*Recently I moved to a new city and I decided to rent an apartment – better known as a condo – so I could determine in what part of town I prefer to live before committing myself to home ownership.

Real estate prices here are considerably cheaper than in the area where I used to live. So I’d even considered investing in a condo, living in it until I paid it off then using it as a rental property. But after two years of communal living I’m convinced I wasn’t meant to live this way.

It seems everybody in my building has a pet but me, which is okay because I’m a dog person. But when I had a dog as a pet it stayed outside in the yard. Now days people allow their pets to live inside even the smallest quarters as if their fur coats only are for show.  And I’m not talking about little Phee-phee. I see everything from Great Danes to pit bulls being escorted in and out. I can imagine how hard it must be to keep the place clean, because even the best trained pets have accidents. Sometimes I smell those accidents in the hallway.

Occasionally someone will forget to leave food or water for their pet and we all suffer for it. After a few hours of barking and whining they usually tire themselves out.

I wish I could say the same for my upstairs neighbors who never tire. They’ve been moving in for months now. At least that’s what it sounds like. The owner of the condo my neighbors rent installed hardwood floors, which is a great selling point for the owner. But it’s been a thorn in my eardrum since the day I moved in.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ll confirm that I’m easy going and patience is one of my many virtues. But I’ve had to make more than one visit upstairs to remind my neighbors that hard wood floors magnify sound. So when they drag furniture across the floor, bounce balls, run, jump or walk in hard heeled shoes on hardwood floors for hours on end they are trying my patience.

Obviously they don’t give a damn.

I think I’ll put it in writing, a trait I picked up from my mother who used to write her elected officials for various reasons during my childhood.

And the letter won’t be just to my neighbors, but to the condo management and the owner of the unit. Maybe the owner will put carpet down inbetween these tenants and the next. I don’t plan to be here that long, unless my prayers are answered.

My downstairs neighbors where noisey in a different way. They used to argue every other day; slamming doors, cyring and throwing things. But after I threatened to call police at the next sound of a struggle in an anonymous letter to them they soon moved out.

The power of the pen.

Send questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements to Steffanie Rivers at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at youtube.com/steffanierivers.