It’s True What They Say About Fences

posted by Momo Fali on August 25, 2008

I am 37 years old and have lived in 12 different houses and apartments. I have met, and moved away from, many different neighbors. And, I’ve had my fair share of bad ones.

When I was little, there was Ursula. She lived alone with her thick German accent and her very scary dogs. Dogs who may as well have been trained by Hitler himself. God forbid if they didn’t heel when she told them to.

I didn’t try to sell Ursula any Girl Scout cookies, and I didn’t even bother collecting paper route money. You just didn’t approach that house. Das war verboten!

In college, I had neighbors who made my apartment building smell like Thai food and feet. The odors that wafted under the hallway doors were bad enough that I trained myself to hold my breath from the parking lot to my unit on the second floor. The year I had to carry my bike up the steps was quite a challenge.

Shortly after that, I had my first experience with rotten neighborhood kids. Kids who threw eggs at my house and who put dog poop on my front porch. I’m not going to get into details, but just know that I got them back.

My husband and I have lived in our current home for over 10 years, and we have a great group of folks living around us. But, for the past eight months we’ve been feuding with our next door neighbor. Well, not so much feuding as not talking at all.

Before the silent treatment began, this was the same lady who would stop you on your way to the car, or in the middle of cutting grass, to give you a dissertation on her family life. These were not stories about her or her husband, but rather about her children, her grandchildren, her grandchildren’s barber, the barber’s sister, and the barber’s sister’s attorney’s son’s teacher’s uncle. Literally. She is a gossip to the nth degree…and if you’re going to gossip, could you at least make it about people I know?

So this not talking thing? It’s really not so bad.

Forget casseroles and picking up newspapers when we’re out of town. Turns out that her granddaughter wrecking into our car was the most neighborly thing anyone has ever done for us.

    Comments

  • Lizzi


    Her granddaughter hit your car and they stopped talking to you? How the heck does that work?

    We have similar neighbors here too. I did a series on That Other Blog about a neighborhood kid, Sam, and his parents – mostly his mother. Her kid’s a total jackass, yet any altercation he has MUST be because we’re all racists. She’s insane, so … the not talking to us thing isn’t all bad.

    Maybe put a For Sale sign in her yard … y’know, just for fun.

  • Whiney Momma


    My neighbors are weasels…I loathe them.

    Glad to hear I am not the only one that has this kind of luck with neighbors…believe me, I have considered moving (again) : )

  • chefmom


    I would be BEYOND pissed!!! Did you not find out until you got home, or did someone call you? MAN, what a way to ruin your wonderful anniversary weekend getaway…DId you have fun? Stay dry? No horses? Scrabble champion of the weekend??

  • Immoral Matriarch


    I don’t know any of my neighbors. WOO!

  • the planet of janet


    see? every cloud has a silver lining!

    uh. sorry. i’ll be quiet now.

  • DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM


    This is why my dream is to live on at least 100 wooded acres, smack in the middle. And maybe no phone, either.
    Can you say HERMIT?

  • Kori


    I can think of lots worse things than the silent treatment; dog poop on your porch? I might have to commit a crime were that to happen at MY house!

  • Kat


    Being a military family, we have come across both the good and the bad. Lucky for me right now we have the good. A couple of years ago we had the bad, evil, cut their eyes at you neighbor. I have no idea what we even did wrong. Oh well. C’est la vie.

  • Twenty Four At Heart


    I think it’s rare to have a neighbor you really hit it off with. I too grew up with a German couple down the street. I am of German descent, but their accents were heavy, they seemed scary and they had a HUGE german shepherd named WOLFGANG. That dog scared the crap out of me! I remember it as vividly as if it were baring it’s teeth at me this very moment. German shepherd, german neighbors … hmmmm …
    PS I’m talking sex today on my site, do you think I’m going to offend everyone??

  • Misty


    What? her granddaughter wrecked into your car??? Horrible…

  • Jamie E


    hmmm, sounds like my mom, of course,minus dog, add cats, add cigarettes, minus irresponsible offspring and plus plus on the gossip about strangers!

  • Boss Sanders


    Man, I wish they would wreck into our vehicles…either of the ones that WONT START! GAW.

    I would like to know how you got back at those other kids. Now you’ve got me all curious.

