We have new neighbors in back of us. We haven't met them yet, but we've seen the tops of their heads from our yards, and we've heard their dog at all times of the day and night. We've watched their children aim for clouds on their swings, and marked time by the step-by-step erection of a playhouse right next to our fence. When the temperature dropped below freezing, the dad made a skating rink in the yard and bought some industrial strength search lights so the kids could skate at night.
And then he angled the lights so that they shone into our back windows.
Fortunately, we have blinds on most of those windows, so we can sit and move about comfortably in the evening without being blinded. But we have none over the four-light mullioned windows on our back door, which, unfortunately, give the beams a straight shot into our kitchen.
Since the lights went on, I've been been trying to console myself with the idea that 50,000+ lumens might be enough to keep us from turning on all the lights in the house simultaneously, thus lowering our electric bill. But it hasn't worked. And my poor husband, who spends as little time in the kitchen as possible, has had to listen to more whining, cursing, complaining, cursing, and groaning—did I say cursing?—than anyone should have to.
I suppose I could have walked around the block, knocked on the neighbors' door, and explained the problem—calmly, hopefully. But I hate confrontations. The thought of having one makes the veins pop out of my head. So, I kept my suffering to myself (except for the whining, cursing, complaining and cursing...).
Then, this weekend, we had a house full of guests. As soon as they came into the kitchen, they screamed, "OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT? THAT'S AWFUL!!" and shielded their eyes.
What resulted was a list of suggestions about how to deal with the lights, ranging from talking to the neighbors (shudder), to buying a bee bee gun (worse shuddering). While we all had a good laugh about it, they got to leave, which just made me more irritable.
By the next night, I had had it. I had a migraine. I needed to heat my leftovers in dim light, but instead I got the blaze of two small suns. So I grabbed a roll of aluminum foil, tore off some sheets, and taped them—shiny side out—over the glass.
And then, ten minutes later, to my utter shock, the lights went off.
I peered over the neighbors' fence yesterday and saw them pushed into a corner of the yard (poor dears...).
My husband thinks I made my point, but I'm not so sure. My fingers are crossed, and the foil is ready, just in case....
Causes Barbara Froman Supports
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Lawyers for the Creative Arts