We have crazy neighbors. Not crazy charming, like the transgender down the street who keeps changing his cup size, but crazy annoying. Please move out of the neighborhood kind of crazy.
There isn’t one big moment where my husband and I looked at each other and said, “Oh my gawd, they’re crazy.” It’s been more of a slow trickle of assholeishness that moved us there.
Let me give you the steady decline in chronological order:
About a year and a half ago my dog, Junior (AKA The Little Fucker) brought me a bird. A dead bird. He brings them to me all throughout the spring. Sometimes they’re fetal, other times fully formed, they are always disgusting. He is always delighted with himself. Typically I head across the street and ask my firefighter neighbor to please pick up the dead animal. The firefighter always helps, and I always find a little something for his four year old son. It’s what we do. Well, eighteen months ago, when the firefighter wasn’t home I asked my next door neighbor if he’d help with the dead bird in my living room. I knocked on the door and he answered.
“Hi!” I said cheerfully, “would you mind helping me? The dog brought a bird into my house and I was wondering if you could pick it up for me?”
His face contorted and he said, “Just a minute, let me ask my wife.” closed the door in my face and scurried to the back of his house.
Three minutes pass.
“Jessica, I’m sorry, I just don’t feel comfortable with that.” and then he made a move to close the front door.
“Oh why? Do you have to change your tampon?” Was my reply.
Believe it or not, things stayed really nice after that. Their first child was born, we brought gifts, they never wrote thank you notes, we still smiled.
They live like pigs. Their trash cans stay on the street week after week, never being brought in from the curb, other neighbors complain, we do not. We want to have good neighbors. We continue our campaign of sweetness, he gets stranger. He will not make eye contact.
My kids play handball in the back yard, so there is the sound of a ball bouncing. Unless you live on a farm this is what we would classify as good neighborhood noise. Right? Wrong. About six months ago my kids would get yelled at to stop bouncing the ball every time they went outside to play handball. Apparently it was waking the baby, and since she goes to bed at 7.30 the rest of Los Angeles should be silent. After a few go rounds I sent my husband over to talk to our lovely neighbor. The neighbor suggested to my husband that we “find an equitable solution to the problem.” My sweet, kind and wonderful husband explained to him that there was no problem at our house, and that the only equity needed was for him to not yell at our children.
Of course with kids there are balls. My son plays catch with baseballs for hours each day, Jane and her friends play soccer and volleyball. Balls go over the fence and are not returned. Last week Jane’s friend kicked her soccer ball over the fence and needed it for soccer practice, Jane went next door and asked her if she could get the ball please. The answer? “No, not until my husband gets home from work.” It has been ten days, they absolutely refuse to return any of the balls.
Yes, the woman will not leave her house to go into the back yard and return my children’s balls. She also will not permit my children to go into her back yard and retrieve their own balls. When I ask her husband to please toss them over he says the doors are locked, he’ll do it later. I am now reduced to asking them to return the children’s playthings when I see them in the company of other parents, because you know, they don’t want appear to be complete and utter assholes in front of their friends.
In the interim they have begun construction on a fence surrounding their property, the only issue is that they encroached on another neighbor’s property by a full foot and a half, and they attempted to fence in the city easement.
So no, I never blogged about my asshole neighbors before, but I’m at a point where I realize I’ll never like them, and neither will anyone else.