Last night I spent 45 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back engaged in conversation with the woman who owns the house attached to mine. Here is a selection of her comments:
Regarding the tree in my back yard:
It’s really just a weed you know, the previous owners cut the top right off and all of that has grown back in the last couple years. It’s bowing my fence and my deck is in complete shade because of it! I’ve found some contact information of companies that could take it down. I’ll just put it in your mailbox. [I guess I should care about this, but I don’t.]
Regarding the maple tree in my front yard:
It’s a great tree – it’s well over a hundred years old. I hope you’re taking care of it. Oh yes, I have the name of a tree doctor, I’ll put that in your mailbox with the other stuff. [Really? Hmm. I had no idea a tree that’s two feet in diameter was old. I certainly never learned that growing up in the country. Thank God you told me!]
Regarding our front steps:
You know the Beach and Upper Beach is a termite area don’t you? You should really think about getting stone steps. I’m on a waiting list for a particular contractor, I’d love to put your name on the list. [Again, wow, thanks for the update. When are you going to go inside?]
Regarding the renovations:
I can’t imagine why you’d redo the floor when the previous owners just did it! [Well, you’re the expert.]
Regarding my garden:
What are you doing here you silly girl? Oh my goodness, your petunias were so nice and now they’re all choked out by weeds! You know, I was thinking. I have a lot of extra time now, since there’s no weeds in my garden, I could work on yours! [I’m speechless.]
And then the icing on this hellish little cake? My husband and father-in-law arrived home from Home Depot while we were standing on the sidewalk talking and he backed into her car. When I say "backed into" I mean the barest, slightest touch you could ever imagine. I was standing right there and I very clearly saw that her front bumper didn’t even move, the car just rocked ever so slightly (and slowly) backward. She then starts screaming, "STOP OH MY GOD STOP STOP STOP!" and pounding on on the trunk of our car. It was all very dramatic in light of the fact that he had indeed already stopped.
I was standing there thinking, "You have got to be effing kidding me." This man has never hit a single thing in the entire time I’ve known him, when he finally decides to tap something it just happens to be her car? He denies he did it on purpose, but I remain unconvinced. I felt it was very poetic. I told her, oh yes, I was certainly very interested in the steps and went inside. I spent the rest of the night in giddy anticipation of seeing her face when the "For Sale" sign goes up.