sleop.

    October 21, 2012/Reply
  49. SC says:

    Question for AJL, in the event s/he will see the rest of this thread. Does that noise canceling machine make it impossible for you to sleep when you're not at home? I've wanted to get one but hesitate because I'm afraid it will ruin my ability to sleep anywhere else.

    Belle, I'm surprised there is such a divide over anonymous note vs leave your aptmt #. I'm in the camp that thinks anonymous notes are terrible and can cause unintended bad consequences, but it seems some people are too sensitive to handle knowing who has complained, and you have no way of knowing which kind of neighbor you have. So there really doesn't seem to be any correct answer to how to handle it. Just go with what you're most comfortable with I guess!

    October 22, 2012/Reply
  50. AJL says:

    SC–My boyfriend purchased this machine before me at my insistence (his neighbors were way worse than mine and we needed a fix), and prior to purchasing my own, I didn't have trouble sleeping at my place. Unless of course my own neighbors were being loud, which is why I ended up deciding to buy my own. I don't think you would be unable to sleep elsewhere, but I think it might be harder. That being said, the machine is fairly small and I think it would be really easy to travel with. When I travel for work, I plan to bring it with me. Hopefully that helps in making your decision!

    October 22, 2012/Reply
  51. webdoyenne says:

    “Anonymous” note may not be an option since it's a next-door neighbor whose wall obviously abuts theirs.

    October 22, 2012/Reply
  52. Morgan says:

    I think the note is a classy approach, however, in order to keep it classy, you need to refrain from any hints at passive aggression…which sadly means, you'll need to sign your name or your apt number. Even better, as embarrassing as it might be for you, perhaps knocking on the door in the later evening when they're home before things get started would be even more mature. It leaves little room for “tone” to be read into a note, and they'll likely be more embarrassed than you are.
    ….oh and II second all the kudos for the HIMYM reference

    October 23, 2012/Reply
  53. Amber says:

    Possible solution. https://i.imgur.com/eyQhA.jpg courtesy of Reddit

    October 23, 2012/Reply
  54. TK says:

    If I received the note the way you wrote it I would have a good laugh. High-five my bag-piping partner and move the bed 3 inches from the wall.

    October 24, 2012/Reply
  55. Sarah says:

    saw this and thought it might apply to your situation 😉

    https://www.happyplace.com/18694/man-gives-neighbors-cd-recording-of-the-sound-of-them-having-sex

    October 27, 2012/Reply
  56. Lady Lawyer says:

    I’ve done the note thing before. I also asked for the email address of a neighbor who insisted on turning her TV all the way up at 6:00 a.m. Both times the infringing behavior ceased with no WWIII. I think being frank and nice does the trick. I’m sure they probably hear things too, and should understand the constraints of apartment living.

    Good luck!

    June 21, 2013/Reply