February 13, 2008


Last night, as we were all loading into the van to go look at some homes, the always annoying and constantly unleashed cocker spaniel that belongs to one of my neighbors came tearing across the sidewalk and started jumping all over my realtor and his nice clean pants.  It was snowing outside and the dogs paws were soaking wet.  I know, because after she was done jumping all over my realtor, she started jumping up into my knee.  That was before she decided to jump into my van, getting the floor soaked (with ice and snow, not pee, thank God for that). 

This is the same dog that jumped up on me last summer and proceeded to pee all over my foot.  Did I mention that the owner has not once apologized for any of these incidents?  In fact, she acts more like we’re the ones in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

As we finally got the dog out of our van and closed the doors, we all took a deep breath.  "So," I said to my realtor, "do we have disclose annoying neighbors?"

If we did, we’d never be able to move. 

Don’t get me wrong.  We have some excellent neighbors where we live.  We have a full-time Nanny/chef (who used to be the chef for the Bruce Springsteen tours) who constantly thinks about and brings my children special treats.  Last time, she brought Big I sparkly red shoes, and stickers and special cookies for Lil C. 

We have grandparents in the neighborhood who don’t get to see their own grandchildren as much as they’d like so they love up our kids.  We have neighbors right beside us who own two big dogs who are always on a leash (one of them was our savior when we were car-jacked by the pit bull). 

But we also have the cocker spaniel lady who can’t say "I’m sorry" when her dog pees all over you.  The dog is constantly off its leash, running around the parking lot and our yards, jumping up with dirty paws on our clean clothes and driving us insane.  In the summer, her dog jumped up on my very clean and very white Shureido gi pants.  I wasn’t sure who I wanted to snap kick more, the dog or my neighbor. 

We also have the neighbor that we lovingly refer to as "the local Britney Spears." 

We’ve seen her wandering around the sidewalk wearing flannel pajamas and big fuzzy slippers.  If the mood moves her, she’ll sometimes lay down on the sidewalk to soak up the sun or dirt or whatever.  Often though, she’ll just wander around on the sidewalks, choosing to stay as upright as possible, so as not to spill her glass of wine or antifreeze.  Sometimes during her little excursions, she’ll stand on the sidewalk in front of our house and blankly stare into our windows while trying to maintain her balance. Her balance could use some work.  Her odd behavior doesn’t stop there.   

She’ll frequently decide to warm her car up before getting into it.  This, by itself, is not at all odd.  Sometimes, however, she’ll leave the car running for hours, frequently with the door wide open.  In the summer, it’s not unusual for both of her car doors to be wide open for days at a time, even during virtual monsoons. This is the same neighbor who chooses to leave her litter box air dry on our sidewalk for a few weeks at a time.

Recently she decided to take down the curtains in her kitchen.  Since then, we’ve seen entirely too much of her, if you know what I mean.  One of our neighbors has seen her entirely naked.  I imagine he’s in counseling now.  We’ve only had the distinct horror of seeing her in her bra and that was traumatizing enough.  Britney may not be wearing underpants these days, but my neighbor is the topless wonder. 

A few weeks ago, the police knocked on my door and asked me if I had seen her lately.  Apparently, there was a 911 call from her home but no one answered at the door.  It didn’t surprise me.  This is par for the course with her.  Eventually she must have answered the door, because the three cop cars drove away without having to break down her door.  I can’t imagine it will be their last visit to her house.   

Yesterday, she emerged from her house for the first time in weeks.  She warmed her car up for about two hours before driving it into her garage and going back inside.  Yes, she really is that odd.  Now that I think about it, maybe she’s hibernating. 

So, I’ll be happy to disclose that one of my windows sticks sometimes.  I have no problem admitting that my microwave is a bit quirky.  But I am zipping my lips when it comes to my neighbors.  The previous owner didn’t warn us; and I’m not warning the next person. 

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