When I first moved into this apartment, there were two girls living above me. As is the way with most apartments, I never once saw their faces, even though I lived under them for a year and a half. I think I saw them from a distance at Party Pool once, but I was really just basing my guess on their voices. Since I was very, very familiar with their voices.
See, the fun thing about apartments is that they have thin walls. And floors. And the fun thing about drunk 20-somethings is that they LOVE! to SHARE! EVERYTHING! (#adulting) while drinking on their balcony. Which is directly above my balcony. Which is right up against a window, which I usually had open during warmer months. As a result… I grew to know The Girls Upstairs very, very well.
My first introduction to The Girls Upstairs was on a dark and stormy night. Some summer thunderstorm had temporary knocked the power out of the entire complex, and as a result, everyone’s TV and internet were out. Since The Walking Dead was cut off halfway through the episode, the entire population of the apartment complex decided to venture out into the Real World and stand on their porches and balconies, shouting across the parking lot at other buildings.
While standing on my balcony, I heard The Girls Upstairs walk out of their apartment and onto the balcony above us. We heard them yelling for a bit with everyone, joke back and forth about emergency candles and eating all the ice cream in the freezer before it melted, etc. Your typical low-risk power outage talk. And then everyone who was at my apartment to watch Daryl, and thus momentarily hanging out on my balcony en masse, bore witness to the most glorious exchange in the history of the English language:
Girl Upstairs #1: “Don’t you just love thunderstorms?”
Girl Upstairs #2: “Not really. They scare me.”
Girl Upstairs #1: “Really? Why?”
Girl Upstairs #2: “They remind me of swimming when I was a little kid and we all had to get out of the pool for the thunder.”
Girl Upstairs #1: “You mean the lightning.”
Girl Upstairs #2: “Huh?”
Girl Upstairs #1: “You had to get out for the lightning. Because lightning comes up from water during storms. That’s why you have to get out.”
Girl Upstairs #2: “Huh? I thought the lightning could hit the water.”
Girl Upstairs #1: “No, no. Lightning comes up from water. That’s why you have to get out.”
Girl Upstairs #2: (Loooooong pause) “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right.”
I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from this conversation. Just know that whatever disbelief you’re feeling, my friends and I were silently expressing in the form of stunned stares at one another.
Now is a good time to mention that these are both college-educated 20-something adult women. I know they went to college because they often would reminisce on their balcony about the good ole’ days of sorority parties and football games.
As my first summer with The Girls Upstairs continued, it became clear that their appeal lay in how they were, shall we say, so charmingly dim. They drank hard, they partied hard, they had debates on their balcony and insisted on things that were blatantly incorrect even harder. They also liked throwing parties.
My favorite Girls Upstairs moment ever occurred after one such party, on a random summer weekend. I woke up around 3 o’clock in the morning to the sound of very loud voices on the balcony above me. I had slept with my windows cracked and as a result could hear every word exchanged in the parking lot or on the balcony above. In my defense, though, it should be noted that literally every single person in the zip code could have heard this conversation, it was so loud.
(Quick tip: If you’re planning to have a private heart-to-heart with your boyfriend, please don’t do so outdoors with Drake playing so loudly in the background that you have to yell to be heard over the music.)
What I overheard was a tearful conversation one of The Girls Upstairs was having with a guy. It became very clear very quickly that he had cheated, and that she was upset about this. And here’s where I felt weird because a) I don’t want to listen to this, it’s too personal, I should close my window, but b) if I close my window, they’ll hear it shut and know that I’ve been listening. So what to do, really. I eventually land on turning on some music of my own really softly and focusing on that and try not to listen to their conversation. But THEY’RE SO DANG LOUD, it’s impossible.
And he is throwing out EVERY. DANG. LINE. in the book, and I’m starting to get real furious on behalf of my BFF, Girl Upstairs #1. He literally says “It didn’t mean anything,” and “I was thinking of you the whole time,” but before I can run up there in my pajamas and smack him, she just accepts it! She accepts it all! She forgives him, tells him it’s fine, says she still loves him and she knows they’re going to get through this. And I’m so upset that now I wanna go smack her, so I close my window. I don’t care if they heard – Girl #1 should know my disapproval.
Okay. So. THE NEXT NIGHT, I wake up yet again in the middle of the night to voices on the balcony. Same girl’s voice as the night before, this time talking with a different guy. (Clearly, she either didn’t hear me shutting my window the night before or she straight-up doesn’t care.) And it becomes INCREDIBLY clear within just a few short moments as to why she was so forgiving of Cheater McJerkface the night before – she’s also umm… “seeing someone on the side” so to speak. So I don’t know if she’s cheating on Friday Dude with Saturday Dude, or if it’s the other way around, but there you go.
I open it to see a smiling blonde girl holding a bottle of wine. She asks me, “Hi! We just moved in upstairs and can’t find our bottle opener. Do you mind if I borrow yours?”
Whereas I would equate the original Girls Upstairs to a reality show trainwreck I’d watch but never want to be a part of in real life, The Girls Upstairs 2.0 were a reality show I would have paid to join. It was like a show that you hate-watched during its first season suddenly got amazing writers and had a ridiculously good second season. They were awesome. They were funny, were always blaring really good music, and the blonde one was always, always wearing something in neon pink every time I saw her.
The first Friday that they lived above me, I got home at the same time as Girl #1, so I heard her walking upstairs as I entered my apartment. Then I heard her open and dramatically slam her door and yell, “Happy Friday, Biotch!!” at which point Girl #2 yelled “Happy Friday! Here’s your champagne!” No windows were open. I literally heard them through the floor. Suffice it to say, that was the beginning of a very entertaining evening. At one point they played a game on their balcony that involved marbles – I’m assuming Hungry, Hungry Hippos – and opened the box upside down, sending a shower of marbles over the side of their balcony and all over my porch. Which they apologized for, profusely, by yelling “Ah! We’re so sorry, babe!!!!” Over and over. It was adorable.
Sadly, The Girls Upstairs 2.0 have now also moved on. Because life is terrible and true love doesn’t exist. I now get to listen to The Guys Upstairs – two gentlemen whom I would guess, based upon the heaviness in their footsteps, weigh roughly 352,000 tons each. I know the exact moment the guy whose bedroom is directly above mine wakes up, since the first steps he takes in the morning serves as my alarm clock and SHAKES MY ENTIRE BEDROOM. Also, they’re both super into working out, which is because I assume they’re stand-ins for The Rock and Hulk, so they like to drop their weights on the ground at random hours of the night.