Design

Four Fun Things

Everlane polka dots

Everlane just launched polka dot pieces, and they’re so cool and playful.

Noisy upstairs neighbors

Do you have any neighbor horror stories? (Our old upstairs neighbors always sounded like they were moving furniture in the middle of the night.) Olivia de Recat‘s illustrations made us laugh.

Sunscreen on kids

Photographer Nolan Conway captured the struggle of parents applying sunscreen in New York City parks. “You have to make sure you’re getting the whole face,” said one parent at the Brooklyn Bridge. “You don’t want to be aggressive, but you end up being a little aggressive.” Every damn time.

Kays fudge

Do you ever think about how you hope to be remembered? My friend Abbey once told me that she’d like her gravestone to say, “She was a helper, and she laughed.” (That description is very true for her.) This gravestone, above, gives you such a sense of the person and made me smile. And the rest of these, too.

P.S. More fun things, and the Grand Canyon trick.

(Sunscreen via Kottke.)

  1. Bren says...

    I actually teared up at the gravestone about raising 4 daughters…”still there was love”. So beautiful!

  2. Tricia says...

    Apartment living can be so weird. I once had a downstairs neighbor who would leave her dog home alone all day, and the dog barked for hours on end ALL DAY LONG. I once left my neighbor a note (intended to be helpful) offering to walk her dog for her during the day while she was out, thinking that it might help the dog feel less stressed. Instead of thanking me for the offer, she called the police on me saying that I was threatening her, and sent her mom to knock on my door and yell at me. Oh, I do not miss those days.

    • Samantha says...

      I feel so bad for that dog and for you!

  3. MIa says...

    My newspaper once published perhaps the greatest obituary to have ever existed a few years ago. It was so incredible that it went viral. I hope to have enough of a sense of humor to write myself an obit that has a tenth of the humor and heart.

    For your enjoyment:
    Walter George Bruhl Jr. of Newark and Dewey Beach is a dead person; he is no more; he is bereft of life; he is deceased; he has rung down the curtain and gone to join the choir invisible; he has expired and gone to meet his maker.

    He drifted off this mortal coil Sunday, March 9, 2014, in Punta Gorda, Fla. His spirit was released from his worn-out shell of a body and is now exploring the universe.

    He was surrounded by his loving wife of 57 years, Helene Sellers Bruhl, who will now be able to purchase the mink coat which he had always refused her because he believed only minks should wear mink. He is also survived by his son Walter III and wife Melissa; daughters Carly and Paige, and son Martin and wife Debra; son Sam and daughter Kalla. Walt loved and enjoyed his grandkids.

    Walt was preceded in death by his tonsils and adenoids in 1935; a spinal disc in 1974; a large piece of his thyroid gland in 1988; and his prostate on March 27, 2000.

    He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., April 20,1933 at 10:38 p.m., and weighed in at a healthy seven pounds, four ounces, and was 22 inches long, to Blanche Buckman Bruhl and Walter George Bruhl.

    He drifted through the Philadelphia Public School System from 1937 through 1951, graduating, to his mother’s great relief, from John Bartram High School in June 1951.

    Walter was a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War, having served from October 1951 to September 1954, with overseas duty in Japan from June 1953 till August 1954. He attained the rank of sergeant. He chose this path because of Hollywood propaganda, to which he succumbed as a child during World War II, and his cousin Ella, who joined the corps in 1943.

    He served an electronics apprenticeship at the Philadelphia Naval Yard from 1956-61; operated Atlantic Automotive Service Stations in Wilmington during 1961-62; and was employed by the late great DuPont Co. from 1962-93. (Very few people who knew him would say he worked for DuPont, and he always claimed he had only been been hired to fill a position.)

    He started at the Chestnut Run Site as a flunky in the weave area of the Textile Fibers Department, and then was promoted to research assistant, where he stayed from 1963-72. In 1972 he accepted a position as an equipment service representative with the Photo Products Department at the old DuPont Airport site (now Barley Mill Plaza).

