(Thank-you PaxArcana, for the photo)
When a campsite is noisy at 10:00, odds are it's going to be noisier at 11:00. The mild mannered, nerdy guy and his little dog, seemed like ideal neighbors to have just two sites above us last night. But by the time I was heading for bed, that little duo had added a couple of pretty ladies and another guy to the fireside. Quiet chitchat got louder and louder, the language more profane, and the laughter more booming, and I wasn't in bed for 5 minutes before I realized I was going to have to go back out there.
Luckily, I was wearing my black kimono robe over my pj's, and I crept up on them like a Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Camp Host. They looked up, startled, and after a couple of rounds of Huh?, Huh?, they finally heard me holler, Turn the music off please! Once I had their attention, I introduced myself as the Camp Host, and like magic, I slipped into Warrior mode, deftly flinging my demands, one by one, while they could only stare and nod in compliance. I think perhaps they feared for their safety, which was wise of them, considering how tired and cranky I was...
You are right outside my trailer window.
You are much too loud.
Quiet Hour is at 10:00, which I know you know. (Punctuated by my large flashlight beamed at the lovingly laminated sign on their picnic table.)
This is not negotiable.
(Nerdy Guy nods and mumbles, "Not negotiable")
The next time I come out here, the sheriff comes with me.
I slipped back into the shadows, crawled back into bed, and never heard another peep. Take that.
I'm reminded of last summer, when I was on the other end of the shushing. We were on the beach in Monterey, celebrating my Dad's birthday. We had a big campfire, and were all sitting around talking and laughing. We'd been drinking a little, but no one was out of control. Dad was a little silly, but it was his birthday, and he was entitled. He had decided to take up residence on that beach, and was lounging under the stars, going on and on about how, This is what life should be like. The ranger who came up to us a few minutes later was of a different opinion. He reminded us that we should have been off the beach an hour ago, and that he would be happy to call - guess who? - the sheriff! - if we didn't skedaddle our selves out of there pronto. Gosh, we thought, this guy has no sense of humor. Why does he have to be do darn mean, anyway?
Well, now I know.
If he had been friendly, we would have mistaken him as our friend, which would have allowed us to feel like we needn't respect his authority. Now I get it. Not everyone who's too loud is going to be a Big Jerk, but I still have to be tough with them from the very start. If I ask nicely, that leaves room for negotiation, and to quote my Ninja Self, "This is not negotiable".
Nerdy Guy left early this morning, making it easy for me to slip back into my Happy Camp Mom hat. I'm nice, nice, nice... until I'm not. So I'm keeping that black bathrobe handy, and the big flash light, and the Ninja Attitude. Presentation is very important. I doubt if I'd get the same response in my pink bunnies-and-cake jammies...
OK. Saturday night coming right up. I'm ready for 'em...
After a nap.