We moved a couple of weeks ago, and while that experience reminded me why people buy houses and live in them the rest of their lives so they don’t have to deal with the massive amount of junk they have accumulated, that’s not what this post is about.
At our last house we shared a backyard with our landlord. They never used it, but seemed to mind if we did. That usually manifested itself in a passive-aggressive way, sending me and the kids to primarily play in the front yard. On a busy street. Not the best. Anyway, the new house we moved into has a fenced (private) backyard and couldn’t be better. We have a backyard neighbor whose yard and house are elevated to our roof level separated by a chain link fence so we can see all of them and they all of us. But no big deal, right?
The first week we moved in we spent a lot of time in our new backyard. The joy of running free with no places for small crazy kids to escape was overwhelming. One evening after dinner we were sitting on the pack patio listening to the backyard neighbor’s one chicken. I should re-point out here that we were all just sitting, not running around, not yelling, just sitting, a rare occasion at our house. Our new neighbor comes out of his house to get an egg from his sqwaking chicken, because apparently that’s what chickens do when they lay eggs. He finds his chicken has cried wolf, and there is no egg. Meanwhile his wife comes out and tells us with a fake laugh, “oh, no egg, she must be disturbed by you!” This is obviously shocking to us because we have never seen our children so quiet. So big deal we think, the neighbors think we are bugging the chicken, but we aren’t. The next day the kids and I are gone and Aaron is working from home when he hears someone knocking loudly. He looks out the office window and sees no cars, meaning I didn’t lock myself out, and since he is on an important call chooses not to answer it. The next day he is working from home again and the rest of us are gone again. This time he hears the doorbell being rung repeatedly, as if a 2-year-old is having some fun. Aaron instictively knowing it is not a 2-year-old opens the door angry to find our backyard neighbor standing there. This is more or less their conversation:
Aaron (totally irritated): Yes?
Neighbor: Did I wake you up?
Aaron (it’s 10am): No, I was working.
Neighbor: Well you need to cut down the ivy on the back fence, my wife is allergic.
Aaron: We are renters, I can tell my landlord.
Neighbor: No, you need to cut it down, my wife is allergic.
Aaron: You are legally allowed to cut down any on your side of the fence. I can tell my landlord.
Neighbor: You need to cut it because I am old! [He is not that old, and does yardwork all the time] The former owner was old too and he let it get out of control! My wife is allergic!
Aaron: Well I will give my landlord your contact info and you can talk to her.
Neighbor: I don’t trust that you will do that, so give me your contact information so I can contact you if you don’t.
Neighbor: I didn’t want our first meeting to go like this. [Apparently the backyard meeting where our children were “disturbing” their chickens didn’t count.]
1 hour later: backyard neighbor can be seen in backyard ripping out ivy like a crazy angry person while keeping his glare focused on our dining room where we are eating costco hotdogs.