Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back from Washington

I am back from beautiful Washington. The time spent visiting with my brother and sister-in-law was fun, eventful and way too short.

What a different world Washington is! I just loved it and am feeling mildly depressed being back in dirty, stinky New Jersey and Philadelphia. I am so happy I went. It was so cool hanging out with my brother. He and my sister-in-law awaken me to new things and new ways and new experiences and they just get my mind rolling. A highlight included a short 3.5 mile hike with Kristin. It was breathtaking. I'm already looking up places to hike around here. I can't wait to go to Washington again next year minus my mom. Hopefully we can plan a hiking trip. It was wonderful to see a new place! So much green! I'll be posting my pictures soon with some narration.

But alas, back to life as I left it. We got our keys yesterday and I'm feeling some mild anxiety. We met our downstairs neighbor and my first impression of her was awful to say the least and I'm stressing over it. Of course I am. Within two minutes of meeting her she let us know (albeit nicely) that her dog barks a lot and she yells at her young daughter a lot and her friend also lives there and her boyfriend from time to time (of course) and her stepson from time to time (great).

I was having trouble keeping a smile. But we didn't hear a peep until about 8:00 when the sun started to go down. But you see, we have our own driveway with a basketball hoop on it and our own yard and they have their own driveway and their own nice yard on opposite sides of the house.

But at 8:00 I hear a ball bouncing on our driveway and I look out the window and there's a little black boy playing basketball in our driveway.

"Hello."
"Hi."
"Where do you live?"
"Over there" He pointed to the other side of the house.
"Oh."
Blank
"What is your name?"
"Rashawn"
"OK, well I'm Jessica."
Blank
Blank
Rashawn goes back to his game

"Miiiike?"

Ok, I don't mind if the kid plays basketball in our driveway. Wait, actually I do. Because immediately after our little introduction the little white girl who lives downstairs from me started fighting something awful over the ball with Rashawn. She's a devil child. I can tell by the way she whines and screams. And what's with the mom that she would let them basically climb over our non-existing fence and play in my yard!

There's boundaries and they need to be set. We're going to be there only a few days until June 1st so I didn't say anything and Mike said he doesn't mind at all. "Mike, you would mind if we were having dinner on the deck or if you were working in your garage or if the kid fell and chipped his tooth." The kids and their mom or whatever need to know that they need to ask permission and not get upset if we say no sometimes. I understand that we're the neighbor with the hoop but damn, at least ask first. Nine out of ten times I'll say help yourself but be careful.

I was floored by the fact that the mom didn't say anything. I'm not going to deal with this and I want the areas divided. Although there is no physical divider, the line is clearly visible.

I was miserable after that. I know it sounds silly, but what you don't put an end to in the beginning can drive a person (like me) crazy in the end. It ruined the rest of my night and I'm sitting here imagining pretend confrontations over property and being woken up to a little girl's temper tantrum. I can be so friggin' nice....but I can also come off 'snobby' and sound like I'm talking down to people. I hope it doesn't come to it but I have a feeling we're going to have to discuss duplex etiquette and I'm going to have to watch my tone and the mom is going to have to not act trashy.

I shouldn't be so opinionated. I'm sure they're very nice blah blah blah.

I rather be in Washington hiking. I never would have thought I'd like it so much.

Am I overexaggerating this whole thing? I tend to forget people are decent. I need to work on that.

2 comments:

theKirkness said...

operation "fuck that" is in full effect.

honestly that sounds like a shitty situation. you didnt meet the neighbors before hand? that seems like it would deal breaker if you'd have known.

i dont have much advice except try to lay down the ground rules, as she appearantly did by telling you (albeit nicely) that "i beat my kids and its loud so deal with it"

if it doesnt get better theres always the ACME FENCE CO. and if that doesnt work the cops.

sorry jess, good luck with that.

Doug Walsh said...

Yep, thekirkness is right.

We lived in a duplex and had the whole "invisible fence" thing going between the halves, but you know what? Kids don't understand that shit without a lot of explaining. Kristin and I had to be dicks but eventually we had it so that none of those little f'ers came on our "property" without asking. Granted, it was mostly out of concern for our dogs, but still.

Start by politely explaining to the kids that you'd rather they not play there. See how it goes. Then move on to the parents.

Good luck.