When we bought our first house #1 was 2 ½ and #2 had just turned a year old. We had found a town on the opposite of Atlanta that we originally moved to where we could build a custom built home with more land for like 1/3 less than where we were living so we jumped on the chance. Since it was a new neighborhood, all the houses were being built at the same time so consequently most of our neighbors on our street all moved in the same month, practically within two weeks of us. We were one of the first families to move in therefore we were pretty close with all these neighbors and the bulk of us lived there between 15 and 20 years and still keep in touch even though most of us have since moved.
The couple that moved in next door to us were complete polar opposites. Not just of us, but of each other. She was sweet and kind and friendly and he was…. Well, let’s just say he WASN’T those things that she WAS. Since we moved in about the same time we decided to split the cost of the fence that separated our yards since the same company was doing them and on the same day. Things were starting our swimmingly! They had no children but they did have a chow named Precious. Once they did have kids… I think he still loved that dog more than his kids.
We did everything in the world to be hospitable and nice to our neighbors. All of them. When they had babies, we threw them showers, cooked them food, brought them gifts. When “Bobby and Ann” had their first child, I made them my homemade spaghetti with salad and garlic bread, enough to last for at least two or three meals and took it to them in my best Tupperware containers (which were not cheap). He answered the door, barely spoke, took the food and closed the door in my face! A couple of days later, I was outside feeding our dog and saw right beside the fence that separated our yards on THEIR side were my Tupperware bowls! With dog food in one and water in the other! He used my Tupperware for his dog’s dish! What a jerk! And he never even said thank you!
I never even said anything to his wife about it so I’m not sure if she ever even knew. Then a few months later Home Depot delivered some trees that they had bought. They had a VERY steep driveway. The truck had tried to pull into their driveway but it was too steep so they kind of let it drift back down the driveway and when they did the trailer hitch on the back of the Home Depot truck gouged into the pavement in the middle of the street. Our lovely neighbor ended up suing them for defacing the street in front of his house! I kid you not!
I could never understand how someone SO sweet could live with someone who was such a jerk. The worst incident I can think of that really sent me over the edge involved trees. We had a gazillion pine trees in our yard, both front and back. We could never get any grass to grow and we were told that the pine trees were sapping all the nutrients out of the ground and not allowing the grass to flourish so we decided to get all the pine (those big tall skinny Georgia pines) trees cut out of the yard and leave the hardwoods. The only potential “problem” was that there were several pine trees that literally straddled the property line between our house and our neighbors. I happened to catch him out in his yard one day and told him we were going to get the pine trees cut out of our yard as soon as we got our tax refund back and did he mind if we cut the pine trees that straddled the property line. I guess we had been living there 3 or years so some of them had gotten quite tall. He said no, he did not have a problem with that and surprisingly asked if we wanted him to “chip in” with the cost of the ones where you couldn’t tell if they were his or ours. I told him that wouldn’t be necessary since the quote I got was to cut all the pine trees and I didn’t think the guy would charge more for those few. Now we just had to just wait for our tax refund to come in.
A few days later “Bob” comes over and rings our doorbell. I answer the door and Bob says “Hey Peg, I thought you said you said you guys were gonna cut down those pine trees?” I explained to him (again) that we were indeed going to get the trees cut down as soon as we got our tax refund back,
Bob: Well, when do you think that will be?
Me: Gee, Bob, I don’t know. We just mailed it off a couple of weeks ago and it usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks so I’m thinking in another 4 to 6 weeks. Is that gonna be a problem?
He just storms off. I’m left standing there shaking my head wondering what the heck all that was about since he had never even mentioned those trees until I asked HIM about them.
About two weeks later I’m in our garage with the door open and I see Bob coming across our driveway. Great I WAS in a good mood. Again, he says “Peg, when are yall gonna cut those trees?”
Me: Bob, I told you a couple of weeks ago that I was waiting for our tax refund and I’m gonna do it as soon as we get our refund back, OK?
Bob: Well, you know a couple of those trees are dead.
Me: Yes, Bob… they’ve been dead since we moved in. I think they will be okay for another few weeks until we get our tax refund.
Bob: Well, I’m afraid they are gonna fall on my house!
Me: Then why don’t YOU have them cut down? They are ON THE LINE you know, so they are as much YOUR trees as ours.
Bob: I can’t afford to do it by myself but I found a guy that will cut those two dead ones for $500.
Me: Bob, I can’t afford to pay $500 to have those two trees cut. I told you I’m waiting for our tax refund and we’ll have them ALL cut down.
Bob: Well, if you pay ½ of it to have those two cut down now, I’ll pay the other ½.
Me: Bob, I would be STUPID to pay $500 or even $250 to have TWO trees cut down when I’m only paying like $900 to have over THIRTY trees cut down. We’ll take care of it as soon as we get our refund.
Bob: Well, what if it falls on my house in the meantime?
Me: That’s what homeowners INSURANCE is for. I’m sorry that it bothers you all of a sudden but you are just gonna have to wait a few more weeks until we get our tax refund. I’m sorry. I can’t help you right now.
He storms off, madder than a wet hen.
THREE DAYS LATER…. I get a certified letter from a lawyer demanding that we cut down the trees between our yards ASAP or he will SUE us! I was SO pissed I could have bit nails in two. Hell, I could have probably gone out and chewed the dang trees down with my bare teeth! The nerve of that jerk. I wanted SO badly to storm across to his front door, wait for him to open the door, rip up the letter in front of him and throw it in his face! I was LIVID. I told hubby and of course he is so good hearted all he could think of was poor Ann having to live with such a jerkwad and told me not to say anything.
The next afternoon I am in the garage, again with the door open, when I see jerkwad walking across our driveway with a piece of paper in his hand. I KNOW it’s “the letter” so I don’t even look up when he walks up. He starts, stammering out my name…. “uhhhhh, Peg”
Me: (Doing my best “talk to the hand” gesture) Ummmm, no Thanks Bob. I think I already have one of my own!
Bob: Yeah, uh… that was what I wanted to talk to you about….
Me: What’s there to talk about Bob? I told you we were gonna take care of the trees and you act like a jerk and go get a lawyer when I TOLD you we didn’t have the money right now, that we were waiting on our tax refund to cut down the trees that belong to BOTH of us but we were willing to pay for all on our own and that you hadn’t even THOUGHT about until I brought it up!
Bob: Well, that’s what I’m trying to explain… the insurance company said we HAD to do the letter, otherwise, if the tree fell since we knew it was dead, they wouldn’t pay for it because they would consider it negligence if we didn’t send the letter.
Me: You know Bob, I actually understand that and if you had COME to me FIRST and told me that instead of being a jerk and sending the letter there would not have been a problem, but since you DIDN’T have the decency to come to me like a real man and tell me to my face??? To me? You could just as well have come and slapped me in the face for what you did. So if you’re gonna sue me, go ahead and sue me cause I’m definitely not going to cut those trees down until I get my tax refund. End of discussion. You can take you little piece of paper and stay on your side of the trees.
They moved out not too long after that and I told hubby I didn’t care who we got… they could NEVER be any worse than HIM…. Remember that time I said never say never or it will come back to bite you in the butt.? Yeah, I got teeth marks… on BOTH cheeks… but that’s another blog.
This post was brought to you as part of the Living Out Loud project. This month’s theme was “the people in your neighborhood”. If you’d like to take part in future projects, please click here and read about Living Out Loud.