Saturday, June 07, 2014

Won't You Be My Neighbor

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?..."

Oh, Mr. Rogers...I'm not real sure you'd approve of one of my neighbors.  

(This is a rant...sorry)

You see, I live in an area where the people are very kind and friendly.  The neighbors I have are sweet and caring.  Bob, who's the older man next door, brings me vegetables from his garden and wine grapes every summer.  We talk over our fences about random things and he and his wife are great people.  On the other side of me, used to live a family that was generous with their time and lovingly devoted parents to their children.  Angie, the mom, and I would sit on her porch and chat from time to time.  When I moved here, I kept to myself, didn't want to talk to people, didn't want to meet people, just wanted to be left alone.  However, those two families were what little dose of human interaction that I needed during that time.  
When Angie and her family moved, another couple moved in with their three giant awesome dogs.  They've both been super great when my dog, Twig, has decided to be an asshole and dig a hole to China that led to their house and play with the 300+ pounds of dog.  Their dogs just play with Twig (they mostly play follow-the-leader; my dog being the leader) and nothing happens.  It's just rude of my dog and as an extension...rude of me.  But they're always gracious when they bring back my little shit of a dog.  

The house across the street has a large family that just moved in a few months ago and they all seem very sweet.  When Twig decided to go on an "Amazing Journey", Farrah had knocked on their door asking if they'd seen Twig and they were immediately giving us information about where they'd seen her, how nice of a dog she is, they were going to let us know right away if they saw her again...the whole family had come out to help.  Awesome!
The next house down, those neighbors were kind but moved away, too.  The new people that moved in had seemed very kind.  The wife had helped me clear my driveway of snow when it had dumped the night before and I was extremely grateful.  

But...yesterday...I got a clearer understanding of the kind of person this woman is/was.  While I don't want to seem like a complete ass for what I'm about to say because she was so awesome to help me out, I learned some stuff about her that makes me think I'd rather get stuck in my driveway next time we have a snow storm.
Twig ran away yesterday.  She had been gone the longest time ever and we finally found her when we went knocking a third time on the house that has the 3 dogs.  The woman answered the door and we talked about Twig, laughed about how funny she is to want to play with beasts and doesn't die, and what have you.  She was a doll.  In the middle of our conversation, there was a little girl at that other neighbor's house...with Twig!  "TWIG!!!"  She came running to us, got her loves, and we quickly put her leash on her.  The little girl came over...along with her mom.  We thanked them profusely for taking care of our dog and the mother decided to speak, "Yeah, we decided to take her in because she was just wandering around.  You know, we hear her crying all the time every day."
Both Farrah and I looked at each other with wtf-faces, "Um, really?  She never cries.  Like ever.  Unless she thinks I'm going to kill her or something, which is still never."
Her:  "Well, since my kids want a dog so bad, if she hadn't had a tag on I was just going to keep her." (No joking in her tone.)
Me:  "Hmm. Okaaaaaay."
At some point, I looked at my nice neighbor and she gave me an awkward smile.  I started changing the subject and talked to my nice neighbor about her new tattoo and we talked about mine and somehow the subject about "friendly neighbors" came up randomly from the neighbor that wanted to steel my dog.
Her:  "You know, it's funny how we have neighbors around here that are nice, but a lot really aren't." (Huh?)
Her:  "That old man over there?  He's awful.  Just an awful cranky old man who isn't nice to anyone, ever!" (Mind you, she's saying this so extremely loud that I start getting uncomfortable because I know exactly what she's doing...she hopes he hears her.)
Me:  "Are you serious?  Bob?  He's great!  Maybe next time you see him walking around with his baggies of vegetable that he hands out to all of us, you should tell him you'd love to try some because they're beautiful!"
Her:  "No, he's terrible.  I was clearing out your driveway one day and he was out there with his snow blower glaring at me the whole time."
Me:  "I don't know why he'd glare at you except that he helps me every winter.  Maybe he was still planning to."
Then she continued with this beauty...again, so incredibly loud, I don't think she was really talking to us, but the whole damn neighborhood.
Her:  "And you know what sucks?  I'm on my own for 3 months out of the year (boo-fucking-hoo, lady) and I had to shovel my snow by myself after having my son!  Everyone in the neighborhood saw me!  They all saw that I had strangely put on an extra 40 pounds, clearly from having a baby, and was outside shoveling with a baby crying inside while my daughter watched him, and did any of them bother to stop and help me even once?  No.  People here only really care about their own problems!"
Me:  (Nothing...I had nothing to say.)
Her:  "And then Angie, who used to live here who has half the driveway I do, actually complained about how hard it was to shovel her driveway.  Can you believe that?  And out of the blue, she starts talking about being on her own, she's alone, he cheated, all this stuff and I thought, whoa!  I hardly know you, lady, and I don't really care about all of this crap you're telling me."

At this point, my nice neighbor and I are looking at each other with "oh-my-god-this-woman-is-toxic" eyes.  

Here's the thing.  I cannot STAND people like her.  Not one bit.  Even reliving that moment right now is making my blood boil.  Angie clearly needed someone, anyone, to talk to in that moment.  She just happened to choose an asshole, and for that, it breaks my heart for her.  Screw that neighbor for being so god damn inconsiderate and insensitive.  I didn't know that about Angie and here's this lady practically yelling about it for everyone who knew Angie, to hear.  Asshole.  And whatever the circumstances were in Angie's private life, she just wanted to talk.  People shouldn't belittle someone for being human.  And Bob?  He is a great man.  He's good to everyone and flips me shit when he sees how gross my yard gets, but he knows I'm doing the best I can.  I am grateful that he lives next door to me!  

I listened to this woman talk shit about every person in the neighborhood and how awful and selfish they are...and I'm left wondering...why?  Not one nice thing came out of her mouth.  I even asked her about her favorite football team (the 49ers) because I was going to suggest we all get together to watch some football this coming season...but the crap that spewed from her about the 49ers, her friends that she won't invite to her home anymore because they're so awful about her favorite team, and how her daughter got picked on for liking the 49ers...all made me not continue down the invite road.  I just figured a football fan is a football fan and it would be fun to watch some games.  But, no thanks.  

I was able to determine in a matter of 10 minutes, that this woman is someone I could never be friends with.  She's not just a complainer, but she's mean.  I'm a great judge of character and I could tell that she is mean to people, clearly a shit-talker, and downright rude.  The fact that she said how awful "everyone" in the neighborhood was, is pretty ironic.  She's busy pointing the finger at everyone else and their awfulness, while she has three more fingers pointing back at her.  

Hey neighbor, we're not the are.  This is a neighborhood, a community of really great people and I feel lucky to live here. So, if you are so unhappy in this "terrible" place, go back where you came from and be awful there.

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