Monday, August 20, 2007


We just got new neighbors behind would think with a driveway that long, we wouldn't have to see too much of them--but I already feel their presence more than I would like. First let me explain why the word "neighbor" brings such a bitter taste to my mouth. Excuse the long explanation that is about to follow (you've been warned, you could stop reading at any time) :)...
I lived 18 years without the slightest hint of a neighbor. Our neighbors were bobcats in the trees and super huge gopher turtles the dogs liked to torment. I was an only child who always thought it was lonely and wanted neighbor kids to play with. My parents loved not having neighbors and I thought they were odd hermits. Oh how I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger...thanks Rod Stewart.

When I went off to VSU I thought it would be so exciting to live in the dorm with neighbors on all sides at a ridiculously close proximity...finally friends to play with! Woo hoo! I quickly found out why you don't make friends with your neighbors and the fun wore off. I grew tired of trying to go to the bathroom with six other people on both sides of me and always having to listen to someone's drama at 1:00 in the morning. There were these two girls next door who were very heavy drinkers, we were not. That was totally fine, but somehow they always involved us in their mess. They thought having a collection of bottles of all the things they had drank for the last few months was a brilliant wasn't so brilliant when they were trying to hide thirty something bottles from their parents when they came to visit. So, guess where they always wanted to store the bottles? We got tired of their parents visiting just as much as they did...because ever so often we were having to help them haul the bottle collection over to our room. It got old...quickly. These are the same people who would randomly show up at our door late at night with crazy bleeding scratches and wounds to tend because they "fell" in the parking lot. On the other side were the typical roommates that took turns stopping in to complain about how much they hated the other one, yet once together, they appeared to be the best of friends. Luckily, across the hall was just an overly excited (soon to be) sorority girl who decorated her room only in sorority paraphernalia and who's Victoria Secret lotion/perfume collection scents were so strong you couldn't talk to her for more than a minute without wanting to pass out. You literally could smell her before you could see or hear her. I'm so not kidding. moved out of the dorm into my first house with three of the girls from the dorm (all whom turned out to be the most psychotic people I've ever known...we'll share those stories another day!) My first "real" house neighbor was a SUPER MEAN old lady who lived by herself and I guess was just lonely and bitter. She was never nice to us though we went out of our way to be nice to her.

The next neighbor was when I moved to a house closer to campus minus one psychotic roommate..but still stuck with the other. These new neighbors here are the ones to put the icing on the cake for the number one reasons I don't like neighbors. I felt sorry for the woman because she had three kids and her creepy husband had left her there with them after she had moved from Germany to be with him. I thought her German accent was nifty and her kids were nice. You know this wore off right? One day I caught her son tormenting my Cocker Spaniel (Casey) from outside the fence. I thought everyone knew not to pick on a Cocker Spaniel. I guess he wanted face reconstruction. They had the fattest, most disgusting Dalmation I have ever seen in my life. Felt sorry for her at first too because she was a rescued dog. Didn't feel so sorry for her when she spent an entire year crapping in my front yard...where I walked to check the mail and get in my car. The dog had hemorrhoids ya'll. I'm serious here. Sick. Can you picture the lady with a German accent explaining to me why it was ok for her dog to take a shit in my yard because it was a miracle she was taking one at all?! She told me she had trained the dog to go in my yard when nobody lived she was used to it. She wasn't going to bother to try and change that behavior either. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I would go out and check the mail and the poor dog would be hunched over trying to go...then 30 minutes later I would leave to go back to class and she was still out there hunched over trying to go. There was almost always an overweight Dalmation hunched over-mid crap in my yard. When she finally did go, it was large.

Ok, so you think that's pretty bad right?! It totally doesn't stop there. This woman was always taking advantage of my babysitting services, but for free. She would pretend it was just going to be for an hour or so and 10 years later I've put her kids through college before she ever returned. She even had me hide the Santa Claus presents in my house. The kids weren't all that bad, but one day they brought home friends. You know the kind that make you scratch your head and in some 5th grade classrooms they get flicked across the room from one student to another. Once they caught these friends, they never seemed to get rid of them and I never really wanted them back in my house. She apparently had no qualms about the entire neighborhood finding out her kids had lice because she sat on her front step every other night-- lice combing someone's hair...and they would usually be in their underwear. Insert German accent screaming to child, "Anna, why are you outside with clothes on?!" Anna was often seen in just her panties but oddly enough her brother only went outside fully clothed. It was a very strange world.

My parents would be proud to know that it only took a few years and some hard lessons for me to learn that maybe in Mrs. Cleaver land it was a good thing to go ask your neighbor for a cup of sugar...but for us, the word "neighbor" sounds best alongside locks on gates and blackened out windows with bars. "Golly Beav!" (photo from google)


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