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21-Year-Old Celebrating Their Birthday Branded As 'Disrespectful' By Neighbors In Scathing Letter

Photo: golubovystock / RealPeopleStudio / Shutterstock 
birthday party, neighbors, letter

A 21-year-old ringing in their milestone birthday certainly did not expect to receive a spiteful and lengthy note from their neighbors expressing their disapproval of the celebrations as a belated gift. 

The scathing letter (which was written in red ink to convey the neighbors’ anger accurately), sparked debate about whether or not it is appropriate to throw parties without giving your neighbors a courtesy call first and if the birthday person was really as “disrespectful” as their neighbors branded them to be. 

The neighbors’ letter slammed the 21-year-old and their parents for being inconsiderate.

A photo of the letter was posted on the Facebook account The Bell Tower Times. It begins with the words “congratulations!” typed at the top, but takes a sharp turn that's anything but congratulatory. 

First, the letter targets the parents of the 21-year-old who threw the birthday party. “To the parents: “Congratulations for raising a 21-year-old and teaching them not to care or give an [expletive] about the neighbors, partying out loud and in fact being another dismissive and disrespectful human being. Great job!” it reads. 

Then, the neighbors rip right into the 21-year-old, chiding, “To the birthday person: I know your parents didn't teach you that but please consider your neighbors when partying until midnight.” 

While the letter writer acknowledged that 21 is indeed “a milestone to be celebrated,” they hope that the person will “never encounter” a similar situation in the future. Adding, “If, and when you decide to have a family or come home tired from work or even want to have the RIGHT to sleep peacefully in your own home, and yes that is a RIGHT, please consider your neighbors.” 

Clearly distraught from the perceived slight, the neighbor continued, “The world does not need another disrespectful human being. Use your brain.” 

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The neighbors believed that the person celebrating their birthday should have notified other people in the neighborhood so that they could have time to “plan and prepare for the circumstances.” They also suggested that the next time the person has a party that goes late into the night, they take it to a “club or restaurant” to avoid disturbing the rest of the neighborhood. 

“You chose to be abusive, and disrespectful, and guess what … you have to live with that! You are 21 now so try to be a respectful adult next time.” 

However, other people did not believe that such measures were necessary and defended the 21-year-old’s decision to throw a house birthday party. 

“Oh for crying out loud! You don’t turn 21 every day … Some people are so miserable, maybe they should take a look at themselves and wonder if they’re the selfish ones,” one Facebook user commented. 

“Disrespect would be partying night after night. A party every now and again and especially after a 21st is right,” another user noted. 

However, other users pointed out that there were important factors that we were unaware of, such as what day of the week the party was held, how many people attended, and whether or not the birthday person notified their neighbors warning them beforehand. If the party had been on a weeknight with hundreds of people with neighbors failing to receive a warning, some of them argued that the angry letter was justifiable. 

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While it is certainly not legally required to inform your neighbors if you are throwing a party, it is a courteous gesture.

“You want your neighbor to know that they have a direct line of communication with you,” Elaine Swan, an etiquette expert told The New York Times. “Tell them that you will be mindful of the volume and do your best to limit late-night dancing (this is an apartment, not a club). Give them an estimate for when the party might end. Approach the conversation with compassion, not resentment. You may not know your neighbor’s circumstances, even if you’ve met them before,” she recommended. 

Better yet, Swan suggests inviting your neighbors to the party as well, so they can partake in the festivities instead of being forced to listen to all of the fun! This may incline them to be more understanding and compassionate regarding your party, no matter how wild it may get. 

We can pretty much guarantee that the birthday person's parents did not raise them to be "disrespectful" nor are they actually disrespectful. While the noise may have gotten out of control and the party may have run late, they were most likely simply enjoying their 21st birthday with no intention of upsetting their neighbors. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.