    In 1973 he was promoted to manufacturing engineering technologist and was employed in that capacity until, after 31 years with The Co., he was given a fine anniversary dinner and a token gift and then “downsized” in December 1993. He was rehired as a contract employee in June 1994, doing the same job that he had been “downsized” from, and stayed until July 1995.

    He started his own contract business and worked at Litho Tech Ltd. from 1996-99.

    There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so he would appear natural to visitors.

    Cremation will take place at the family’s convenience, and his ashes will be kept in an urn until they get tired of having it around. What’s a Grecian Urn? Oh, about 200 drachmas a week.

    Everyone who remembers him is asked to celebrate Walt’s life in their own way; raising a glass of their favorite drink in his memory would be quite appropriate.

    Instead of flowers, Walt would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some poor unfortunate soul in his name.

  4. I have always, always lived on the top floor. Not even really on purpose — I think I just really value natural light and in a city like NYC I just rejected everything lower, haha. Even went so far as to live in a 6 floor walk up for awhile! Amazing roof deck and views, horrific climb.

    I think I’d like a quote on my tombstone about writing, assume I have some modicum of success as a writer. “I have hated the words and I have loved them and I hope I have made them right” has always been a favorite of mine (The Book Thief). Also like from Hamilton, “I wrote my way out.” Seems appropriate for the situation :)

  5. Kris says...

    Same w/my above neighbor. I always thought, was she:

    1. Doing aerobics in 4″ heels.
    2. Jumping on a pogo stick.
    3. Slamming her chair around the apartment.
    4. Jumping on her bed.

  6. Hi Joanna, I love your blog I really liked the meme what is my neighbour doing upstairs it really made me laugh because having upstairs neighbours who love to stomp are the worst. B

  7. Bitsy says...

    My dad passed away last year and in a moment of misguided consoling my aunt offered up this advice to my mom, “You’ll keep busy”. My mom and I joked that many, many years from now her gravestone will read, “She kept busy”.

  8. Sue says...

    I have told my husband I want my tombstone to say “She was easily amused”. Or, depending on how I die, “Pedestrians have the right of way” (He’s convinced my insistence on this is not going to end well)

  9. Laura says...

    To honor his parents, a friend tattooed the recipe each parent is best known for on his body. One of them, a cookie recipe honoring his dad, reads like a list on his thigh. It’s easy for him to read/see when he’s sitting down, it appears upside down to everyone else when he stands. I think it’s such a neat idea.

  10. Stacey says...

    I once read somewhere that there’s a tongue-in-cheek joke about putting a recipe on your tombstone: “you’ll get this recipe over my dead body!”
    Not sure if that’s always true but I giggle at the cleverness of it!

  11. Susan says...

    Being a homeowner does not protect you from crazy neighbors. When we had a tiny house in San Francisco where all the houses are tightly squeezed together like books on a packed shelf, we lived next doors to a group of people running a drug ring in their basement. There were all kinds of cars that stopped and kept the moor running while one person ran into the house for a few minutes, ran back out, jumped into the car that took off like a bat out of hell. There were really loud parties that went on all night, fist fights in the street, all kinds of unsavory people lurking on our doorstep and loads of beer cans, cigarette butts and drug paraphernalia on the sidewalks. It took years for the cops to bust them.
    I miss the simplicity of apartment life.

    • Andrea says...

      Being in the country won’t solve that either – my childhood neighbors ran moonshine…they were really nice though!

  12. Caitlyn says...

    Oh wow – the Ouija board grave site is right across the street from my house (I live in Baltimore and it’s in a really awesome historic graveyard with lots of famous graves). It’s actually the grave site of the inventor of the Ouija board (his name and dates are on the back). So unexpected to see it listed here!

