Okay, so things are about to get mildly snarky. Stay tuned.
I have neighbors. Everyone has neighbors. Even people in the country have neighbors, they are just blessedly farther away.
I suppose that every person has had at least one instance of eye-rolling at their neighbors. All in all, my neighbors could be worse. I only have one neighbor whose property actually touches mine. And they are some hum-diddily-dingers. Our previous neighbors were older. They were polite, they said hello and they waved, and they asked how we were and they commented and chatted. On warm summer evenings we might have a conversation at the clothesline or exchange tomatoes. Their grandkids would come over to see our dogs. It was fine. They both passed away, and sold their house.
We got new neighbors. As soon as I saw the new neighbors, I was worried. When I first saw "mom" she had on a white tank top that was too small, the kind with a built in bra. And she is not the kind of lady to rely on a built in bra for support, if you know what I mean. She had more "side boobs" than that trucker bitch you see at the local truck stop. (yes, family guy reference all the way- Click Here to Watch FCC-Peter's Side Boob Hour)And she had on SHORT shorts. Shorter than I would wear when I was 30 pounds lighter and 6 years younger than I am now, which would be about 60 pounds lighter and 15 years younger than she is now. Camel Toe and Cellulite- Side boobs galore. Let's just let it all hang out!
The first and only thing she ever said to me, was a story about wiping your ass with a corn cob. Um. Yeah. I was impressed. And that was all she ever said to me. Ever. In 2 years. She has two kids, both in high school now. One is incredibly friendly, wants to help you with everything, wants to talk for hours. The other is kinda doing her own thing, out in the yard playing volleyball, playing basketball, practicing cheerleading although I don't think she is a cheerleader. They are nice kids. Then there is "mom's" boyfriend, who is a nice guy, kinda quiet, lives there at least part of the time. He always says hello.
"Mom" herself works an off shift. That means the kids are on their own alot, taking care of things for themselves.
The thing I have noticed about mom? Well, she seems bitchy. Ladies... you know what I mean. Only a woman can claim to know that another woman is a bitch even though they have never had a conversation with her (or in this case one scary conversation.)
She is the mom, who from inside the house, screeches and screams at her kids, her dog, and pretty much the whole damn neighborhood through the doors and open windows. She is the one who stands with her head out the screen door screeching their names and it's "rake this" or "carry that" or "get in here." I can be pretty sure that she only comes outside to go to work and leave work, or to let the dog out when no one else is home to do it, or to occasionally hang clothes on the line or make a trip to the garage. She doesn't work in the yard. She doesn't sit outside with her family or go near the grill. She doesn't shovel the walk or rake the leaves. I don't see her coming in with groceries. I can't see into her house but I can pretty much tell you that my visualization of her brings images of bon bons, fuzzy slippers, and TV remotes.
In the spring and summer I spend HOURS in the yard with and without my husband. I rake. I weed. I plant. I water. granted not everyone likes to garden. That's fine. but what I found hilarious was the time when her daughter graduated. She bought flats of marigolds and other plants. She spent an ENTIRE DAY planting a little strip of flowers alongside her little garage and when she got tired of the hard work she sat the flats of plants alongside the building and left them there so that it looked like they were planted but they were really just flats of flowers sitting on the ground. I remember watching her lug around a bag of potting soil and watching her dump in over the flowers. It took her forever to get the bag open and even longer to dump it and she looked like that was the dirtiest she had ever gotten in her life. And this woman is not some thin, hot, attractive looking lady. Quite the opposite. The kicker was that instead of bags of top soil, she was putting potting soil (you know, with perlite, used for potted plants) out on the ground. On purpose. It was a riot. I couldn't help snickering as I watched her tiptoe around the dirt and look incredibly uncomfortable while working in the yard.
She is the epitomy of "good thing I had children because now I have slaves."
And the best part of it all are the little bits of info that we hear from the kids. The things that kids say. Like when my husband and I were out raking the yard this weekend. We thatched and rolled the yard and had lots of dead grass. We also had some leaves left over that didn't burn the last time around. Husband raked out the ditch again today so we can burn the remaining leaves and grass. Now I am not a huge fan of burning. Because I know that some people, especially those with respiratory problems, are affected by it. Our town has NO burn ordinances. When I burn I first look around to see that all my neighbors windows are closed and their clothes aren't on the line. Several times I have not burned specifically for those reasons. I also like to burn later at night instead of ruining a beautiful day with rolling smoke. But this can't always be done. The weekend that we raked last, a few weeks ago, was cool and calm. It was time to burn. Everyone's windows were shut. Too cold for clothes on the line. I burned the leaves and the fires were completely out in less than 30 minutes. "mom" was nowhere to be seen, as usual, and daughter was outside. She saw me raking, and burning.
So today, when husband was raking.... the neighbor kid mentions to him that his "mom is allergic to leaves" and that "whoever burned them last made her REALLY sick."
Okay. WHY did that piss me off so much?
Let me see.... reasons.
1. She was holed up in her house I suppose. I wasn't sure she was even home. Her windows were shut. I burned for less than 30 minutes. There was no residual smoldering.
2. I try to be as careful and considerate as I can about burning.
3. They have TWICE burned trash in their burning barrel when my clothes are on the line, when I have waited an entire DAY to burn because they leave their clothes on the line OVERNIGHT. The day after they burned their garbage with my clothes on the line, I burned cardboard in my burn barrel with their windows open. (payback's a bitch, eh?) Son was outside and mom was inside and instead of shutting her own windows, mom screamed OUT the open windows at son to come INSIDE and shut them for her. Um. Yeah. Lazy. Ass. Hello!?
4. You know damn well she was in the house bitching about me burning the leaves. Popping Bon Bons and Bitching.
5. They all know damn well that it was ME burning because they SAW me and then they had to say "whoever" to my husband like they are all innocent and don't know who the fuck it was.
6. It is not against the law to burn leaves here. If she were allergic, she could have walked up to me while I was raking (of course that would mean WALKING and venturing OUTSIDE, a DEADLY combo for her) and said something like "I was wondering if you would consider burning the leaves at XX'o clock, after I go to work (groceries, wherever I go) because I am allergic and the smell makes me really sick. I am sorry to ask this but it would be a huge favor to me and I would be grateful." How about that eh? HOW ABOUT YOU BE A GOD DAMN NEIGHBOR?!~
So that's my story. You can't please everyone. And you can bet your god damned ass that my husband will be burning those leaves. Today there was at least one other neighbor burning leaves. Husband pointed out that even if we Don't burn, someone will. How can you possibly know which neighbors are allergic? Especially if they don't TELL you they are allergic but bitch about it after the fact.
Burn Baby Burn.