Boundaries and "Unique" Behavior
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 12:31:28 -0600
(Sorry for all the posts today. I just returned from a week away from email
so I'm answering over 400 messages.)

After years of struggle, I have finally found a solution to the problem of
freedom and boundaries that I think might be useful in cohousing. Most of my
neighbors in Manhattan had just graduated from college and had no idea why
anyone would ever object to the loudest music possible. It has been a
cognitive struggle as opposed to a simple awareness education struggle.
After many years of testing, my half of the conversation goes like this:

"I'm sure you are not aware that your music is audible in my apartment, but
I wanted to let you know that it is coming through the walls and ask you to
turn it down. If that is a problem, I have here a list from an acoustical
engineer of the things you can do to soundproof your apartment. The
estimated costs are included."

"You are free to play it in your apartment--not mine."

"Well, since you are paying rent for one apartment and playing music in at
least two, you can pay my rent along with yours."

"If you want to play loud music before 10:00, I'll figure out the hourly
rate for my apartment and add the cost of a hotel room where I can continue
my writing and we can figure out how much music you can afford."

Only one person decided this meant she could play loud music as long as it
was less than an hour. I think similar trade-offs could be made for cigars,
barking dogs, tuba practice, opera on the patio, giant wind-chimes, visiting
hog callers, etc. 

Sharon Villines, Who has moved from Manhattan the movie set to Florida the
Synergy Cohousing, Delray Beach, FL
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