We’ve all had to deal with a loud neighbor before. Whether it’s some hotshot throwing a house party that lasts into the wee hours, or a heavy-footed stomper who doesn’t consider what their downstairs neighbor will hear, noise complaints have been part of our society for who knows how long.
Maybe you can ignore it, or make it stop by pounding on their door. Maybe you try calling the cops on the teens playing video games but the plan backfires.
When writer Candice Marie Benbow had to deal with a neighbor blasting music at all hours of the night at her new apartment complex, she decided to handle it a little differently.
I wanted the best way to tell my neighbor that he tried it with his late night party. So I wrote him a letter and baked him a cake. pic.twitter.com/SxPKAzOHp0— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) December 15, 2018
In a letter to her neighbor, Benbow reflects on how he’d often come home and play his music loudly, and that she actually appreciated it at times, finding new tracks to listen to, or being reminded of old ones. But when the neighbor decided to keep the music going to 4 a.m., she’d had enough.
Benbow wrote a letter explaining her side of the situation. The letter is filled with humor, and a light pleading on her behalf to be able to get some sleep. She also baked him a pound cake.
She knocked on his door but he didn’t answer, so she left the cake and letter for him to find.
Folks are calling what I did extra. It was extra AF. Throwing a house party at 3am is extra AF, too.— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) December 16, 2018
Ultimately, as a single woman, I gotta be mindful of how I navigate tense situations. I have to live here, too. I knew I needed to say something. I was looking for a way that didn’t make it confrontational. Plus I really love to bake! 🤣— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) December 16, 2018
People thought the kind approach, mixed with the firm wording, was a great idea.
This is such an elegant start to a conversation. ❤️— KHD (@curlyhairday) December 22, 2018
This is such a brilliant way to handle the situation. You must be a delightful and strong person. Now I’m inspired to find other solutions to issues. “Be the Candice”!!— Jonquil Cary (@jonquilcary) December 22, 2018
I would have done the EXACT same thing, kinda “kill ‘em with kindness and wit and shame” LOVE IT!— Crys Gaston (@Jinx2564) December 22, 2018
Not gonna lie I might just have to try this with my own neighbors 😂— ???? (@artistic_fail) December 22, 2018
Girl he might keep having late parties so he can get baked goods— thesussexsquad (@thesusexsquad) December 22, 2018
After a few days with no update, Benbow notified Twitter that her neighbor Tommy had, in fact, received the letter. He apologized for the noise and complimented her pound cake. He explained he’s a music video producer, he’s new to the area, and he’s been dealing with a difficult holiday.
It sounds like Candice was the perfect person to deal with the situation.
UPDATE: I JUST MET MY NEIGHBOR TOMMY!!!! He’s so freaking cool! He apologized for the noise, promised to invite me to the next party and most importantly...HE SAID MY POUND CAKE WAS AMAZING!!!! pic.twitter.com/NcU8t0ZfqT— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) December 18, 2018
While talking to Tommy, I learned that he's new to the area as well *and* this is his first Christmas without his daughter, who passed away earlier this year in a car accident.— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) December 18, 2018
It was a sweet and gentle reminder that we never know what folks are going through and it is always best to lead with kindness. When we can extend grace, we really should.— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) December 18, 2018
Others couldn’t believe this turned out so well.
This thread was a reminder to be kind when communicating with others. Many kudos to you for how you handled that situation and prayers to him while he’s grieving.— Musing Goddess (@annismezelsm) December 22, 2018
I went to Twitter and a Hallmark Movie broke out.— Bill Slawski ⚓ (@bill_slawski) December 23, 2018
I did something similar with my neighbor. Went over with a plant to explain I could hear every footstep. She was so lovely and haven’t heard her since. Plus I have a new friend! It’s better to kindly deal with things rather than let resentment build up.— danielle daly (@danmdaly) December 22, 2018
You did everything right. Great letter and amazing update. So glad you offered kindness to him in what is probably going to be a very rough holiday for him.— Kirbie Johnson (@kirbiejohnson) December 22, 2018
You are a wonderful person. Thanks for sharing a little grace with all of us.— Lucas Fleischer (@lucasfleischer) December 23, 2018
I am much much older than you, but you are the adult I want to be when I "grow up". Beautifully written, and beautifully handled!— Richard J Torres (@rjkeats_98) December 22, 2018
In a holiday season defined by family and being kind to your fellow humans, Benbow’s actions speak volumes. Her compassion in a situation that often is handled with a gruff yell is to be commended. And let’s be honest — cake is rarely a bad idea.