10.29.2009

On living here

Sometimes I think I live on Wisteria Lane. Things are just too perfect-looking on the outside: perfectly manicured lawns, bright blooms, sweetly trimmed bushes, wrought iron enterance gates, a few dozen Lexus', Mercedes', a Porsche, sweet little doggies who wear bejeweled collars & sweaters. 
I have a neighbor who uses a leafblower on his entire yard every damn morning. He is adamant about blowing all the leaves, dust, dirt, & grass off of every square inch of his driveway, walkway, & backporch areas. 
I have a neighbor who walks briskly several times a day with her dog, who is not on a leash. She never smiles, she never chats, & her dog is odd. 
I have a neighbor who is the host of a popular sports radio talk show, who lost his wife last year. I never see him. Sometimes I wonder if he exists.
I have a neighbor who is nosey, bossy, & a bit of a Nazi about EVERYFUCKINGTHING. She tells you what to do. She corrects you about things that she finds wrong. She sends emails to all of the homeowners about random things that she really doesn't need to be bossing us about.
I have a next door neighbor who has Alzheimers. I never see his wife, who cares for him, but he walks to the mailbox & to the end of the street for fresh air every day. He smiles brightly & gives me a salute.
The neighbors on the other side of me are not so friendly. They complained about my dogs barking last year when our home first flooded. Really?
Did I forget to mention that this neighborhood is small, with under 50 homes in it? We are the youngest couple in the neighborhood, with 2 other couples being in their late 30s, but childless. My girl is the only child, other than 2 teens. All of my neighbors own other homes in other states, have children in college or our age, have more money than time, have fancy things & beautiful homes. Several of the homebuilders live in this neighborhood, as well as the actual developer. One of my neighbors has a bumper sticker on his car that says "Impeach Obama". All my neighbors are conservative and W.H.I.T.E.

I don't fit in.

I am loud. I am liberal. I voted for Obama. I have a 4 year old. I don't always bring in my recycling container from the curb right away. I don't switch out the flowers in my beds every month. I don't drive a Lexus (although I did, but HATED it). I don't have a second home. I don't put clothes on my dogs. I enjoy things that are not by & large part of the conservative point of view. I cuss. I don't put a shock collar on my dog (although we did buy one for Max, but we are returning it). I don't care about the homeowner's association drama, or the dues, or what time the gates open or close. I don't have a fit if people walk with their dogs off of their leashes. I don't care if someone drives more than 10mph down my street. I could care less if you park your damn car on the street.

But I am kind and friendly and I try my hardest to pick up my dogs' shit when we are walking around the neighborhood. I say hello and try to make small talk. I bite my tongue when something is said about healthcare reform.

I like to think that all of my neighbors have a ton more going on than they let show. They are more than their manicured lawns & perfectly placed holiday decor. They are deeper than the car they drive, than the amount of money they make. I hope that they are dysfunctional in their own ways, like all of us. As I drive or walk by each home, I imagine what is going on behind closed doors. I giggle when I hear that leafblower first thing in the morning, because I know he's got issues.

I don't fit in. I want a neighborhood with people our age, with children my girl's age, with neighbors that come over for dinner, or to hang out in the backyard after work. I want a house where my girl & I can scream as we play a silly game, and not have to worry that someone hears us & thinks something random or erroneous. I don't want to compete with these people. I don't want to feel out of place. I don't want to disappoint my husband or look like the white trash of the neighborhood. I don't want to live on Wisteria Lane.

12 comments:

T said...

The house next door to me is for sale.

Just sayin'.

:)

Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

"I like to think that all of my neighbors have a ton more going on than they let show. They are more than their manicured lawns & perfectly placed holiday decor. They are deeper than the car they drive, than the amount of money they make. I hope that they are dysfunctional in their own ways, like all of us. As I drive or walk by each home, I imagine what is going on behind closed doors. I giggle when I hear that leafblower first thing in the morning, because I know he's got issues."

My favorite chunk of your post. How refreshing of you to admit that you don't quite "fit in" because guess what? No one does. And you bet there is stuff going on behind those impeccable facades. I love the symbolism of the early morning leafblower. Issues is right!

Jennie said...

You're probably far happier than most people in that neighborhood. When people are at peace with themselves, they usually are at peace with those around them.

Lindsey said...

I love this.
I often feel like I don't fit into my life, like there is tremendous dissonance between appearance and reality.
I'm glad to have found your blog, through Aidan and ILI!

Lindsey
www.adesignsovast.com

Alan said...

And apparently you live 2 doors down from us.

Seriously...amazing how equal we are in that my neighborhood is almost exactly the same and you & I have similar situations.

Great post! I love it!

Kristie said...

I love this post. I'm surrounded by semi-friendly neighbors that don't have toddlers and I'm sure they wonder why I often go outside in my pjs to check the mail. But I bring them cupcakes sometimes and they bring my run away dog back all the time. Come live here!
:)

Mox said...

Aw, I feel for you, I do. I don't feel like I fit in my neighborhood either, yet it's all young families like mine...I've always felt like I was a weirdo, er, outsider...um whatev. Hope you find some digs that you can relax in. Your neighbors can't be ALL bad...you did get boo'd a few, no?

P.S. I am Conservative so I just wanna say that even though we are vastly stereotyped, we aren't ALL narrow-minded a-holes. I can appreciate a difference of opinion. This is America, yo.

blueskyhi said...

I love this post and I can so relate. I love my home but I could easily pick it up and put it somewhere else. Our whinging pomey neighbour whinged long and hard enough about the leaves on his front lawn so that the council cut down the trees. The same trees that stop out of control cars hitting my kids on their bikes!!!

The whole Homeowner Assn thingy blows my mind. My Dad lives in Hawaii and he said they're only allowed to use 3 choices of paint, one type of fence and no clothes line!! OMG, I said to Dad that it sounded like China not USA.

But, on the other hand, has anyone ever found the perfect neighbourhood??

Zoe Right said...

You live in my neighborhood? Nah-can't be because I live in the land of the 2 ton SUV.

I too do not fit in my neighborhood- sometimes it gets lonely but then I remember I have some great Internet friends.

TUWABVB said...

I think you would fit in famously in my neighborhood. Just saying.

I get how you feel though - I so hope that this sale goes through easily and you can move on to greener pastures.

Tara said...

Uggg...I'm glad we have no HOA, I have awesome neighbors with lots of kids and we all get to hang out all the time. I couldn't live somewhere I didn't feel like I belonged..

My Bottle's Up! said...

I. LOVE. THIS. POST.