Tell Me About It: Neighbors’ noise could easily be muffled

Published May 14 2018

Q: A couple with four kids live in the house facing my backyard. This time of year, I sleep with my bedroom window open. I rarely use air conditioning. I sleep with earplugs in.

On Saturday nights or before holidays, they sit out on their backyard deck till midnight talking loudly. I canít sleep till they go inside. I brought this up with the husband last summer and he told me they like to enjoy their deck.

I thought there was a law about quiet time from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. in residential settings.

How do you suggest I deal?

Sleepless in Bethesda

A: I suggest that on Saturday nights and before holidays, you use your air conditioning.

At this writing, yes, there is a local ordinance in your favor. But do you really want to be the fun police? When you already have a much easier and friendlier remedy available to you?

Population density requires compromise, and this one gives you seven nights of sleep, six on your terms. If you really want to live in peace, then grab easy fixes whenever you possibly can.

Sister blabs everything to her husband

Q: My sister thinks if I confide in her, then my confidences are no secret to her husband. I donít particularly want my innermost secrets known to my brother-in-law. Iíve told her this to no effect. I have nobody else I can talk to about things that bother me. Do I have to stop talking to my sister about my deepest feelings?

Lonely Sister

A: Regrettably, yes. Or you have to accept that her husband will know everything.

So which do you want more: a confidant, or confidentiality?

Of course you want both, but your sisterís stubbornness rules that out. So choose one and donít torment yourself with what-ifs.

And please consider, long term, cultivating more relationships you can count on.