Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Naked Truth

How do you feel about your neighbors?  
In my previous home my new neighbor greeted us with a basket of strawberries that spilled onto our shiny wooden floors.  The gift of food was foreshadowing: we had meals at each other's home, shared recipes and small bites; I remember insisting she come over right now to taste a new cookie, still warm from the oven.

In our current home, one neighbor of 13 years greets us, barely, but, I feel, it's his way of interacting with the world.  Our previous neighbor, of 11 years was a model of consistency: he had his morning walk and his evening walk.  He swept his drive.  We sipped rose on his patio and chatted about his time in WWII; at Christmas I sent over cookies while he sent us See's.

At 92 he passed away.

The first time I met our current neighbors I was in a hurry and they  had blocked our driveway with a truck.
Ah, foreshadowing.  During the open-window summer months their microwave that cooks their breakfast blasts at 6:am; their security alarm is set to go into histrionic self-destruct mode AFTER they've left their home.  In the cool fall air they pour their empties into the recycling bin at 6:30 am; he works sawing tile or drilling concrete under our bedroom window; they installed a motion detector light that flashes into our bedroom when a squirrel scuppers by; they have decorated their drive way (which we see from our living and dining room) with the broken debris of a wood shop/gym. 

This all should be funny, if I were more ZM (zen master) and less EA (easily annoyed--look it up in the DSM).

What has sent me over the edge is that they have no drapes. Perhaps they did not realize one of their bedrooms is completely visible to a visitor to our dining room. I have taken to leaving the dining room light on at all times, in an epiphany-provoking attempt.

Last night, what did I see next door as I set the table?

I promise more psychological warfare updates as they occur.

And now you know what a nutter I truly am---


  1. Neighbors -- tricky, tricky business. And you're right to try some covert training exercises rather than launch into an escalating warfare.

  2. Photos of the wood shop / gym? We're lucky with great neighbors in our new neighborhood. But, I'm curious if they feel the same about having little kids move in on the cul de sac . . .

  3. Bec: I think I am photo phobic--online technology works best for me--but I do take requests, so I'll see what I can come up with. Hope the pumpkin bread pudding turned out ok! AH: Yeah, this is my low-key approach. Since neither of us appears to be going anywhere, might as well present the veneer of neighborliness. How're those speed bumps going? ;)

  4. It worked! I wonder how you'll get them to quiet down their early a.m. activities? Clearly, they have little or no regard for your feelings so in some way, you have to make it about their feelings. It's a puzzle.

    We're blessed with good neighbors. They leave promptly at 7am on weekdays, and although I hear them, this is a good time for me--an easy alarm if I'm ready to get up, nowhere near a nuisance if I'm not. Our whole street is a dream--we call it Brigadoon.

  5. Have I told you this? major issues with the neighbors. Finally, year after year, after trying all talk remedies - we went to the North East Police station and filed a complaint. Little did we know that they were on the verge of foreclose. I don't feel bad.

    Of course, as we celebrated that incident, the neighbors to the south started having issues with us. My cat poops in their yard (it's true) cats do that. My leaves fall on their side of the yard. (It's true) winds generally run from north to south. I got the neighbors palm fronds, you get a few leaves. They vacuum up the leaves, not blow, vacuum. My bougainvillea is growing onto their side (it's true) I had the neighbors pepper tree growing and blocking half my view; which I was helpless to do anything about... except dig a hole into our hillside, put in a ladder that we poised straight up, and I held tight, while Vic whacked away at the part of the tree we COULD get to. They, on the other hand, can use a step ladder and cut a few branches. Did I tell you about their neurotic brown barking lab? In a world of equivalency, is ear piecing barking equal to a cat taking an occasional dump? Thank God they just had a baby. They spend less time here fussing and far more time in Orange County (where their sweet little anal asses belong).

    On the plus side, the new neighbors to the north are an older lesbian couple; Lupe and Lupe. Quiet and considerate. The bad news, they're renters.

  6. PA: So sorry so late to reply!
    Ear piercing barking wins hands down.
    Years ago we had to address neighbor issue via police--UGH!!!
    Let's all move to Brigadoon--