  13. Caitlyn says...

    Upstairs neighbors! I once lived in a basement studio and the college boys upstairs seemed to run in place for hours at a time (sometimes the running in place would suddenly result in what I could only imagine was them dropping to the floor and wrestling) and then once in a whole the whole room would cheer loudly (for the people running/wrestling I assumed?). For the year we lived below them, I truly spent as much time (probably more!) trying to picture what they were doing as being annoyed at the noise. But THEN right before our lease was up, our landlord let us view the upstairs apartment (college kids were moving out and we were considering moving upstairs). And the mystery was solved. The boys had a video game console installed right above us and the noises were them stomping their feet as they played, jumping up and cheering when they did well. Even though we were all about to move out, I couldn’t resist a passive aggressive “OH THAT’S WHAT THAT NOISE RIGHT ABOVE OUR HEADS HAS BEEN!”

  14. Andrea says...

    My upstairs neighbors and I have some cultural differences with schedules which mean kids are going full throttle when I’m sleeping (like, 11pm-1am). I know they think I’m crazy. To be fair, I was on narcotics with a ruptured disc when I did go up to complain (at 1am) so, I would think I’m crazy too :)

    I know there’s nothing they can really do, they’re just walking on their hardwood floors, and adding several more adults and some children for a gathering just amplifies everything (though I think 6-8 year old children could be made not to yell, run and jump after midnight…..) Thankfully the kids are visitors not residents so neighbor lets me know when they’re coming and I stay with friends for the weekend. At least this is a rental!

    • Andrea says...

      I have also been on the other side of this with notes about my dog barking and once the police showing up (at 6pm) because the TV was too loud. Apartments are weird!

  15. barbara jane says...

    the sunscreen! my 2 yr old is actually pretty good about it, probably because i put regular lotion on him every night after his bath (and i have since he was a newborn!) We just switched to using SunBum brand sunscreen, and it goes on SO SMOOTH (compared to some others, which feel like paste and don’t spread out/rub in at all). But the best part is that there’s a little monkey on the tube – so we call it monkey lotion! And we all do monkey noises and act like monkeys while we put it on. He wiggles a bit, but generally doesn’t try to escape, and he laughs so much, so it’s totally worth it :-)

  16. Mallory says...

    I feel like I have more crazy neighbor stories than most… BUT, the weirdest encounter has to be when my husband and I were living in an apartment complex. Our next-door neighbor (who we’d never met before), knocked on our door late at night in a panic asking to come in because she was afraid for her life. She kept going on about how she thought her boyfriend had put something in her drink, and she thought he was trying to kill her… Needless to say, we were FREAKING OUT. She asked us to call 911, which we did. Meanwhile, she kept saying she thought he had bugged her phone and that her heart was pounding. I told her to breath and that I thought the symptoms she described mean’t she was having a panic attack. A little while later the EMT’s show up, and we discover that she was just having a bad trip. Apparently, this was her first time trying marijuana, and it definitely didn’t go well haha! We were so freaked out at the time- it felt like a movie or something! Now it’s just a funny story we get to look back on.

  17. Leesah says...

    My neighbour smokes pot starting at about 6am until midnight. I don’t care that she is smoking it…it’s legal and she says she has a prescription…My concern is the never ending, super potent skunky smell that never seems to dissipate. All day, every day, in the summer and the milder winter days…all you smell is pot…which means, less time enjoying my yard and more time hiding in the air conditioning. Oh and she follows up her joints with cigarettes…lol.

    My aunt has taken to calling my neighbour “Patty n Selma” as she is essentially those characters in human form.

    • Sandra says...

      I feel your pain! We had daily pot smokers (not legal) downstairs when we were in an upstairs apt. of a 100-year-old two flat that had a very drafty airflow between the apartments. It smelled SO BAD, plus we had a 2 y.o. at the time and his pediatrician said secondhand pot smoke wasn’t great for him. We used to open the windows to air things out even when it was 12 degrees out. Ugh.

  18. Olivia says...

    These stories make me SO happy to live in a house and not an apartment! Ouch!!

    • kaye says...

      yeah well–it is a privilege to own a home or live in a home of your own, perhaps there’s a better way to convey that than “ouch!”

      sincerely,
      this public sector employee

    • Tessa says...

