Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 69 - October 22, 2009

Neighbour Drama!

I haven’t had the greatest luck with neighbours over the years. It all started when I was 5 and we moved into a quaint blue and white house with a white picket fence on a very family-friendly street. My parents were thrilled to have found a home that had enough indoor space for their 4 children to roam as well as a large yard with a tree house in the back. My siblings and I spent hours after school and on weekends rollerblading on our driveway, camping in our playhouse, playing baseball in the backyard, and turning our upside-down bicycles into a cheese factory on the front lawn. We had quite the imaginations!

One day, my father decided to put up a basketball net on the right side of our driveway. We would play day and night and, occasionally, the ball would hit the rim and bounce over the neighbour’s fence. Either my brother would man-up and climb the fence to retrieve the ball or we’d attempt to lift the basketball over the fence using hockey sticks. On one occasion, my little brother, Matthew, who was no more than 7 or 8-years-old at the time, was outside playing alone when the ball went over the neighbour’s fence and hit their house. Before he could even think of climbing the fence to get his ball, Mrs. F (a 60-something year old woman) was standing in front of him with a butcher knife in one hand and his basketball in the other. With a painful stab, Matthew watched Mrs. F puncture his basketball and proceed to throw the deflated ball at him along with an endless list of profanities. The stories our family could tell about these neighbours are endless. Lucky for us, they have since moved and were replaced by a lovely couple.

Greg and I bought our first home together almost 2 years ago. The home is located on a beautiful tree-lined cul-de-sac. From the day we moved in, we have felt very welcome in the neighbourhood. Kids ride their bikes and play hockey on the quiet street and neighbours wave and stop by to chat while working in the garden. We thought we had the perfect neighbours until last fall when the leaves on our maple tree began to fall to the ground. I came home from work one day to find that our neighbour had raked all the leaves from her yard onto our property. I guess she assumed that since the leaves came from OUR tree, they were our responsibility, even if they were in HER yard! I was so frustrated but bit my tongue and bagged her leaves.

This fall, while we’re here in sunny California, our tenants are dealing with our tree-obsessed neighbour. I recently got an email from our tenant letting us know that our neighbour wanted the tree removed because the leaves were filling her gutters. I responded with a firm NO! Then last week, I hear that she hired a company to trim our tree and cut all of the branches on the right side down to the trunk. I am hoping our lopsided tree will fill in a little bit before we move back into our house in the next couple of years. Is it terrible that I’m praying they move while we’re out of the country?

Here in L.A., we were blessed to have wonderfully quiet neighbours for a whole 9 months. About a month ago, a new set of neighbours moved in. I spent most of the afternoon they moved in looking out the peephole of our apartment door. Don’t judge me! You know that you’d peer out your front window if you had neighbours moving in across the street and trust me…if you lived in an apartment with paper-thin walls, you’d want to know who your neighbours were too. So anyway, our new neighbours are right out of a soap opera. The guy is always shirtless. I have never seen him with his shirt on. I am coming to wonder whether he even owns a t-shirt. We call him naked Justin-Bobby since he resembles the MTV reality star, Justin-Bobby. His girlfriend’s name is Paige. We know this since he is constantly yelling her name. They fight all the time and have broken up at least 3 times since they moved in. The latest break up happened yesterday afternoon. I was going about my daily routine when I hear Paige yell, “You’re always [fooling] around on me. I can do so much better than your 18-year-old [bottom].” You can imagine the actual words they used. The fight went on for more than an hour and included more profanity and door slamming than you see in a raunchy VH1 show. The fight ended once again with Paige moving out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up begging for forgiveness again tonight. Stay tuned!

I am more than ready to leave our neighbours behind in just over a week, although I am considering leaving a written word of warning to the unsuspecting tenants who move into this apartment. They are in for some serious drama!

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