DEAR AMY: I recently found out that my roommate cheated on his girlfriend with one of our co-workers. He did this two times! When I confronted him about his unfaithfulness he was honest and forthcoming. He also told his girlfriend (who lives in another country) and she decided to stay with him and work things out. However, he still hangs out with the "other woman" on a one-on-one basis and she comes over to the apartment and lies on his bed with him. I told him this is wrong and unfair to his girlfriend. I don't want to keep challenging him on this, but I'm not sure what else I can do.
Trying to Stay Loyal
DEAR LOYAL: If you don't want to continue on the high road and challenge your roommate on his flawed personal ethics, then stop. Just stop. He may not choose to cease his philandering, but you can definitely choose to stop calling him out about it.
I realize it's easy for me to say (and hard for you to do), but this is his life, not yours. You are not his dad, his keeper or his parole officer. You are his roommate and (presumably) his friend.
You have already confronted him about behavior that bothers you (good for you). He is choosing not to comply. At this point, unless he asks you what you think about his behavior, you should keep your views to yourself. Let him know that you will never lie for him, but also endeavor to accept his flawed, morally wrong choices as his -- therefore having no bearing on (or requiring intervention from) you.
DEAR AMY: My upstairs neighbor's son runs and jumps and screeches constantly. This happens at all hours of the day and night, sometimes until 2 or 3 a.m. It's like the kid never sleeps, or has no supervision. I am at my wits' end. I know the neighbors are aware of us hearing this noise because I have banged on the wall more than once. This upstairs neighbor is my landlord's brother, so I am treading on delicate areas and do not want to make anyone mad. I just want my sanity and to get some sleep. Any advice?
Sleepless in Providence
DEAR SLEEPLESS: You have a lease (presumably) and as someone who pays rent, you have a reasonable expectation -- and a right -- to enjoy a relatively quiet existence in your home.
Other than banging on the wall, you have not notified these neighbors of how this noise affects you. To give them the benefit of the doubt, they may not realize how loudly the sounds from their apartment carry over to yours. You should let them know, either verbally or by note, that their child's noise reverberates into your apartment. They may be able to mitigate this with rugs and (yes), basic supervision and intervention.
That the neighbor is your landlord's brother should not deter you from stating your own needs. In fact, this may prove to be an advantage. Notify your landlord about the noise problem (he may not be aware of it) and ask him to speak to your neighbors about it. Your landlord will not want to lose a good tenant over this, and you may have valid grounds to break your lease and move if things don't improve.
DEAR AMY: Regarding "Miffed," the people who have their paper stolen in their condo building, I had the same problem years ago in an apartment. I figured it was a kid who was being paid to go get a paper at the store but pocketing the money and taking ours. One morning I woke up early and replaced the paper with last week's paper. I left the current front page so the thief wouldn't know until someone found a note explaining that I was on to the scheme. That was the last time our paper was stolen.
DEAR SEAN: This is an ingenious solution to a sticky issue.