      Well…considering they fund the schools with their taxes and we apartment dwellers don’t, I’d be cautious labeling them privileged.

    • Marena says...

      That was hilarious! When we used to live in a ground floor apartment, my husband and I would take turns coming up with the answer to what the hell our upstairs neighbors could possibly be doing at 1:30 in the morning. I was convinced they were hacksaw murderers. I just couldn’t figure out how they kept their victims so silent. The chainsaw probably just drowned every other sound out. (Yes, they ran a f!@#ing saw of some sort. I almost became murderous myself)

  19. That gravestone is… delicious! I have to think about mine!

  20. I’m a public librarian, so the more bizarre part of my brain would like my tombstone to just be a catalog record (with the Dewey number 023, for personnel management).

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      Too perfect!!

  21. Marie says...

    I told my boyfriend his tombstone was going to say “Hold on, I’m still finishing my tea!” He’s Turkish and slow as a turtle, so loves using his tea as an excuse for dawdling. He loves the idea :)

  22. Heidi says...

    The “If you’re reading this…” tombstone photo from that link made me laugh so hard!

  23. Nina says...

    I’ll have to think what I want my gravestone to say. I have had horrible neighbors. One kept flooding my bathroom when the manager told them they’d have to pay if it happened again they flushed a pair of men’s underwear. Flooded all the apartments. Then when they moved out they turned they turned the thing on their toilet a tiny bit…just enough to drip until 3 days later…another flood. then the people who moved in after them gave their children big wheels to ride around the apt and smoked in their apt (illegal in Utah and affecting my child’s asthma). Thankfully, after I moved I found they were equally loud for the next neighbor and everyone started to hate them. I also had another neighbor in the same complex who had a violent son who threatened me and was arrested and trespassed from the property. I had to go to court and testify against him. He was a freak. fun times.

    • lauren says...

      Yes! That was my first thought too! I just rediscovered this video and died laughing. City life!

  24. Katie says...

    When I lived in Atlanta, I was subjected to quite a few odd upstairs neighbors, but the one that nearly killed me was during the last few months I lived there. I go to bed fairly early (by 10pm) but I’m up early (4:30am) to workout before I go to work. My neighbors though…they were definitely night owls. They had a tendency to vacuum their apartment at midnight, which would then wake me, and wake my dog, who HATES the vacuum – even when it’s upstairs. After several weeks of this, I had to go upstairs and ask them to stop vacuuming at inappropriate hours.

  25. I once saw a gravestone in Denmark that said (in Danish), “Here lies ___, very much against his will.” Makes me smile every time I think about it!

  26. witloof says...

    My new downstairs neighbor has declared me the upstairs neighbor horror story! I never wear shoes, play music late at night, or do much of anything except walk around {on the carpeted floors}. But apparently that’s more than enough to disturb her. She leaves me notes under the door lecturing me about being considerate. I try to stay out of my bedroom until it’s bedtime, and I feel like a prisoner in my own home.

    • Danielle says...

      Oh that’s terrible! I posted the upstairs neighbor horror story below but I totally understand how tough it must be in this situation. My brother and sister in law lived on the second floor with their son. Someone new moved in downstairs and was just relentless in complaining about the noise. They did everything they could to help but it’s so hard with a little one. There’s only so much you can do! She would leave them notes telling them that they had no business procreating among other terrible things. Fortunately their landlord was understanding and helped the neighbor find another spot instead of being tough on them. Hang in there!

    • Caitlin says...

      I am the upstairs villian too! We were happy when we heard the people moving in had a kid a bit younger than ours, but it was a nightmare. They wanted us to be quite at all hours of the day in all parts of our apartment for the sake of their kid’s sleep, they judged our parenting, blamed our kid crying for their kid crying, called my husband a lazy POS among other things. It was awful, but then I stopped caring. We decided we would be as considerate as we were to our old neighbors (who never complained) and no more. We started replying to complains in the voice of an HR department and felt way better. Our refrain was “we continue to occupy our home in a reasonable manner.”

