...new neighbors moved in.
The apartment directly below mine was empty for a few weeks. The last tenants (four months, a single father with a tweenage son and daughter, fraternals. No real trouble except for the occasional floor vibration from music tryouts) decided to try their employment luck in New Hampshire and packed accordingly. This left me with a quiet (and a massage-free) floor for a while, but new people have come. This seems to be a single mother, her sister, four children between them, (two boys around ten, two girls, guessed at five and three), a boyfriend, and a live-in grandmother who does most of the caretaking. This resulted in overcrowding: it's nowhere near that big an apartment, and I understand they're already thinking about breaking the lease.
The grandmother has already given me the stinkeye accompanied by insta-gossip with the neighbors whom she bonded with during my southern exposure, all of whom were happy to give her imagined and invented details in a language I mostly didn't understand and kind of wished I hadn't for the bits I did. I suspect we won't be having much personal interaction, and formal introductions are right out.
However, I know the name of the older girl. It's the same as mine.
This was a minor surprise in itself: my name isn't that common -- as said on another thread, it generally cracks the top one thousand, but that's about it -- and there are connotations which will always prevent it from catching on and moving higher. But she shares it.
And how do I know this? Because the grandmother likes to call out for her. A lot. If you consider 'an average of every four minutes when taken across twenty-four hours' to be 'a lot'. She plays outside, the grandmother yells for her. She's inside, and the specific room has to be checked on. She's right in full view, so she needs to confirm the kid hasn't been replaced by a clone. Constantly. And the grandmother has one of those voices that goes through wood, metal, pipe, plastic, paint, furniture, and tile. You know that instinctive response you have to your own name, turning to see who wants your attention? Whenever I'm home, I don't get to stop having it. I couldn't tell you the names of any of the other three kids because apparently they're just fine without having to issue status reports every second of their lives, but this kid must always confirm her location and I must constantly suppress the need to make sure no one's looking for mine.
The grandmother got me three times this morning. And those were just the ones in the shower. Imagine what the tile does to the sound. I don't have to. And since I have already proven that earplugs do nothing against the higher end of her shrill range, I am now faced with four options: I move, I wait for them to move, I try to become desensitized to the sound of my own name -- or, given the way the grandmother feels about me, I could try introducing myself and see if they file the identity paperwork for the kid.
I should really find out what the grandmother's name is. And then buy a bullhorn to speak it through.
Is my white noise generator racist?