A marked woman

My kitchen door opens to three short flights of stairs. The very top of the stairwell ends outside my upstairs neighbors' kitchen, and the very bottom at a door leading outside. My kitchen door is between the two. Once outside, you could turn left and head past my next door neighbors' apartment and on into the back yard, or you could turn right to the trash cans and the side door to my garage.

I have the apartment miracle of my own washing machine. It fits, very snugly indeed, into my pantry. The dryer could neither be vented from nor fit in the kitchen, so it lives in the garage. The arrangement necessitates a little damp-sheet-clutching field trip down the back stairs between one and the other. This works out perfectly well and is the sum total of my exercise regimen.

A couple of days ago, armed with wet socks, I pulled the kitchen door open and gasped a small startled gasp. Unaccountably, there was a sign stuck to the door with four pieces of duct tape. It said "Kari" and my address.  Seeing as how I know who I am and where I live, and since I never expect company through the back door, there could be only one explanation.  The neighbors must have taken out a hit on me. What the holy hell? If anyone should be hiring a hit man around here it should be me.

I opened the outside door and found another identical sign, this one next to a similar one listing the upstairs neighbors' names and their address. Are we anticipating the postman vaulting over the garden wall for a change of pace?  Curious, I walked up to the next door apartment and found that they too had an identifying sign next to their back door.  Maybe the neighbors hadn't made the call, after all. Perhaps the management company wants us all dead so they can charge $5000 a month for every apartment in the building.

But then I remember Rose from next door telling me that ever since the upstairs boys had colonized the back yard in order to allow their collection of bellowing bros and shrieking sorority sisters to roam unrestrained in the manner of cage-free chickens, party-goers have regularly attempted to walk into Rose's apartment, presumably in search of a bathroom or, possibly, a keg.  What is actually in Rose's apartment is Rose, her husband, and their newborn baby. The drunken confusion hasn't been going well for anyone involved.

These signs, therefore, must be an attempt by the boys upstairs to illustrate to their guests that A) there are, in fact, three apartments in this building, two of which contain people who want nothing to do with them and B) as such, it would be better not to try to enter those people's apartments.

I appreciate any effort to rein in the frat house antics that now define my home, but surely simply saying "second door on the right and upstairs" would do the trick? Particularly since, in order to even access the back yard, every one of these guests went first to the upstairs apartment. Simply retrace your steps, children. Quietly.

Today, the party began at 10AM. Streams of people for hours.  At one point, I happened to look out my window to see a young man standing in front of the building clutching a 26-pack of Bud Light, a Santa costume, and an iPhone, at which he was gazing bemusedly--how to get in?-- apparently too unfamiliar with 20th Century technology to simply ring his friends' doorbell. which was clearly marked and about two steps away from where he was standing.

I suppose if this is the demographic we are dealing with, they may be equally challenged by such ancient mysteries as doors and stairs. Perhaps there are signs sprinkled like so many Hansel & Gretel breadcrumbs all the way to the property line, identifying other such hyper-local landmarks as "garbage can" "hose" and "hedge" so the scores of inebriated young engineers can find their way safely back from the distant outpost of the back yard BBQ.