Monday, July 6, 2009

I Bet Mayberry Didn't Have This Kind of Citizen

This is another one of those "What makes people tick?" posts. The kind in which I make a slight attempt to figure someone out in writing, then admit defeat and just go with laughing at how foolish they are, and feeling bad about how sad they must feel inside.

We've lived in this house for a little over 5 years. We've had the same neighbors since we arrived at this address. The family to the east of us is very nice. One kid. Both parents work full time. Typical American people. The people to the west of us...

Mid 50's, OTR truck-driver man, chain smoker, beer can ever present, filthy mouth...wife generally never comes out of the house except for a post office run...hopefully NOT typical American people!

They. Hate. Us.

(For the record, we have NEVER had issues with our neighbors. Never. None. We've had quiet neighbors, loud neighbors, druggy neighbors, churchy neighbors...we've invited, and been invited, to neighborly dinners...We're fun people.)

What we AREN' politically correct, or particularly particular about our yard, our vehicles, or our children's outdoor toys. We also aren't prone to letting other people dictate how we live, or how we take care of our yard, our vehicles, or our children's outdoor toys. This has landed us on the fecal roster with our neighbors due west. Not caring that we're in this present predicament has only made it worse.

We are not your average American family. We have 6 kids. We are foster parents. We drive vehicles more than a decade old. Our kids aren't involved in 37 sports. Mom and Dad are in charge. We're home more than we're gone. (Well, not Dad - Dad works a lot to keep food on the table.) We also inhale and exhale several times throughout the day. And there's the problem.

These neighbors seem to think that the local police department has nothing better to do than listen to them complain about us. They have filed some of the most ridiculous, albeit hilarious, complaints.

*Gabe's home health aide blocks the sidewalk with her car.
A: The car was a Geo Metro - TINY
B: No one's using the sidewalk at 5 in the morning, anyway, even if she DID block it.

*They found pears in their yard that our kids threw.
A: I watched squirrels carrying pears from our trees all over the neighborhood.
B: Our kids were throwing APPLES at bats to watch them swoop down. They weren't anywhere near the neighbors yard.

*They went to village offices to request we be required to obtain a building permit for Preston to slap 5 boards up between the shed and a tree and call it a fort.

*Tom stands outside while she's mowing, staring at her, to make sure she doesn't come over on our property.
A: She rarely mows. He does it. (Probably to get away from her screeching.)
B: Tom has way better things to do in life than deny people the privilege of mowing our yard.
C: Tom's good, but he doesn't have telepathic powers strong enough to keep a riding lawn mower carrying a chubby middle-aged woman from veering onto our lawn.

*We, particularly our children, harass her so much she doesn't even come outside anymore because we drive her crazy. Our children smile and wave at her. They look at her through the (our!) windows.
A: She doesn't come outside anyway. She's very reclusive.
B: Naughty kids, you, smiling at the grouchy lady!

*We park our vehicles in our driveway, which isn't a driveway, and they can't see to back out of theirs.
A: Hrm...gravel, dirt, tire tracks...looks like a driveway to me.
B: Police officer checked the backing situation by pulling the cruiser into their driveway and checking sight line. HE had no problems, and documented that.

The list could go on, but I should save some web space for other people. Otherwise I'd be accused of being selfish.

Speaking of being accused...we've been told:

*We're stupid
*We're poor
*We're bringing down the whole neighborhood
*We should help the boys fill out McDonalds and Wendys applications because that's their future. (Because we home school) (This irritated the police chief, who was happy to point out that, on average, home schooled students do better than publicly-schooled children in a variety of ways. As my sister said, "It's good to have Barney Fife on your side.")
*It's nice to have money, so they can use their dryer instead of hang clothes outside.

These people are just plain mean. I've never met anyone like them. I can't comprehend how people can act this way, because I'm just not a nasty person. I'll admit to having grouchy days, especially when there's no coffee around, but I'm not a mean-spirited person. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but this couple just begs for the snark to come out of me! Have they ALWAYS been this way? Why in the world would they get married if they're both so nasty? They just prove that Misery Loves Company. How sad!

We have had several people suggest that we apply to Extreme Home Makeover for a home redo. (Not that our house is crumbling, but we could for SURE use a better layout for Gabe, and it's an old home that needs a lot of repair. More rooms for foster kids would be great, too.) BUT!! Who wants to be chained to these neighbors forever??!? No, when EHM decides to do a complete relocation, maybe THEN we'll apply! My request would be - move us just outside city limits, in a NON-extravagant home that doesn't require outrageous taxes, and turn this place into a Village Park.

If these neighbors think 6 kids are bad, let them deal with the whole town playing basketball in their back yard!