Monday, July 30, 2012

Wisconsin 101: Property rights and wrongs

If I had a gun, I would shoot

1. The crows that started to caw at the crack of dawn this morning. Crowed and crowed and crowed.

2. The people in the cottage next to ours who were not content to play and make noise on their own beach but had to come over to our beach and let their little kid jump off our dock. Or the dock belonging to the people who own the cottage. People. Lakefront might be public property (I think all waterfront property should be public - why should someone besides the public own the beach?), but docks are not. Is it convention in other places that it's OK to hang out on someone else's private property? Why didn't they just climb the stairs and come hang out in the sunroom?

Bad enough that they were violating what I thought were pretty clear social norms, but then they were noisy to boot. This is our big vacation. This is our splurge. Usually, we go on free or almost free vacations - our trips to Europe have all been on FF miles and hotel points. We eat whether we're at home or on vacation.

But we saved to take this trip - a week away from cellphones and internet. (You can see how well that "away from internet" part is working - SH spent six hours at the library our first day here because he had to get online to work.) We wanted this cottage on the water for its peace and quiet.

We did not come here to listen to a little kid shrieking all afternoon. Honestly, doesn't that kid take a nap?

I know I am being cranky, but I want to hear the sound of the waves, not the sound of someone else's child.

No. We did not say anything to them, even on Day 2 of shrieking. What do you say to someone without sounding completely petty? Plus, if someone doesn't already know not to play on another person's dock, is saying anything going to change the situation?


webb said...

Ok, you can't do anything about the shrieking, but you certainly can tell them to stay off the dock. Insurance issues, rented place, you can't be responsible, yada, yada - all expressed in a concerned voice to an adult. If that does not immediately fix it, then you say to the children, "go home. we do not want you playing on this dock this week while are here." It's your vacation. Put on your big girl pants and be a b***h if necessary. you'll never see these folks again. (Then don't count of borrowing a cup of sugar from them.)

deb said...

"Why didn't they just climb the stairs and come hang out in the sunroom?"

Because they're saving that for tomorrow's adventure.

I can think of a lot of fun things that you could be doing on that dock that might discourage the parents from letting the kid on there....

Lindy D. said...

I agree with webb... this is no time to be shy. Nothing petty about wanting some peace and quiet... just be honest. What I've learned from living in apartments and condos is you have to complain as soon as the event occurs. Don't let these people ruin your vacation.

P.S. One thing I love about Milwaukee is that you are allowed to called the non-emergency line at your police precinct to complain about noise. The cops come right away. If they have to come a second time they hand out a $200 fine.

Class factotum said...

I know, I know. I need to get some cojones.

Lindy, we should have called the cops to complain about the crazy laundry people in SH's apartment.