  27. Katha says...

    Upstairs neighbors – ever seen this hilarious video?
    https://youtu.be/4IRB0sxw-YU

    We have been the upstairs neighbors. I‘d say we are generally loud as a familiy and the kids are very active (read: running, jumping, using things). But our neighbors never complained and when asked about it they said they wouldn‘t here that much.
    Now we live on the ground floor. It‘s a relieve for me. We hear the kids upstairs running and jumping and doing their kid‘s stuff. But we don‘t mind. But also: I think our old neighbors were lying ;)

    I quoted the gravestone with the four girls and one bathroom several times already. Gives me hope for the future with three girls and one bathroom. Haha.

  28. Jade says...

    I would like to be cremated. But if I had a tombstone I would like it to read “ She lived as only she could”.
    It is a play on one of my favourite quotes (& the quote I use in every birthday/wedding/anniversary/any card)

  29. Christie says...

    I try to live my life the way I want to be remembered. I want people to remember me as kind and generous and someone who lifts others up.

    Often when I’m faced with a difficult choice I’ll think to myself ‘how do you want to be remembered?’ and it makes the decision easier.

  30. Tracy F. says...

    I once lived below a tap dancer. At least, I think that’s what he was doing?!

  31. Our upstairs neighbors’ children drop legos and marbles on their un-carpeted floor exclusively between the hours of 6-10pm. PLEASE BUY AN AREA RUG! Ahhhhhhhhhhh

  32. Jen says...

    I can’t even tell you just how much stress and anxiety our upstairs neighbors have caused us everywhere we’ve lived. Every night we wonder whether or not we’re going to get to sleep! Once, I was convinced that they were playing some sort of enormous darts game.

    And yes, the sunscreen struggle is very real.

  33. Abbey says...

    The recipe is amazing!!!

  34. Meagan says...

    This sunscreen has changed my life this summer:
    https://www.neutrogena.com/sun/beach-defense-water-sun-protection-sunscreen-stick-broad-spectrum-spf-50/6887275.html
    The sunscreen battle was something I was unprepared for as a parent. I don’t know how “safe” this rates in terms of toxins and what-not, but my kids will stand still and let me apply this liberally to their face and bodies. It goes on easily, smells good, isn’t sticky and they haven’t gotten burned. Yay!!! Life-hack summer 2018.

  35. MelTown says...

    When my son was a little younger the only way I could get sunscreen on him was to “forget” that he hated sunscreen and quickly slap some on him and when he protested say “oh sorry! Let me wipe it off!” While I rubbed it in. Worked every time.

    Those tomb stones are to die for (ha). Something like that is totally up my alley, but I’m donating my body to science so my family will get my cremated remains back. Maybe I should design a jaunty urn? I had a very scary complication last year when I was pregnant which spurred me to get all my affairs in order. If you haven’t done it, I highly suggest you do. Do you know how much of a relief it is to have that crossed off your to do list at 35? It’s huge!

    • nadine says...

      Haha love the trick! I don’t have kids but I can definitely imagine it to work with my nephews.

      Congrats for getting evrything sorted, I hope the scary complication is not as frightening anymore.

  36. Ana says...

    The oldest building at Oxford University in England is the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. It is famous for its spire and the pretty view through the stained glass windows to the Radcliffe Camera, but my favorite part is on one of the many tombstones lining the walls. In the middle of all these ornate tombstones for ministers and University rectors and whatnot, there’s one 18th century stone whose epitaph says, simply: “She love’d to do good.”

    • Alanna says...

      Oh, I love that!

  37. S Carson says...

    I love the sunscreen photos and that struggle is crazy several times a day. I read an obituary once that said at the end in lieu of flowers please return your shopping carts to the store don’t leave them all over the parking lot – that drove Larry crazy and it was his one wish for humanity.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “in lieu of flowers please return your shopping carts to the store don’t leave them all over the parking lot – that drove Larry crazy and it was his one wish for humanity.” = that is so sweet and charming. my dad’s wish is definitely for people to drive in the fast lane only when overtaking. :)

  38. My mom
    Wants her tombstone to say “She hath done what she could.” Either that or “She never learned French.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahahaha LOVE that.

