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Monday question: Blowin' in the wind

Posted by Robin Abrahams  August 23, 2010 06:22 AM

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Hot time, summer in the city! During the summer months, we all need to be extra patient about our neighbors' noise, and extra careful about our own. However, when does tolerance go too far?

Living in the close quarters of the city, we have a neighbor who makes excessive noise constantly. He will vacuum his car or leaf-blow the street for hours (yes hours) at a time just to repeat the same act a day or two later. It forces us to shut our windows on beautiful summer days, and even then the noise can still be heard inside disrupting concentration, conversation, and TV watching. He will do it at any hour of the day, even at 10 o'clock at night. We have no way to measure if the decibel level surpasses city noise laws in order to report him, and given his obviously obsessive behavior we are hesitant to speak to him about the noise nervous of how he will respond. How should we handle the situation? And Is he really being unreasonable or are we?

What do you think, gentle readers? I'll post my advice and thoughts on your comments on Friday, and we've got a good conversation topic planned for Wednesday, so come on back then. (And of course, in the meantime, you can always visit my personal blog or follow me on Twitter -- robinabrahams.)
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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Curious if you should say "bless you" to a sneezing atheist? How to host a dinner party for carbophobes, vegans, and Atkins disciples—all at the same time? The finer points of regifting? Ask it here, or email missconduct@globe.com.

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