Thursday, November 29, 2012

Won't You Be My Neighbor

My neighbors have not been the same since I grew up.  When I was younger I remember our neighbors were an older couple on both sides of our house.  They dealt with the occasional ball being tossed over their fence and later find me in the backyard retrieving it.  I hardly saw the guy who lived behind us, and that itself provided some fear.

In my adult life, I had a neighbor who’s kids would leave their toys in my yard, let’s just say those toys (including a very nice football) made other people’s kids at work very happy.

In the apartment the obnoxious drunk neighbor would leave his drunk girlfriend asleep on the couch and show up at my door with two martini glasses and a bottle of vodka.  This is why old softball bats make great weapons at the front door.

Now that I bought a place, my neighbors are strange.  I get along with most of the neighbors around here, everyone except for those who are directly next to me.  The first couple was nice, I hardly saw them and when I did they were friendly.  They did have a dog with separation anxiety so during the day he got zapped when I was home (yes those things do work).  Since they moved out and didn’t leave a forwarding address the new lady is horrible.  At first I thought this older woman with a limp had bought the place, and I wondered how she would manage all those stairs.  Turns out it was her mother.  I have never been formally introduced to her, not even after the incident with her dog (giant fur ball) who decided to play chicken with my car.  The woman didn’t have the common sense to run after her dog who was inches from my back bumper (it would have made a great Youtube video) instead she chose to yell at it.  Finally, after about 10 minutes of yelling she decides to go after it to pick it up.  Yes, finally.  I never see her, I never know she’s there and when I do, she’s walking the fur ball and staring up in my kitchen window.  Anytime during the summer you want to see her in a tube top outside with her laundry hanging from the patio umbrella, feel free to stop by, I will provide refreshments to help you break the ice.  I did meet her man during the time Sandy rolled into town when I had ventured out to the mailbox, he was outside smoking a cigarette and lived down the shore.  I found out more about him in 5 minutes than the woman who has lived next to me in a year! 

Fourth of July rolls around and she decorates the bushes in the front of the house.  Not with anything representing normal patriotic decorations, she uses Christmas ornament sized red-white-blue light up balls, hence the butt of jokes for balls on bush.  This woman has a grown child in college who makes weekend stops to do her laundry and always blocks my mailbox.   I still don’t know why she decorates.  Halloween and Thanksgiving come and go and two 5’ light up trees appear flanking her front door.  Thanksgiving had sunflowers in the tree, prompting me to assume she bought these as a package deal.  You know the type of holiday decorations that you can swap out for the season? Something that you’d find on QVC.  I was right.  Black Friday weekend the sunflowers were swapped for Christmas Ornaments and the bushes no longer had any colored light up balls on them, but just plain white Christmas lights.  I’ll have to pay attention for Valentine’s day, the bushes could have light up candy hearts on them.

Overall, the rest of the people around here are nice, it’s a civil neighborhood, even the lady next to the ‘decorating lady’ who always sees me running or cycling and yells “You go girl!” when I pass her on the hiking path.  You can pick your friends, you can’t pick your neighbors and eventually you’ll get that one neighbor that makes you say to yourself “WTF?”

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