    • Isabelle says...

      Love, love, love!

  39. Morgan says...

    Neighbor noise is inevitable, but one time our downstairs neighbors came up to our apt while my husband was playing guitar in the middle of the afternoon and said they couldn’t study because it sounded so awful and could he please stop. Rude!

  40. Sasha L says...

    Neighbor in our townhome apartments: barbershop choir singer, old fashioned thick coke bottle glasses (always sliding down his nose), pants up to his chin, beige wind breaker, always, he was about 25, single (do I need to say that? Probably not) only ever said “hi-dee ho neighbor! Are we having fun yet?” When it was a blizzard, when we had armfuls of groceries, when we introduced our new baby, when there was a fire and we were all in the parking lot at 2 am…….. Same two phrases. I don’t know his name. We just called him *are we having fun yet* guy. I miss him a little bit.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      he actually sounds like a sweetheart!

  41. Laura says...

    It sounds macabre, but I actually think about the tombstone thing a lot, usually when I need a kick in the pants. Like, I DON’T want my tombstone to say, “She watched a lot of Netflix.” Or “She shopped online a lot. But she never bought anything.” It forces me to remember that the two ways we personify our values are how we spend our money and our time, and I need to be more judicious with both!

    • Gabrielle says...

      I relate to this so much! Thanks for sharing.

    • K says...

      I feel you. Once, after I’d been stewing too long over some relatively minor slight, the thought popped into my mind, “If I died tomorrow, I’d rather people remembered me as having been a ‘warm, loving person,’ not the cynical, resentful one I’m being right now.” Since then I’ve made a greater effort to not get hung up on little annoyances and offer more warmth in general to others.

  42. Jess says...

    I was sitting with my partner while I was reading this and that woman’s desire to share her recipe brought tears to my eyes.
    I asked him how he’d like to be remembered and he reminded me that when he dies he wants his ashes spread from the top of his favorite mountain in the winter when the snow is deep. I’d like to be spread in the dirt among the high Alpine wildflowers I’ve fallen in love with to help them grow. We’d both like to save some of our ashes to be mixed together so at some point in time so we can go on one last adventure together. It’s a great comfort to me to have a plan to be together.

    • CB says...

      Oh gosh. This speaks to my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

    • Nicola says...

      Fascinating! It seems like it might waste some sunscreen, but that might weigh the benefits of sunscreen actually being used!

  43. Laura Morgan says...

    We were visiting a cemetery to post flags on gravesites in honor of veterans day when we came across this slightly bitter and also hilarious epitaph, “I told you I was sick.”

    • Jessica says...

      Oh my gosh.

  44. Hani says...

    Whenever it’s time to go out, we stop and do face painting! My 2 and 4 year old clamor to be first and pick a ‘design’ for their cheeks, forehead, and nose. Puppy dogs, kitties, Optimus prime–anything they want. A few sneaky smudges by me and voila, we are out the door with zero tears and a lot of laughs.

    Plot twist: the paint is sunscreen and the brush is shu uemera–but they never need to know this.

    • Amanda says...

      Love this! We typically do a game of connect the dots, where I apply dots of sunscreen, they spread it out, and I come in for the finish to even it all out.

    • Leanne says...

      You’re the mom I want to be to my two kids (one of whom LOATHES sunscreen). Thanks for the reminder to make it all a bit more fun and games, Hani!

    • Gen says...

      Amanda, the dots! Yes! I’m a slap it on and wipe it in kind of gal, but my husband painstakingly put lines of tiny dots on arms, legs, faces, then rubs them in. My kids now want to put the dots on all by themselves. Seems slow and crazy to me, but they LOVE IT. Ha!

