So, remember how I was worried about alienating the neighbors? I can stop now. Yep, it turns out that we couldn’t possibly outdo the previous owners.
I can’t stress enough how much I love my neighbors. Joe and I fell in love with this neighborhood even before the house, and it still may be the bigger selling point. It’s an older, turning-over development with an equal split of retirees, who we love because they’re quiet, and young families, who we love because they have kids Izabelle’s age. People take care of their lawns, pick up after their dogs, and there’s a Rita’s water ice and a library within biking distance—what’s not to love?
Of course, I also love a good crazy-neighbor story. We had several on the block where I grew up, including a squatter who posed as a professional athlete and stole people’s water during the day, and a guy who had a shrine to Hilary Clinton in his house (discovered when he put his house on the market after his divorce).
Now I can proudly boast that our house has a progeny almost as crazy. Our lovely octogenarian neighbor spilled the beans the other day during a chat. We bought the house from the son of an elderly woman who had passed away, and he seemed nice enough (his realtor is a story for another day). But his father was apparently the neighborhood nut.
For starters, the guy used to sit on his roof during Halloween and spray trick-or-treaters with a hose. At least until they got smart and took his ladder away. He tossed logs into our neighbor’s pool, even as he posted signs on his property about being a good neighbor. He cut her telephone wires on several occasions, and spray-painted her car. Twice.
Now, Joe always says there’s two sides to every story and that’s true, but the spray-painting actually ended up in court, with multiple defendants. From the sound of it, the guy was going down the block like a teenage graffiti artist.
Hearing these stories, my eyes just kept getting wider and wider. My neighbor, somehow, holds no grudge against the guy, who she feels was mentally ill. And I guess I can thank him. Even with our power tools and exhibitionist lack of curtains, we still seem like the Brady Bunch by comparison.
What’s your best rotten neighbor story?