Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Neighborly Common Decency Is Dead
The other night, one of my neighbors (who seems like he might be hopped up on something given how fast he talks) came pounding on my front door at 11:30 p.m. I would have been rattled by anyone coming to the door at that hour, but his furious knocking and loud announcement of his name nearly shot me off the couch into the ceiling. In addition to telling me our tenant had left her headlights on, he proceeded to talk almost unintelligibly, at top speed, the entire way down our front stairs and back across the street to his house. And it wasn't a whisper. I'm sure the rest of the cul de sac appreciated it immensely...
This was followed by last week's incident where our lower neighbor cut the hell out of one of our orange trees without asking. I walked down to get the mail and our poor little tree had been sliced in half. Apparently it's unclear whether the planter is on our property or his, but still, you'd think he'd have the decency to at least mention it before hacking it away.
Our Santa Ynez neighbors are pretty much the polar opposite.
When we were spreading gravel in part of our front yard, one of our neighbors drove over in his tractor to help us. The other neighbor reprogrammed our sprinklers for us when he noticed they were on all day. Countless others introduced themselves to us when we were first up at the house pulling weeds on a weekend.
It makes me wonder what kind of neighbors Mr. W and I really are.
I don't go out of my way to get to know my neighbors. Not so much because I don't want to but just because I'm not quite sure how to do it. Deliver a basket of muffins? Borrow a cup of sugar? I feel like it's too late for any of that in Hollywood now. I think it'll be easier in Santa Ynez. I think Mr. W and I will have some sort of block party when we move up permanently.
We were talking on the phone last night, and because it was our 2-year anniversary, I was reminiscing about last year's caveman outfits. For some reason, I said that we should wear them one day when we're doing yardwork at the new house—just to get some additional use out of them. Of course, we died laughing, playing out the various possibilities that went with that scenario. And Mr. W said the neighbors would probably just say, "Look at them. They're from LA..."