Saturday, June 16, 2012

Being Neighborly

I'm curious about everyone's opinion on this one...

I came home at 2:00 today with a splitting headache.  One of my good friends had a group garage sale this morning, and I took some stuff to sell.  It was hot out.  I mean, we are talking about summertime in South Florida.  I probably didn't drink enough water.  The garage sale went well, and I dropped off all the stuff we didn't sell at a thrift store on my way back home.

When I got to my house I heard music emanating from a neighbors house.  It sounded like party music.  I'm thankful that there are plenty of kids in our neighborhood because it gives me and my children more of an opportunity to minister to our community.

I was happy that we just had new windows put in that were sure to help deaden some of the sound.  To my surprise when I got upstairs to my room I could still hear the music.  I discovered that the party was in the yard directly behind our house.  The music was so loud outside that it sounded only slightly subdued in my house.

I tried not to let it bother me.  I watched a movie after I took some painkillers, hoping that a little rest and hydration would help me feel better.  I turned the movie up louder than I like in order to hear it without the distraction of the music.  Even then I could still feel the bass.

After an hour or so one of my daughters came in and asked if they could play on the bounce house.  Apparently the neighbors had one set up in their yard and my daughter thought she could invite herself over to play on it.  I explained that we weren't invited to the party so we wouldn't be able to play in the bounce house.  Still the music played on.

When my movie was over it was harder to ignore the music.  I think they had turned it up.  They were switching back and forth from mexican rock n roll to techno to almost mariachi music.  The few songs that I could understand had lyrics that talked about sexual encounters and "love" which according to one female vocalist is spelled L-U-V.

Eventually I got up and started prepping dinner.  The music was even louder downstairs, as we haven't replaced our sliders and they are traditional glass.  I decided to make a point with my girls (who were all playing in the living room) as to why we don't play loud music at the parties we throw.  I opened the slider and demonstrated the volume at which they would have to talk to their friends if they were at the party.

The music continued.

Now I'm writing this blog post and the music is still blaring.  It has been over five (5) hours!!!

So here are my questions

1) Is it appropriate to play music with sexually graphic lyrics at a children's party (perhaps not technically explicit, but definitely obscene)?

2) Is it kind to play said music at volumes that make it impossible for your guests to converse at a reasonable volume? Or, am I wrong in thinking that part of the fun of having people over is to socialize in a way that involves actual conversation?

3) Is there an appropriate limit to the amount of time that you expose your neighbors to loud and obnoxious music before you should expect to be asked to turn it down?

4) Finally... Is it appropriate for me, as a neighbor, to ask them to turn down their music after an appropriate amount of time or would that make me an intolerant jerk who just likes to ruin kids' parties?  Or, would you rather your neighbor walk over and ask you to turn it down, or just call the cops?

WOW!!!  They just turned their music down.  Literally, as I typed that last question, the volume dropped so that I can hardly hear the music at all.

*** (5 minutes later) My 7 year old just came in and told me that she went over and told them, "My mom is getting tired of listening to the music," and they turned it down.  I love that girl!!!  :)

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