  45. Alexandra says...

    I have trained my two kids (3 and 6) to get “attacked” by me when I am putting sunscreen on them. It works so well and they love it now! I tell them I’m going to “attack” them, then they turn around and i literally do just that… Smear a big dollop of sunblock onto my hands and attack every inch of their face, neck, and ears. I usually count down from 10 while I do it, but they think it’s hilarious and it makes my life much easier!

  46. Abesha1 says...

    Cup of Jo, I continue to appreciate that you discuss death and grief here.
    My sister’s memorial stone reads,

    Jordan
    Lived life her way
    Spreading sunshine
    And smiles and glitter
    Along the way.

    • Sasha L says...

      Abesha, Jordan sounds like a truly beautiful person. That’s a lovely epitaph.

    • AJ says...

      This is what we use in for Southern California winters! Too cold in the morning to apply liquid sunscreen, but still need some on their exposed areas because its always sunny. We switch to liquid in the warm months as we need solid coverage.

  47. Sunscreen hack. We tell my 2-year-old son it’s “Magic Lotion” that makes you swim faster and play longer. This works so well that immediately after we apply it, we then need to hide it.

    • Ellen says...

      That is amazing!!! You are a great mom.

  48. Danielle says...

    Oh man. Upstairs neighbors. For years we lived below someone who was a bartender. She came home every night around 3 or 4 usually with a guest. Her tiny dog would run around barking frantically at the guest. Then the intimate part of the evening would begin. Same floor plan meant that her bed (on wheels) was right above us. When that part of the night was finally over she would then scoot the bed to where it was against the wall. Relaxing! We had about an hour before the dentist office downstairs started up their air compressor. It was a very long four years.

    • Nina says...

      I love this story!!! Made me laugh out loud!
      I know the first time I spent the night at my boyfriend’s apartment and there was s this noise that was getting closer and closer, like someone was coming to our bedroom. It was the paws and nails of the upstairs dog. He still freaks me out.

    • Danielle says...

      @Nina Like so many things it’s pretty funny to look back on. This year we moved to a house in Colorado. The first two weeks here I would wake up on cue at 3 or 4 waiting to hear the neighbor, haha. We never complained to her figuring it comes with apartment living but once or twice when the activities were really noisy or went on for an inconceivably long time I was known to shout “Oh come on!” and hear everything go silent for a moment.

  49. Nicole A. says...

    My grandmother isn’t sick or anything, but she is getting old, and because she doesn’t want anyone to be burdened with her someday funeral, she’s been planning it herself recently. She has a fur companion, Ginger the Min-Pin, that she loves dearly. She told my mother that if she passes before Ginger, she wants Ginger to be put down and buried with her. Upon being told this, I thought, Huh. That’s kinda sweet, but also kinda gruesome. Haha

    • Jess says...

      I have an aunt who planned her whole funeral. It was so odd realizing mid ceremony that she’d chosen every song and essentially written her own eulogy. But it hilarious and totally her, which made it a very sweet memorial.

    • Laura says...

      My great-aunt did this with her chihuahua. They loved each other very much, but he would bark hysterically at anyone else who came near. I thought it was sad that her children put him down after my great-aunt died to bury him with her as she requested, but then I consider that he would have never been happy without her. :(

  50. Those sunscreen pics kill me!!! Those are hysterical!

    xox
    Allie

    • DJ says...

      The stick is life changing.

    • Caitlin says...

      Yes to sunscreen sticks! My son is only 9 months, but is VERY pale so he already has a great deal of experience with sunscreen. He for some reason finds it so so funny to have sunscreen applied with the stick. I hope it holds as he gets older!

  51. My dad’s tombstone says, “Allow yourself to be happy”. This came from an inscription he wrote to me one Christmas, “allowing yourself to be happy is one of the great joys of the world. Don’t stifle it but rather encourage it and enjoy. Many great achievements start with dreams. Continue to love, to enjoy and most of all to dream. This is the formula for a happy life.” He worked hard at cultivating happiness. It left a big impression on us four kids; we’re all stellar at floating in a lake, napping in an open meadow, hot tubbing under the stars or fly fishing at dusk. He left a legacy of happiness seekers.

