Monday, March 19, 2007

Fair Warning (58/365)

Our house is right next to the last empty lot on our street, and we have grown accustomed to the privacy and sense of space from not having a house next door. I like the relief of not having to constantly shush the kids from their caterwauling, knowing that the neighbors are just far enough away that they are probably not overly concerned by the screaming. There is little doubt in my mind that we are going to have neighbors soon, though, since the builders are now listing the lot for a full $100K less than they've had it listed for the last 18 months. Despite being resigned to the situation, I have a hard time trying to restrain myself from scaring away any potential buyers. We've seen some traffic out there the past few weeks, and last weekend, when it was beautiful outside, I noticed two cars parked at the street. I couldn't figure out where the people were, however, since it's a razed muddy field now that they cut down all the trees, but each time I looked out there, the cars were still there. Hmmmmm, I thought to myself, judging by the cars parked out there, we are looking at a reasonably well-off empty-nest couple looking to down-size and build themselves a retirement home. Hmmmmmmmmm.... Let me note right here that the vast majority of our neighbors are retirees. This particular small development (less that 20 houses) includes only 3 families with school-age children, so we are the ones most likely to disturb everyone else's peace. Our neighbors are quite nice, those that we have met, but the spacious buffer zone around our house has worked to every one's benefit. On the other side of the house, there is a zone of common land between our house and our neighbors, so when the empty lot sells, we will have our first true next-door neighbors. We'd had a lovely Sunday morning, did the big Sunday-Breakfast-Read-The-Paper thing. The kids had played with the dance pad game on the television, and then I made good on my promise to Pepper, who had been begging to do face painting all weekend. I painted her face up just the way she wanted, like a dragon, and once again, I let her paint my face in return. Also, once again, she chose to paint me up like a clown. Unlike the last version ("Psycho Clown"), this look is more like "Grandma Had One Too Many Harvey Wallbangers And Re-Applied Her Makeup While Jostling For Counterspace In The Crowded, Poorly-Lit Powder Room:"

After a while, I started to wonder about the cars next door. Where were the people? Maybe they had walked down to the edge of the property? I peeked out the back windows, but didn't see anything. Then my curiosity really kicked in. So I did what any sane, rational person would do. I wiped off my Emmitt Kelley face and put on a bra, and then sent Pepper out to the mailbox with some letters to be mailed. With her dragon face on. Then she couldn't get the mailbox open, so I had to go out there. Which, since she isn't quite tall enough to get proper leverage on the mailbox, was not totally unexpected. Do you know why I couldn't see the people? Because they were standing in our yard, so they wouldn't get their feet muddy, like 3 feet from the corner of our house. They also refused to even turn and look at us, although I saw one of the realtors looking askance at Pepper. Heh. We have a small, small front yard, so these people were only like 25 feet away, and yet they stood there like I and my house and my lizard-child were invisible. You know what I did next, right? I tore into my bathroom and stood with my ear against the window to eavesdrop! I didn't hear much, however, only general blah blah blah about homeowners associations dictating the look of the windows they could use and how the realtors would have to go get the paperwork back at the office to look that up, and I felt like jumping out and offering helpfully that we actually don't have a homeowners association yet, because the builder won't get off his ass to relinquish all the paperwork and filing to us, and we've actually had to hire a lawyer to try to make sure he's been filing the taxes for the association...and no, I didn't do that. I draw the line at active sabotage, but I damn sure have no qualms about letting prospective buyers know what they are getting into. Anyone building a house next door to us will have small children outside shrieking and throwing balls and arguing about whose turn it is to use the bubble wand. Although I knew one of the people had gotten an eyeful of Dragon Girl, I was seriously contemplating how fast I could get Peanut dressed and haul both kids out into the driveway for more of the "This Is Who Your Friendly, Loud, And Possibly Insane Neighbors Will Be If You Purchase This Lot" show. Just then, I saw them loading up into the cars, right as the one other family up the street with small kids came walking down the street. The cars were just pulling away, though, so I'm not sure they got a look at the other family. They sure got a look at mine, though. Heh.

9 comments:

  1. Heh. Were they frightened by the green monster?

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  2. God, I hope so - the "For Sale" sign is still up, so Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise...!

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  3. Oh yes. I like your strategy, especially if they were too standoffish to smile at the dragon girl (who was in her own yard, btw...)

    I hope you end up with some friendly neighbors, whoever they may be. And thanks for stopping by my blog today!

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  4. I'm not sure my comment made any sense. Aagh! Mommy brain strikes. What I MEANT was, they should have PARTICULARLY been friendly to your daughter seeing as they were standing in her yard.

    And since she makes an incredibly great looking dragon, of course.

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  5. OK, I officially love it over here. glad you found me so i could reciprocate. that last picture is outstanding.

    and heck yes, i'd make all the noise that is normal to that corner of the world...indeed, you are doing them a favor...if that favor inadvertently helps you...well...that's evem better!

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  6. I LOVE IT!

    First - rude people, to tramp on your property and not even greet you.

    second - you worry too much. let the kids be loud. wait till you get a load of how loud the retirees play their TV and radio....

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  7. I would totally move into a neighborhood with kids who looked like this.

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  8. Fantastic! I love the face painting but I like your attempt at sabotage even more.

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  9. With the way real estate is right now in Mass., I'd be surprised if someone was going to build a place. Maybe you won't get neighbors after all.

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