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.