    • Cora says...

      Love this! Your dad sounds like a great guy.

    • MariaE. says...

      Thank you so much for sharing this and making such a big impression on me today!! Your dad seemed like a great person, but you are even better because you learned from him and continued his legacy. I am certainly learning to “allow myself to be happy”. It’s not easy, but I am one the right path.

    • That’s so beautiful! This is something that I’ve only just come to on my own and it really struck a chord. What a wonderful parent.

  52. Those headstones are crazy!

    I’m not sure yet how I want to be remembered, but I do think a lot about how my grandpa, who died suddenly at 58 years old, had hundreds of people at his memorial service and so many of them said, “Sam was my best friend.” Even now, more than 25 years later, I’ll meet someone who knew him and they talk about how amazing he was and how he made them feel.

    • Erin says...

      Everyone’s best friend. What a lovely way to be remembered.

    • Lesley says...

      Beautiful.

    • Laura says...

      This brought tears to my eyes. It sounds like your grandpa was an exceptional person.

  53. Becky says...

    When I sunscreen the kiddos I work with, I say to them that I am painting their face. They love it lol. Also dont wait until you arrive at the playground. Kids just want to jump right in. You really need to sunscreen 15 mins before sun exposure in an ideal world. Make it a part of your morning routine, again at snack, lunch etc. It needs to be reapplied!! If that fails. I sunscreen them while strapped in their car seat and give them a truck. This wont work if you dont have a car but it may help someone lol

  54. I have a horrible neighbor story.

    Shortly after we moved to Stockholm, Sweden, we were living in a rental apartment with our 2-year old and a newborn. The 2-year old’s bedroom was directly above the studio apartment of an old woman who had severe mental problems. (She had been hospitalized for mental issues on multiple occasions before we moved there). She started to get very angry with the sounds that inevitably came from our apartment. Every single time we would open a drawer, or my toddler would walk across the room, or he would drop something, or we would talk to each other in normal voices, she would start screaming at us through the floor/ceiling. Things like, “I f*&king hate you! I’m going to kill you!” Obviously, it was unnerving. She screamed in English because we’d met once or twice and she knew we were English-speaking.

    A few weeks into this, I got a letter from the Swedish social services agency. Someone had reported me for something—I had no idea what—and we were to report to the social services agency for an in-person meeting. I was absolutely terrified and had no idea what to expect.

    A few minutes into the meeting everything became clear – the neighbor who lived UNDER our crazy neighbor had heard the screaming in English and assumed it was ME yelling at my husband and our kids! They thought I was threatening to kill my husband and children. Luckily for me, the case workers believed me and were able to look up the crazy woman’s history and confirm that she had a long list of hospitalizations and such. They closed the case.

    But man, what a horrible week of learning I’d been reported to the social services agency in a foreign country!

    • Sasha L says...

      Whoa. I think you may get first prize in most horrible neighbor contest. I’m sorry!!

    • Laura C. says...

      This is crazy, Jodi! I just moved to a new flat anf I don’t know the neighbours yet. I hope they are kind and not noisy!

  55. Lauren E. says...

    One of my favorite Friends’ lines, re: tombstones:
    “Mine’s gonna say, Phoebe Buffet: Buried Alive”

    • Stacey says...

      Ha!!! Love Phoebe :)

  56. Erin says...

    3 out of 4 of my last apartments I have been on the top floor. Today I’m moving into a new apartment and after I got the keys, the first thing I did was run and leap across the living room (since you can’t do that when all the furniture is in there, obviously). Then, the second thing I did was realize my downstairs neighbors probably hate me already. Oops.

  57. Jennifer says...

    Former upstairs neighbor played techno music so it always sounded like we lived in a club…but at odd times like 10am or 6pm. Current upstairs neighbor is the loudest person I’ve ever lived under and it sounds like there’s a gorilla up there…finally saw him one day and was shocked that he’s rather small.