Dear Annie: Here's my problem: 400-pound barbells dropped in my neighbor's garage. The young couple who moved in next door describe themselves as "practicing athletes" and pursue this hobby every night for 45 minutes. Each drop of the barbells is deafening and jolts our home. I have talked to "the athletes," and they don't care.
Their two young daughters follow in their parents' footsteps by running to ring our doorbell and then dashing back home. They did it so many times that we had to have the doorbell disconnected.
We have asked the police to stop the barbell noise, but they tell us people in our subdivision can make noise until 8 p.m. Waiting for this agonizing racket every night, day after day, is enough to make me sick. My nerves are in shreds.
When a homeowner receives no help from the police, what can I do? I am an 82-year-old woman, and I have tinnitus, which causes loud ringing in my head. Since my neighbors started their weight-dropping routine, it has become worse.
Do you have any suggestions other than suing them? - Going Deaf in Michigan
Dear Michigan: If the noise ordinance says they can drop weights until 8 p.m., you have no cause to sue them over that. However, if your doctor can document that your tinnitus is worse because of the noise emanating from their garage, you may have a case.
In the meantime, please do what you can to muffle these sounds. Put a fan in your room. Turn on the television or radio. Wear earplugs. Even better, get out of the house until 8 p.m. Even though it's late, you aren't going to be able to relax anyway. So go for a walk with your husband, a friend, a relative or another neighbor. Staying home and fuming helps no one.
Editor's note: Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.