  • Mr Lady


    Well, at least you have two more posts this week. DETAILS, woman.

  • LiteralDan


    If she threatens to start talking to you again, you could always go the dog poop route.

  • Stella


    Ahh the stories…

  • Rachel


    Neighbors can be blessings or curses.
    I once had a neighbor who screamed at our dogs that he was there first and they were treading on his territory. He then knocked our fence down on top of our dogs and used to jump out of the bushes at me. He was in his mid thirties. It scared the shit out of me. We only stayed there for 6 months.

    I’m glad you got those kids back.

    Sooo… the granddaughter hitting your car was a blessing in disguise? 🙂

  • Undomestic Diva


    I organized a neighborhood block party one year to encourage us to get to know each other. Yeah. That went REAL WELL when the bitch two houses down told me she was only staying for a few minutes so she could “see who the players are.”

    Players? WTF?

  • Ms Picket To You


    i have THAT SAME neighbor. i once mentioned that I thought her (crappy) house looked nice with the new paint job and she decided that my husband and I were going to try to force her out of the ‘hood and take over her (crappy) house. Um? No?
    Now she leaves us alone. Which I love.

  • meleah rebeccah


    I think my family has been really lucky with neighbors. I can’t imagine dealing with some of the nightmares you’ve put up with.

    Geez!

  • AlisonH


    Well, that’s one way to ditch an old car (if that’s what it was). Can you send her over to my decrepit minivan?

  • Drowsey Monkey


    Oh god, I feel your pain. Neighbours are the worst! I think the thai food/feet person moved in down the hall from me. Of course I do miss nekid guy. I think you’ve inspired me to do a post about how much I miss him.

    See what good work your blog is doing.

  • Jenna Consolo


    Ooooh, good idea for a post! You’re so right. I have often dreamed of living on so much land that I can’t see my nearest neighbor. Really good neighbors are hard to come by these days.

  • Birdie


    oooh bad neighbors, they’re the worst. I’m super sorry your car got smashed by granddaughter. Surprised she didn’t blame it on you somehow. We’ve been blamed before when a lady hit our parked car in a parking lot *oi* What I want to know is how you got the dog poop kids back!

  • vincent


    It is so strange I just read this… My boyfriend was outside at midnight last night “trimming up” some pines on our property line, which happen to have trunks in our neighbors yard!!! This coming after our neighbor RAN into our yard yesterday evening to proclaim to my boyfriend that he was going to “get rid of” the beautiful pink peonies which are in a row on this same property line. (They have been there for probably- oh- a hundred years! They were planted LONG AGO by our forefathers!) This stemming from us transplanting a few rose of sharons on OUR property close to the line which CAUSE BEES TO BUZZ AROUND and someone “over there” got stung. And they don’t care if these attract hummingbirds because THEY DON’T like hummingbirds… WOW!!! Writing it down makes me see just how petty people with too much time on their hands can be… Isn’t it crazy??? And yes, on Wednesday when the little one is at school, we will be transplanting rose of sharons to pacify neighbors who were like sunshine in our lives until approximately one month ago…

  • Jo Beaufoix


    We have good neighbours either side, but ar*eholes at the bottom. That sounds a bit rude. Sorry.

  • Lane Boyz Mom


    Ahhh the joys of neighbors! I personally only WAVE to my neighbors…we speak nary a word, lived here a little over a year and so far this is working out nicely for me;) LOL

  • Kimmylyn


    You mean I am supposed to talk to the people that live next door to me? No one gave me those rules..hahaha

  • mammadawg.com


    OMG.

    I am trippin’ but still LMAO. OMG!

    I had a neighbor behind me who let her 2 yip-yip dogs bark. ALL NIGHT.

    And ALL morning.

    I couldn’t take it anymore and stomped over to her house. She wouldn’t answer the door, even if everyone else on the block heard me banging on the front door.

    They were pissed, too. Topped it off with a call to Animal Control, and finally…. peace.

    Oh yeah. She probably threw a party when we moved away.

  • Christina


    The happiest day of the past year for me was when our neighbors were foreclosed on and moved out. For four years we had to deal with four unruly kids who destroyed our yard and parents who threatened us if we dared to tell their kids to stop.

    The parents claimed that since we had more yard than they did, their kids had a right to our yard. Wha?

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